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Lesson 1

Structure and Size: Comparing Viruses, Bacteria, and Eukaryotic Cells

Students investigate the relative sizes of viruses, bacteria and cells of eukaryotes to explore the relationship between size and function and identify associated patterns. Activities employ relative scale calculations and introduction of the square-cube law. In a hands-on activity, student groups build a 3-D model of their structure with either everyday materials or CAD software to program a 3-D printer.

Lesson Questions

  • What are the similarities and differences in structure between viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic cells?
  • How does the size and structure of viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic cells relate to their functions?

Lesson Files