In class, students studied plants and how they make food by a process called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants use light energy (sunlight) to convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen.

Students participated in a game which modeled the process of photosynthesis. In the game, students acted as plants and collected sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide which they then converted into molecules of glucose and oxygen. For each molecule of glucose created, their plant grew taller.

Students played a second round of the game with a new factors that modeled limitations on a plant’s ability to collect the materials for photosynthesis: lack of water. Students had to choose between growing rapidly or storing the glucose to help them grow when materials were not available. Successful plants were able to optimize storing the glucose and using it growing new leaves and roots to access the limited resources

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Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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Our Young Pre classroom is for ages. This age group is working