The How to Build a Human Challenge

One Cell at a Time teamed up with Little Inventors to challenge school children (aged 11 – 14 years) from all over the UK to design a card game inspired by the Human Cell Atlas and their knowledge of human cells and tissues.

The national school’s challenge was designed to stretch students’ imagination and develop their creativity and problem solving skills, whilst introducing how science is applied in the real world through the cutting-edge nature of the HCA’s work. A team of three, Year 9 students from Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire beat more than 100 submitted entries to win the challenge. Alistair Outram, Filip Pekala, and Tom Sumpton collaborated with award-winning game designer Richard Heayes to turn their original card game concept, called AcCELLerate, into a real card game.


Little Inventors: Little Inventors is a creative education organisation that aims to build young people’s creative confidence and problem solving skills, focussing their inventive minds on important issues that affect all our lives. They first challenge children and teenagers to draw their invention ideas on a diverse range of subjects such as food waste, the oceans, transport and climate change. Expert makers, designers and animators then work with the young people to bring to life their ideas through prototypes, models and illustrations for inspiring exhibitions.

Heayes Design: Richard Heayes has been designing and inventing toys and games for over 25 years. With over 300 products to market, he uses his experience to fuse imagination with reality in order to deliver products that are both fun to play and profitable to sell. Having spent 18 years at Hasbro working across their brand portfolio and leading the creative team from the West London office, Heayes then set up his own design consultancy, Heayes Design and his own invention studio, PlayLenz.


Big thanks to:

Anna Wilbury Clarke and HCA colleagues at the Wellcome Sanger Institute for their invaluable scientific advice and support.
Andrew Heinrich and pupils at Samual Ward and Thomas Gainsborough schools for piloting our teaching resources and providing feedback.