Biomimicry 101

What would nature do?

“Biomimicry” is a relatively new word that encompasses a new field of design and innovation that draws inspiration from the natural world.

The purpose of the Biomimicry 101 course is to introduce to the concept of biomimicry through Art & Science. We will investigate diverse case studies of biomimicry that rethink art, technology, and society from the perspective of nature. After investigating, you will take action by rethinking and re-designing things on your own.

At the end of this course, students will have:

  • studied the concept of biomimicry;
  • investigated examples of solutions inspired by nature;
  • redesigned objects and re-imagined social structures by applying the concept of biomimicry.

Course Units

What would a plant do?

In this unit, you will learn both about and learn from a plant. You will learn that these two types of lessons may be very different.

In the Internal Investigation, you will observe the different roles a plant plays in an ecosystem, from producing food to giving shelter. You will study the structure of a tree, and the science behind the way plants transform the energy of the sun (photosynthesis).

In the External Investigation, you will learn from “bioneers” who redesigned products or services inspired by the design of a plants.

Finally, for the Action Project, you will choose a plant and present what you can learn from it as an energy producer.

Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

  • How does a plant produce & sustain?
  • Who is learning sustainable production from plants?
  • How would a plant…?

What would an animal do?

In this unit, you will learn about & learn from animals.

In the Internal Investigation, you will study how animals consume energy created by the producers (plants). You will also study the basics of the science behind animal movement and physical structure.

In the External Investigation, you will discover how animals’ unique adaptations are inspiring human innovation.

Finally, in the Action project, you will choose an animal, study its unique adaptations, and prototype an innovation inspired by this animal. Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

  • How do animals consume & convert energy?
  • Who is learning efficient consumption from the animals?
  • How would an animal..?

What would a fungus do?

In this unit, you will learn about & learn from a fungus, and the important role it plays as a decomposer. Then, you will rethink your definition of waste, and take inspiration from fungi to turn a linear system into a circular system.

Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

How do fungi decompose and recycle nutrients?
Who is learning product design from decomposers?
How can our products mimic nature?

  • Science: .5
  • Math: .25

Math

Traditional Subject Course Units SCED Codes
Unit I. Like a Plant
Unit II. Like an Animal
Unit III. Like a Fungus

Science

Traditional Subject Course Units SCED Codes
Unit III. Like a Fungus
Unit II. Like an Animal
Unit I. Like a Plant


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