MHS Biology Students Bring Science to Life in Design Thinking Laboratory
To help make real-world, scientific connections, Milton Hershey School tenth-grade biology students recently completed an advanced design thinking laboratory exercise about slime mold characteristics.
The students began the lab by using TinkerCAD—an online tool used to generate 3D designs—to create a detailed maze design. Using the school’s 3D printers, they printed their designs and developed their own hypothesis to test the slime mold’s ability to move through the maze.
“Students were asked to research how scientists would use slime mold … and provide and discuss real-world examples to help understand solving algorithm problems,” said Lauren Chiota, a science teacher at MHS.
By making real-world connections, creating and evaluating maze prototypes, and finding multiple solutions, MHS students began to understand the design thinking process. At the end of the laboratory exercise, students reflected on their designs and combined their research into a lab report and final project.
“My favorite part of the slime mold maze challenge was when we found out the end results of our hypothesis,” said MHS sophomore Victoria Wyszynski. “I learned that patience is key, and I learned how slime mold works with other things.”
Milton Hershey School is committed to providing students with problem-based learning opportunities and open-ended challenges. When students realize there isn’t one way to solve a problem, they embrace self-discovery and develop foundational 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. Learn more about our problem-based approach to learning.