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ETD 22. A. Draw + Label a minimal, but viable cell. B. Explain why each part is needed.
October 28, 2013 at 4:43pm


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Francisco Perez
October 31, 2013 at 10:35pm

Parent: Francisco taught me about a viable cell and the parts that make up a viable cell. He told met that viable means living so viable cell translates to living cell. It is the simplest living cell that consists of DNA, A plasma membrane, Ribosomes, and Cytosol. He then told me about the functions about each of the parts of the cell. For instance, the Cytosol is in the cytoplasm and it helps in terms of shape and structure. Also, DNA consists of instructions for making protein producing enzymes.

Student: Today i taught my mom about what a viable cell is and the parts that make a viable cell which are DNA, Plasma membrane, Ribosomes, and Cytosol. Then i told my mom about the functions of each one. Also, while explaining to my mom what a viable cell is i drew out a picture to give her a visual of what it looks like and pointed out each part of the viable cell. 

Jayaram Ravi
November 02, 2013 at 8:13pm

Parent: I was surprised at how simple a viable cell could be, with only 4 components necessary to carry out all the functions of life. Plasma membranes are like gate keepers and they make energy for the cell. Cytosol is like gel and gives the cell shape. DNA is the instructions for how to make enzymes, which are special proteins that make substances or break substances down. The ribosomes are like protein factories. I remember in my high school classes we were taught about so many cell parts of the human cell, if only we had learned about bacterial cells in stead.

Student: It was interesting to have to explain terminology that I took for granted. Such as explaining what are enzymes and explaining how animal and plant cells evolved to have the many organelles they have (and defining what organelles are). I realized how much easier it was once I drew a picture to help with my explanations. Because my dad was so curious I showed him the pictures of the animal cell and plant cell.

sam paige
November 04, 2013 at 9:03pm

Parent: Sam taught me that there are four basic parts you need to make a cell. They are: one) plasma membrane, which is the protective cover for the cell like a bouncer that controls what goes in and out of the cell, two) genes (DNA and RNA), these tell the cell how to make the proteins and enzymes it needs to live, three) Ribosomes, which are the protein machines which read the genes and make the proteins specified(with amino acids), four) cytosol, which is comprised mainly of H2O (water) and is an important part as water is used in many basic functions of the cell. 

Student: I had a lot of fun teaching my dad this topic. I was able to teach him very easily the major components of a cell that are necessary. He helped me to think of it in a new light as to teach him I needed to think of different analogies for the parts like plasma membrane as a bouncer or DNA and RNA as a recipe card. Anyway I was able to teach him a lot about the structures and he followed very well I am excited to continue on to the next etd to teach him.

Kelli Vetter
November 05, 2013 at 7:06pm

Parent:  I took Biology in college many years ago and Kelli explained to me on MRNA, RNA, and protein synthesis in a fairly short period of time that made sense and reminded me of the courses I took years ago.  She explained how specific proteins are made from the triplet pair in MRNA and how there are different proteins produced for different cells based on what genes are being expressed. She also informed me on what was needed for a viable cell. I learned that not all cells have a nucleus, but all cells need DNA and RNA. This talk was very interesting and I learned a lot from this discussion.


Student: Today, I taught my dad what the necessities were to have a viable cell. As I started explaining about DNA and RNA, I went into how mRNA and rRNA was made because it made it easier to talk about ribosomes. Then I told my dad how each cell has different functions and how these cells get these different functions. I used my hands as a visual to explain how the ribosomes eventually make proteins from the mRNA reading. Overall, it was a good experience because it helped me explain step by step to a person who didn't know anything, rather than an overview to someone who has an idea of the concept.

Tyler Brenneman
November 05, 2013 at 8:41pm

Parent: I learned about a type of cell that has the least amount of parts and can still live.  This cell has only four parts: the membrane, the cytoplasm, ribosome and dna.  Each part is responsible for a different function.  The membrane is the wall around the cell which protects the cell, allows substances to pass into and out of cell and also keeps substances out.  Cytoplasm is also called Cytosol which is the fluid type substance within the cell.  The dna instructs the cell how to make enzymes.  Ribosome is where protein synthesis occurs.

Tyler: This time, I explained to my mom the viable cell and all of the parts of it. There wasn't anything she taught me this time, but the experience of teaching it definitely helped me become more familiar to this cell. . Also, it seems that most people (including me in the beginning) only know cytoplasm as cytoplasm, instead of referring it to cytosol.  

Michaela Jensen
November 10, 2013 at 8:55pm

Student: I taught my dad about a minimal, viable cell and each part of it. I then went over what each part of the cell did and examples of these types of cells. My dad didn't know much about so I didn't really learn anything from him but it definitely helped me to review this and know it better.

Parent: Michaela taught me about the properties of a simple viable cell.  The cell only needs a plasma membrane, DNA & RNA, ribosomes and cytosol.  The membrane is a gatekeeper and produces energy for the cell; The DNA & RNA carry the instructions for enzyme production and the ribosomes manufacture the proteins.  The cytosol is the gel inside the cell and increases chemical reactions and helps form the shape of enzymes.  An example of a simple viable cell is bacteria.

Kevin Turek
December 31, 2013 at 8:41am

Parent: My son told me that a cell needs very little. He said that all a cell really needs is a plasma membrane, DNA, ribosomes, and cytosol. He said that cells such as animal cells have a lot more in them like mitochondria, Golgi bodies, ER's and etc...

Student: My mom got the basic idea of this. She thought every cell needed a nucleus, so it was nice to surprise her with that knowledge. She was surprised to see how little a cell actually needed. She remembers about learning about some of the other organelles from her education so thought a  cell may need a little more.

Kayla Harbold
January 12, 2014 at 10:17pm

Parent: today I learned that a viable cell can be made up from just 4 things.

1) Plasma Membrane- this membrane can act as a gate keeper and also help produce energy as an energy pod (something that all living needs need- ENERGY!!)

2) DNA and RNA- kayla helped me recall C BIG MRS. GRENDE and i wont forget every living thing needs genes!!! These are the instructions for making enzymes

3) Cyosol- I didn't know what this was but Kayla described it as jello. its a gel that gives structure BUT also helps make chemical reactions possible!

4) Ribosomes- these help turn RNA into functional proteins.

And thats all you need to make a MINIMAL and VIABLE organisms. 

Kayla- explaining thins to my mom was a bit more challenging that some of the other ETD's I have done with her however i learned that comparing things to real life objects can be very helpful like jello! I also learned that drawing connections between past knowledge helps improve her understanding too! I referred back another thing I taught her and she recalled that all living thins need genes-helping her to understand why all living things need DNA

jade middleton
January 13, 2014 at 8:05pm

Parent: Today, my daughter taught me about how a minimal, viable cell functions. She spoke about how the cell only needs a plasma membrane, DNA & RNA, ribosomes and cytosol to be a living cell. These four functions are very important for a viable cell; the plasma membrane is a gatekeeper, DNA & RNA are the messengers, ribosomes are protein machines, and cytosol is made of mostly water that speeds up the reactions. Lastly, she said it resembles a bacteria cell.

Jade: For the very first time, I taught my mom about what a minimal viable cell is and what it does. It wasn't as hard as I thought after I reviewed my ETD. My mom helped me further understand this topic by showing and explaining it in pictures. It helped her pick up what I was talking about, but the pictures also helped me remember what for example, a ribosome looks like. I liked that I taught her something new today, while i got to refresh my memory.

Jon Neil (Instructor)
January 16, 2014 at 8:03am

Several students taught their parents about not only the minimal organelles, but also the function of those organelles.  Be sure to use analogies when working with your parent regarding the funciton of each organelle as it will help your mind to capture the idea more permanantly and it will help them to understand the concept to an even greater degree.  Keep up the good work Student Teachers.

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