How to Make a Model of the Golgi Apparatus

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The Golgi apparatus is found in both plants and animals.
The Golgi apparatus is found in both plants and animals. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

In 1897, Camillo Golgi looked through a microscope and identified one of the first visualized organelles, the Golgi apparatus. One of the largest organelles, the Golgi apparatus sends fats and lipids to other parts of a cell and around the body, acting like a shipping company. Because of its distinct folded shape, you can recreate the Golgi apparatus using everyday items such as clay or pasta.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Gelatin, yellow or clear
  • Medium saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Large zip-top bag
  • Bowl
  • Stockpot
  • 5 or 6 lasagna noodles
  • Colander
  • 5 or 6 small grapes
  • 5-inch craft foam
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Serrated knife
  • Clay

Gelatin

Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Empty a small package of gelatin into the water, stirring until the powder completely dissolves. Mix in 3/4 cup of cold water.

Place a large zip-top bag into a bowl. Wrap the edges of the bag over the edge of the bowl. Pour the gelatin into the bag. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for an hour.

Fill a stockpot half-full with water. Bring the water to a boil. Add five or six lasagna noodles. Boil for seven or eight minutes to soften the noodles. Pour the water and noodles into a colander. Let them cool until you can handle them.

Remove the gelatin from the refrigerator. Open the bag and insert the lasagna noodles in the gelatin. Fold the noodles over several times to create the shape of the Golgi apparatus, and then use your fingers to push them through the gelatin.

Insert five or six small grapes in the gelatin around the lasagna noodles to create the transport vesicles.

Seal the bag again. Put it back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to finish setting.

Clay

Cut a 5-inch piece of craft foam in half with a serrated knife. Use a circular foam piece for an animal cell and a square or rectangular piece for a plant cell. If desired, paint the foam with acrylic paint and let it dry overnight.

Roll pieces of clay between your hands to create 3-inch snakes. Make five or six snakes for a plant cell and 10 to 15 snakes for an animal cell.

Fold each snake over itself two to three times to create an accordion fold. Make each folded snake a different width.

Press the folded snakes to the cut side of the craft foam.

Roll five or six 1/2-inch balls from clay to create the transport vesicles. Press the balls to the foam around the Golgi apparatus. Let the clay dry overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Since the clay may vary depending on brand, if it does not stick to the cut foam, use hot glue or craft glue to secure it.

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