I've always felt that one of the hardest units to incorporate a true STEM-based engineering design lab was in life science, specifically the cell.
There are many labs and activities that teachers do where students make 3D models the cell or its organelles and while those activities are good (and sometimes delicious!) I wanted something more. I looked everywhere but could not find a project where students had to model a cell’s organelle function, so I had to make one up!
In this STEM based design challenge, students work in groups to design and build a playable “carnival” style cardboard game that models the structure and function of one organelle in a eukaryotic cell.
This 5-day long project allows students to research parts of the cell and think deeply about how they can infuse their organelle's structure and functions into a game which they will build and eventually play. This project can be done alone or in pairs. In the end, you can have an entire cells worth of creative, playable, and accurate organelles in your classroom!
This downloadable PDF file contains the following information:
1. Project overview and expectations
2. Examples of what unacceptable vs acceptable versions of the project may look like (written)
3. Sample game sheet for student reference
4. Detailed grading rubric
5. Game evaluation form (filled out when students test out each other’s games in class)