This week's topic is biomimicry. As I begin to plan for teaching adaptations, natural selection, and evolution, I've been researching how scientists are more and more often looking at animals as a solution to human problems.
Engineering/Math Problem Solving Component
Tryengineering.com has a complete lesson that provides students the opportunity to not only to read about the topic, but to work together to design a structure for the moon using biomimicry. And this link at Engineering, Go For It, provides a different lesson, activity and web source. An additional resource is also available at Teach Engineering. The format isn't quite as teacher friendly, but is extensive, providing assessment ideas and differentiation.
Making biomimicry relate to kids is as simple as taking a look at a peer that has already used the idea to create a new product. In this article, a 13 year old student creates a solar tree that is patterned after the fibonacci sequence (ahem...math and reading in one article.) How about looking at military fatigues? The current pixilated pattern (hmmm...math?) isn't cutting it. Use this article, or others like it, as a springboard for a study on camoflague.
Click for 9 examples of biomimicry in action
Other current events articles include: Science News for Kids article, Biomimetics -National Geographic article, Bioinspiration at the San Diego Zoo, and Biomimicry News
Additional Resources and Background Information
Biomimicry Institute curriculum