Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Biomimicry: what would nature do?

A year ago, we (PTC team) invited students from Boston's Renaissance Charter School for a day of engineering exploration. The kids had a blast. They used our virtual reality goggles to move a computer animated tractor, created 3D objects with design software, and heard from industry leaders about what it is like to be an engineer.  The kids also did a cool biomimicry activity. They created concept designs of a cell phone, sneaker and tractor inspired by the characteristics of a leaf. The students' ideas were awesome! There were tractors with solar panels, cell phones with a water resistant cuticle layer, and a basketball sneaker that had flashy stripes that also acted as gutters for water. 

If you are digging the possibilities of biomimicry then check out The Biomimicry Institute. Its a one-stop shop for biomimicry resources. In addition to helping companies like Coca Cola and NASA solve industry design challenges, this team also put together an educational portal where you can find lesson planscase studies as well as a very handy taxonomy of nature strategies provided byAskNature