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Collaboration via Slime Mold

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    National Health Museum

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Collaboration via Slime Mold

In this highly collaborative activity, learners design and complete a controlled experiment which attempts to answer a simple question about the slime mold Physarum. Learners present their findings to the group, citing evidence of each other's work in their final report. Learners model scientific research in that their narrow area of research gives one fact of a complete picture of this organism. Learners also practice making agar plates. Adult supervision is recommended.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Physarum culture
  • Petri plates
  • Agar (must be non-nutrient)
  • Oatmeal (rolled flakes)
  • Scalpels
  • Water
  • Beakers
  • Hot plate(s)
  • Glucose or salt agar (optional)
  • pH indicator (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Metabolism
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Protists and Fungi
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
      • Chemistry of Life
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Skinner, Peggy


  • All Rights Reserved, Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum, ©2009