Active Cell Transport

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12190

Have you ever watched firefighters in action? How do they get water to a burning building? It doesn't flow by itself; they use pumper trucks. Your cells have chemical pumper trucks to move materials!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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These may look like complicated chemical compounds in the image above, but believe it or not, your cells know what they are and use them to energize their trucking system!

In the previous lessons in this Cell Transport series, found under Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar, you learned about passive transport that allows cells to move materials without the use of cellular energy.

Active transport uses the same cell membrane to transport substances, but it requires energy to do so! As you watch the video below, jot down the answers to these questions:

  • How are substances moving in active transport?
  • What is the name of the energy molecule cells use to move materials?
  • How are the three types of active transport different?
  • How are exocytosis and endocytosis similar?
  • How does pinocytosis work in cells?

Watch Active Transport, by Teacher's Pet, to find the answers:

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You see that active transport moves substances against the concentration gradient. That is the opposite of passive transport, where molecules are separating out to achieve equal distribution.

  • Can you imagine trying to fight against a large crowd of people exiting a movie theatre at once?

It would require a great deal of energy! Active transport in cells operates in the same way: molecules have to be pushed across the cell membrane using energy from adenine triphophate or ATP.

  • What do you think would happen if cells didn't have ATP?

Continue to explore active transport in the Got It? section.

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