News ‘How to Build a Human’: Godolphin biologists tackle ‘Little Inventors’ challenge 26.03.2021

In the midst of the country’s third lockdown, Lower School students responded to the call to shine a spotlight on the Human Cell Atlas project by designing an all age card game with the support of Godolphin’s Sixth Form biologists. 

It was a delight to watch (through Google meet) the growth of the mentor-mentee partnerships which empowered Lower School students to stretch the creative, theoretical and academic boundaries of the Little Inventors brief. The experience highlighted the power of teamwork and the value of creativity in a process which tested the students’ perseverance and resilience as they navigated the challenges of building their very own cell-tastic card game from scratch. After all, unlike competitive science, the Human Cell Atlas thrives off international and interdisciplinary collaboration!

 A Year 9 student reflected on her time working on the project alongside her sister and Sixth Form mentor saying:

‘The Human Cell Atlas card game design project showed me how extraordinary ideas come with hard work and deep thought. Developing a game that integrated inspiring biology was so difficult. However, challenges are usually what help us move forward in life. I am truly inspired by the HCA’s international work that is moving towards improving everybody’s lives and I have so enjoyed trying to make a contribution to their research’

The How to Build a Human card game challenge also gave Lower Sixth mentors an invaluable opportunity to engage with cutting edge molecular and cell biology research presented directly from the lab bench by HCA scientists working across the UK. They especially enjoyed inspiring curiosity in Godolphin’s youngest students by decoding and sharing complex ideas on cell signalling and gene expression. Furthermore, an introduction to game theory offered a newfound appreciation for the logistics and complexity of game design.

 Together the Biology and Art & Design departments carefully considered and shortlisted five card games which were judged to be examples of professional, playable and interesting games with rich and well balanced design. We wish Sophie, Lucy, Alex, Giorgia, Chloe, Frida, Ava and Tara the very best of luck in representing the School in the national competition which promises to produce the winning card game with a professional game designer for distribution to students across the UK.