How to Make a Three-Dimensional Chromosome Model

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 pipe cleaners

  • Plasticine modeling clay

  • Acrylic paint

  • Paintbrush

Make your own chromosome model with pipe cleaners.

Chromosomes are comprised of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid. Sections of these chromosomes are called genes, which are responsible for determining a variety of characteristics in living things. The study of chromosomes is imperative to helping us better understand the science of genetics, which is a subject that affects a variety of different fields including medicine. Constructing your own 3-D chromosome model can help you better understand its physical attributes, and it can help build the foundations for a larger understanding of the study of genetics and heredity. You can construct your model fairly quickly using easily accessible materials.


Step 1

Form the basic shape of a chromosome with pipe cleaners. Arrange the pipe cleaners, one on top of the other, in an "X" shape. Twist the middle points together and straighten out the ends.

Step 2

Wrap plasticine modeling clay around the outside of the pipe cleaner "X" until the chromosome is completely covered in an outer shell.

Step 3

Paint a simple red and blue DNA coil on top of each half of the chromosome, which will represent the DNA inside the chromosome. The red and the blue will comprise either half of the DNA ladder formation. Allow the paint to dry for two to four hours.


Use a pre-existing image of a chromosome's anatomy to help guide your model-making procedure.