Two teams of 5 students will compete is this year’s nationwide Youth Biomimicry Challenge. What is biomimicry? Biomimicry is taking inspiration from nature to solve man-made problems. Our teams will be working toward a solution to mitigate Climate Change using inspiration from the natural world. Through this 8 week project we will learn about different systems and processes in nature and work through how to apply them to our own engineered solution. Once a problem and natural solution have been identified, students will build a working prototype using tools and materials at the makerspace. This project will combine design, prototyping, documentation, and record taking, before submitting our project to the competition.
Teams lead by two coaches will begin by looking at problems within our local community, and then looking to nature for a solution. Are there sustainable ways to cool homes in the summer? Perhaps tropical climates hold an answer. How can we better filter trash, or drinking water? The filtration methods of mussels may have something to teach us. A trip to the landfill may illuminute just how much waste we produce every day, and have you thinking about using more sustainable materials. Whether biological, chemical, or mechanical, we can look to nature for answers to these problems and engineer our own solution.
This is a fabulous opportunity for students who are concerned about the climate and want to work on finding solutions that build sustainable societies. Students will learn new hands-on skills and have access to a variety of tools to implement their ideas: solutions may incorporate digital fabrication, electronics, wood, metal, and textile processes. This new way of thinking needs unique ideas and unique people; we are recruiting students interested in a variety of fields from the environment to engineering, creative pursuits and the sciences.
Registration Opens December 1st and closes January 17th. Early bird pricing increases January 11th.
This is a 40 Hour Project that takes place over 8 weeks, meeting twice a week from January 21st to March 10th.
Tuesdays: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm - 5:30pm
There will be some research field trips on Sundays. We will submit our projects on the last day of class to the Biomimicry Institute. Winners will be announced in May.
We will be following curriculum from the biomimicry Institute, which aligns with NGSS. We will spend much of the first classes deciding how to work together and which climate change issue we want to tackle. Throughout the course we will spend time each class learning about different natural phenomi. Tool training will follow based on students' ideas for implementing their nature-based solutions.
A submission to the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge requires a written description of our invention, along with photos and a video pitch.
Participants must be currently enrolled in grades 9-12 (homeschool included) to compete.
Scholarships are available for those seeking financial assistance. Application is made through the Scholarship tab.
Attendance is important, and we ask that all participants not miss more than one class throughout the project.
This project is possible thanks to these sponsoring organizations:
Lisa & Gordon Wissinger