In this project students are set a design challenge to design and make a 3D animal cell model using the 3D printer. As part of the challenge they are also required to create a presentation to explain the parts of an animal cell and their functions.

Learning Objectives


  • To learn about the parts of an animal cell.
  • To understand and explain the functions of the cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus and mitochondria.
  • To design and 3D print a realistic model of an animal cell.

The project resources include a project brief (with design specification), a presentation storyboard template worksheet for students to plan their cell presentations and a project presentation with teacher guidance notes.

This activity was delivered to 40 Year 9 girls at a STEM Challenge event organised by the Create Education Project. Visit our blog to find out how they got on. Some example of the design outcomes from students are shown below.

In The Classroom

This challenge is perfect for a STEM club project which could span approximately half a term with one session per week, or it could be a  STEM day activity.

As the project incorporates part of the KS3 Science POS as well along with the design and 3D printing element, it could also be used as a joint Science and Design Technology project. Students could cover the cell parts and functions and create their presentation in science lessons, whilst designing, developing and 3D printing the model in Design Technology lessons.

The project could also be expanded to include plant cell models into the brief and the presentation could include the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.

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