Science Infographic- Parts of a Cell, phase 2: the outline

I showed a friend the article I was going to use as the backbone of the video and he commented on how the article kind of missed the point about what the parts of a cell do and explained their functions with unintuitive jargon. He recommended I look through Wikipedia and understand the stuff more thoroughly before trying to simplify and summarize. After some time cross-referencing (as you do) on wikipedia, I developed this outline:

Note: if you see any good mental imagery when reading this, make note.


A moment of science.

A science series by Katarina Countiss.

Today’s Lesson: Parts of a Cell


What is a cell?

A cell is a structure like a lego block, which makes up all of everything living.

(a lego block is pictured and then complex structures made from legos… a lego block fades into a cell diagram. )


Robert Hooke saw them first in 1665 (microscope from the time) and he was like, hmm, these cork cells (image) look like the small rooms that monks live in. Cell= cella, latin for “small room” (monk’s small room)

Mattias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann in 1939 developed cell theory, essetally describing the cell. Really pinning it down by saying

all organisms are made of one or more cells (flashes of different organisms)

All cells come from other cells (no poofing into existence. Every cell has a parent.)  (image: mom tattoo?) note cell divison.

“vital functions of an organism occur within cells” in other words, this is where the party is at.

Cells contain information to run itself and pass along the information to their children cells so they can run on their own, as well.

The Two types

Eukaryoute and Prokaryote.

Prokaryotes are tiny guys, single-celled organisms (images),  they are strictly single celled, but they live in little communities. They are simpler and smaller in size in comparison to the Eukaroyte type.

Eukaryyote are like you, they can be lone or in multicellular organisms (images)

Eukaryotes structure

These cells contain compartments

These compartments are separated by membranes which are like ziplock bags.

The cell has a nucleus. It’s  a place where information is stored about what the cell does.

And cilia are like fingers of the cell. They can tell the cell what’s going on outside of it (cells don’t have eyes, so they need to feel their way around.) These fingers also help locomotion. (Cell crawling away with human finger “legs”)

Let’s take a look inside…

Typical animal cell

Right now we’re  going to look at an animal cell.

Here’s  the membrane. It’s like a smart plastic bag that lets in stuff and releases stuff. AND it can receive simple messages (text message from adrenaline, a hormone saying XXX, ex. Let in Magnesium)

Sometimes comes with a

cell wall (see plants)

Flagella—it’s a tail for moving arournd.

Fimbriae, short and thin hair-like filaments, attach like Velcro to bacteria.

Cytosol is the gelatinous (see jello image) fluid that fills the cell and surrounds the organelles.

Organelles are little organs. Some of them are solitary, typically, while others can number in to the hundreds, thousands range. (multiplying circles.)

Cell nucleus, information center, houses the DNA (double-stranded) and RNA (single-stranded). Recipe book image

Mitochondria and chloroplasts (for plants)—quick cut away to plant cell diagram. Power generators. They use oxygen like a pump to get Adenosine triphonsphate (ATP) which is the kind of energy cells use to get stuff done. (running man) Chloroplasts use sunlight to create their ATP.

Ribosomes, a complex RNA and protein (apartment complex with RNA and protein at the buzzer directory). The RNA is like a Drill sergent lining up dudes and sending them off in formation (animation)– the formation being amino acids.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Some molecules are floating freely while others have places to be. Traffic guy honkin his horn.

The rough ER has ribosomes on the surface.

The smooth ER does not.

Golgi apparatus- This facory processes and packages macromolecules such as proteins and libids made in the cell (post office) They push out their packages in vesicles.

Lysosomes eat up worn-out organelles, food particles and engulfted viruses or bacteria. Peroxisomes have enzymes that eat up toxic, an unstable and destructive character.

Centrosome, cell-cycle manager and microtubule organizing center. Centrioles anchor and direct the microtubules. These guys act like a wall that springs up and separates chromosomes during cell division.(angle of chromoses in an ex and lay them down and watch the microtubules rise up like a wall)

Vacuoles: Vacuoles store food and waste. Some vacuoles store extra water.  Storage bag image.

All together, these parts grow, divide and produce proteins. (animations using the highlighted organelles in the process.)

And that was… A Moment of Science. Thank you for watching.

Earlier Post Related to this Project


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