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Into the Human Cell3D

Teaching the Human Cell through 3D simulation

1) Students will gain a basic understanding of the Human Cell through 3D simulation and visualization,

2) Students will gain a deeper understanding of the components of the Human Cell and how they function together.

Students travel through the Human Cell in real-time 3D, helping them to visualize and understand it’s structure and function.

3D Simulation and Investigation
3D simulation is designed to make subject matter more engaging to today’s technology-savvy kids, and help them bridge the gap between the “concrete” world and the abstract world of concepts. As students experience complex subject matter in real-time 3D it becomes much clearer. Students learn best when they are actively immersed in subject matter from a variety of different modes and viewpoints; 3D simulation is designed to help students visualize difficult ideas and objects through investigation at any scale (atomic, cellular, planetary, conceptual, etc), and visiting environments to do things that would normally be impossible.

Required Technology
• Flash-Enabled Computer
• Internet Access

Optional Technology
• Projector
• Multiple Computers

• Large Group Instruction
• Small Group Instruction
• Individualized Instruction

Check computer for Internet access, Flash, and projection if needed.

1. Access program

2. Pick a lead student navigator to control movement through the 3D environment

3. Pick a lead student reader to read information about the Human Cell as it appears on-screen

4. Begin the lesson by asking students what they already know about the Human Cell; write responses on the board

5. Review basic facts about the Human Cell including:
• The cell is the smallest living thing found in nature
• The Human Cell is the basic component of our bodies
• A single Human Cell is made up of many different structures, called organelles

6. Start travelling through the program, facilitate discussion by asking students where the class should go.

7. Use the 3D simulation as a visual aid; explain information as needed

8. Have students pay special attention to:
• The number of organelles
• How organelles differ in shape and function
• The function of the nucelus

9. Have a final wrap-up with students with a question and answer period about the Human Cell. Ask them how it works, and what are the primary components and function of each component.

Optional Activity
3D Scavenger Hunt + Discussion
Have students find a particular part of Human Cell, such as the Golgi Apparatus. If students are on multiple computers, have them “race” to the part of the cell the teacher wishes to highlight. Once students find/arrive at the location, the teacher may commence discussion. Repeat in other areas of the simulation as desired to build understanding.

Students may also access the program outside the classroom to supplement textbook questions at
Functional Notes
• An internet connection is needed
• Ensure Adobe Flash is installed on the computer; download the latest at
• Use the Q+E buttons on the keyboard to turn around when you get stuck
• If you see something in red you can probably click on it
• For ease of use collision detection is not used often, so you can go through most 3D objects and even the ground
• The school library can request and access programs (free) through the Beta program at for off-line use via PC and Mac if there is no internet connection

Comments / Notes