We’ve dissected flowers many times before, but this was our first attempt at a 3D flower model. A model is a great hands on way to learn about the structure and function of plant organs and the importance of pollination.

I’ve also made some FREE flower structure revision cards you might like.

My 12 year old made this for school by herself and did such a good job I wanted to share it.

You’ll need

Tissue paper

Pipe cleaners

Ear buds

Hama beads – we used these for the stigma and eggs

Plasticine – used for the ovary


How to make a 3D Flower Model

Construct your model like the image below.

We used tape to attach parts to the pipe cleaner stem.

The filament and anther is a cotton bud, the style is a pipe cleaner and the ovary and ovules are made from plasticine and hama beads.

3D Flower Model

Labelled image of a 3D flower model made with tissue paper, ear buds and pipe cleaners

What are the parts of a flower?

Stems – the stem is long and cylindrical. It holds the flower upright, supports the leaves and flowers and carries water and minerals from the ground to the leaves, and sugars to flowers and roots.

Flower – contains plant organs and attracts insects.

Leaves contain chlorophyll ( in chloroplasts ) which uses light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose by a process called photosynthesis.

Leaves are thin with a large surface area which allows gases to diffuse through them easily and gives a big area for light to be absorbed. These factors are important for photosynthesis.

Root – the root anchors the plant in the ground and together with root hairs has a big surface area to take water and minerals from the soil for the plant to use.

Sepals – these are the small green parts below the opened flower that protect the flower before it opens.

Petals – petals are brightly coloured to attract insects. Insects are needed to carry pollen between plants. Pollination is needed for reproduction!

Bee feeding on a brightly coloured flower

Stamen – stamens are the male parts of the flower. Stamens have two parts, an anther and a filament.

Anther – anthers produce pollen grains, these are the male sex cells.

Stigma – the stigma is the top of the female part of the flower and is where pollen grains are collected when insects land on the flower.

Ovary – the ovary produces the female sex cells in the ovules.

Flower Structure Revision Cards
parts of a flower diagram
labelled flower diagram with a dissected flower

What is pollination?

Pollination is when pollen is transferred between flowering plants of the same species.

Pollen is transferred from the stamen ( male part ) to the stigma ( female part ).

Pollination can occur in two ways. If pollen is transferred from the stamen to the stigma of the same plant is is called SELF POLLINATION. If pollen is transferred between two different plants this is called CROSS POLLINATION.

Insect pollination

Insects transfer pollen between flowering plants. The pollen contains the male sex cells and fertilises egg cells to make new seeds.

Insects are attracted by the bright colours and smell of the flower as well as the sugary nectar they like to eat!

While an insect eats, some pollen from the flower sticks to it. When the insect lands on another flower that pollen is collected on the stigma. A pollen tube then grows down through the style to the ovary which the pollen travels down.

Fertilisation occurs when the nucleus of the male sex cell joins with the female sex cell ( ovules ).

Each fertilised ovule develops into a seed!

Educational diagram with stamen and pistil structure and full egg development and fertilization stages from ovule to seed

Examples of insect pollinators







More types of pollination

Pollen can also be transported by birds, bats and the wind!

How are wind pollinated flowers different to insect pollinated flowers

Pollinated by insects Pollination by wind
Pollen – sticky to stick to insects Pollen – smooth and light to be carried by the wind. Wind pollinated plants produce more pollen than insect pollinated plants as there is more wastage.
Petals – brightly coloured, often scented and contain nectar. Petals – usually small and green or brown, with no scent or nectar as they don’t need to attract insects.
Anthers – found inside the flower, these stand firmly upright Anthers – outside the flower and hang loosely on a long filament.
Stigma – inside the flower and sticky so when an insect lands carrying pollen, the pollen sticks. Stigma – feathery and hangs outside the flower to catch pollen flying by on the wind.

Example of a wind pollinated flower

Notice how the anther and stigma are hanging loosely and fully visible.

Example of a wind pollinated flower

Bird Pollination

Hummingbirds are an example of bird pollinators. You can see its long narrow beak which allows it to reach nectar from inside flowers.

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More Plant Science Experiments

Growing a bean in a jar, a CD case or anything else see through is a great way to watch roots form.

Discover how water is transported through a plant by making coloured flowers.

Make a pinecone weather station.

This model stem from Around the Kampfire is great too!

Make a jelly model of a plant cell.

Image of a 3D flower model from ear buds, pipe cleaners and tissue paper

The post 3D Flower Model – Plant Science appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Originally posted at Science Sparks