In this fun science game, students play the role of a Cell Division Supervisor. Inside the cell nucleus, they must steer the cell division process to make sure everything happens in the right order. Students must also occasionally check controls to ensure nothing happened with the genetic material on the way. If they make too many mistakes, the energy level in the cell will drop and the cell division will not be able to proceed. The challenge is to complete the game and to make sure that the cell divided correctly. Control of the Cell Cycle was developed based on work by scientists Leland Hartwell, Tim Hunt and Paul Nurse, who were awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the control of the cell cycle.
This lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, challenges students to use what they know about cell division to play a game in which they control cell division from inside a cell’s nucleus. They must make sure that each stage of the cell cycle cycle happens in the correct order and that the cell has successfully replicated its genetic material at specific checkpoints along the way. If they make more than three mistakes during one cell division, the cell is destroyed and they have to start again. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards. See more »