Little Inventors

The How to Build a Human - Card Game Challenge

Take inspiration from the amazing Human Cell Atlas and design a Cell-tastic card game. Upload it to receive feedback and  have it displayed in our online gallery!

Watch the videos below and download the challenge pack for all the inspiration and information you need to start designing you card game.

The Human Cell Atlas aims to create comprehensive reference maps of all human cells—the fundamental units of life—as a basis for both understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease.

Download the challenge pack!

How to build a human card game challenge

The challenge pack contains all of the information you need to understand the brief, learn about the Human Cell Atlas as well as some handy hints and tips on how to design a fun, original and educational card game.


Download for free


Activity 1

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So what is the Human Cell Atlas?

Watch this video to learn all about the Human Cell Atlas and find some inspiration for your card game idea.

Download the challenge pack to get lots more information about the HCA and what it is. Once you have learnt about the HCA move on to the next activity to learn even more about the tissues and cells inside the human body, before going on to designing your card game!

Activity 2

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What cells go where?

This is HCA Researcher Christos Proukakis talking about his work on the project, specifically on the brain.

If you want to learn even more about the Human Cell Atlas you can watch some further videos from Human Cell Atlas researchers here.

Take a look at the fact sheets in the challenge pack to help you learn which cells make up which tissue and pick out some key facts about human cells and tissues to use in your game design.

Activity 3

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How to design a card game

Expert game designer Richard Heayes gives you his tips on designing a card game.

Your challenge is to design a card game that takes inspiration from the Human Cell Atlas and your knowledge of human cells and tissues.

In part 2 of the challenge presentation found in the challenge pack you will find some more great hints and tips on how to design a cell-tacular card game. There is advice on working in a team as well as answers to your questions about what you can include in your game.

Now you’re ready to begin designing your game. Move onto activity three to start generating your ideas.

Activity 4

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Generating your ideas

The idea generation pack found in the challenge pack is there to guide you through the process of designing your game.

You can use these sheets to jot down ideas and have a really good think about the story behind your game, the rules and how it might look. Don’t worry about getting a bit messy on these sheets, think of them like your sketchbook and let the ideas flow! You can also use extra paper if you need.

Activity 5

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Complete your entry sheets

Now it’s time to fill in your entry sheets that are found inside your challenge pack. We want to see your game box cover design, how some of the cards will look and understand how to play your game. Write and draw as neatly as you can, using colours and labels to explain your card game idea.

Lastly, but very importantly we would love to hear how you got on with the workshop by filling out the answers to these few short questions -

How to enter!

Design a fun card game inspired by Human Cell Atlas, human cells and tissues.

Complete the downloaded entry sheets including your box cover design sheet, card design sheet and game description sheet.

Finally upload the idea on our upload page.

  1. Design your card gameand fill in the HCA Entry Sheets
  2. Scan the sheetsas straight on as possible
  3. Upload your entry sheets start with your game box design sheet (choose a file)

Each entry should communicate your card game design clearly. Add as much information as you can on the sheets and any ideas for images, drawings or symbols.

Examples of scanned images

Not so good

Terms and conditions

  1. This Challenge is open to all students aged between 11 and 14 years old.
  2. Any individual may upload as many card game ideas as they wish.
  3. All entries must be original and the entrants’ own work.
  4. Uploading of a card game idea should only be done by a responsible adult with appropriate permissions from the inventor and their parent/guardian. Once uploaded, it is in the public domain and visible to anyone who looks at the website to see all the wonderful ideas.
  5. Only uploaded ideas that meet our threshold for quality will be displayed in the online gallery, this includes the relevant text information about the student and the idea. Only ideas in the gallery will be considered for creating into a real game. The judgment on this threshold is entirely at our discretion and we will not enter into any communications about our decision.
  6. As the creator you will always own the copyright to your drawings, and by uploading it you grant Human Cell Atlas and Little Inventors non-exclusive, worldwide and perpetual rights to use, implement, reproduce and commercialise your content. This means we can use it at exhibits, on our website, and it might even feature in one of our books!
  7. As part of the Little Inventors How to Build a Human - Card Game Challenge, one idea will be developed into a manufactured game.
  8. If your idea is chosen, we will be in touch to involve you in the making process so you can guide how your idea is made real. We will cover all costs of manufacture and development.
  9. Any activities with the game or their creators are not guaranteed and are liable to change or cancellation at any time, without notice.
  10. Our purpose is to give children the freedom and inspiration to use their imagination and creativity to come up with fantastic, funny and far-out ideas.
  11. In order to be involved in the Challenge, you must agree to the rules and conditions above. Therefore, please read these carefully twice and make sure you are happy to continue. By uploading a card game idea you agree to the rules and conditions here stated.