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Cell Size and Diffusion

$9.95 - $74.10 Quantity Discount Available

Product Highlights

  • Helps students understand the relationship between surface area and volume and the impact that relationship has on homeostasis, by providing an easy to see, easy to measure demonstration of diffusion rates.
  • Addresses middle and high school standards with enough materials for 8 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.

3 Product Options


Grades 6–12. Living organisms depend on water. Approximately 60% of the human body is water. Plants are 90–95% water. The movement of water between the parts of an organism and within its cells is very important in maintaining homeostasis. In this series of investigations, students use an osmosis chamber to investigate how water moves across the cell membrane and how that movement helps cells maintain homeostasis.

Time Requirements
Teacher preparation, 90 minutes. Pre-lab, investigation, and assessment, 3 class periods.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectation(s)

Crosscutting Concepts
Systems and System Models
Stability and Change

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS1.A: Structure and Function

Science and Engineering Practices
Developing and Using Models

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the importance of diffusion in the basic function of a cell.
  • Make basic calculations demonstrating the surface area-to-volume ratios of different-sized "cell models."
  • Use student data to propose at least one reason why cells, in general, are not larger.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should be familiar with the following topics: basic concept of diffusion, cell structure and function, basic knowledge of the cell membrane, and the math functions used to calculate surface area and volume.

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