Biomimicry 3.8 Institute

The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute supports scientists, engineers, architects, business-people, and teachers who desire to use nature's models as inspiration for creating man-made products and sustainable technologies.
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What is biomimicry? It’s not really technology or biology; it’s the technology of biology. To Biomimicry 3.8 Institute co-founder Janine Benyus, “It’s making a fiber like a spider, or lassoing the sun’s energy like a leaf.”

The Institute connects engineers, educators, architects, designers, business leaders, and other innovators with ideas and tools that achieve a balance between continued human progress and ecosystem survival.

Benyus and the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute bring a deep affection and admiration for the natural world and its 3.8 billion years of creativity and design to students and educators.

Here are four resources that showcase biomimicry as a tool for sustainability:

 

Biomimicry 3.8 kid holding crawdad

photo by Tom Woodward/Bionicteaching

Youth Education/K-12 Curricula
Biomimicry 3.8 Institute believes biomimicry lends a “hands-on, minds-on” approach for young people. With nature as the teacher, there is so much to see, smell, taste, touch, and learn.

Biomimicry not only presents an innovative framework for environmental or sustainability education. It’s also an avenue to get young people excited about science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM).

You’ll find lessons for elementary, middle school, and high school, such as “Nature-Inspired Chemistry: Concrete without Quarries,” that look to nature as a template for making this a better world.


EXPLORE: Youth Education/K-12 Curricula

To access powerful learning curricula and resources for formal and informal youth educators, you will need to register with the Biomimicry Education Network. Sign-up is free, and please be assured that your email will not be shared.

 

 

Please note that YES! Magazine does its best to provide educators with easily accessible teaching tools. Email login or sign-up is becoming more common practice. We will recommend that you register only when we believe the materials are worth your time and effort.

 


 

Margo Farnsworth aspens

Aspens in the Rocky Mountains use a capillary action to take water from the ground to their leaves.

Photo by Margo Farnsworth

University Curricula
Consider the Institute’s curricula, articles, charts, case studies, and teaching modules to introduce biomimicry to your students. These resources, designed by the Institute, partners, and fellow educators, span multiple perspectives and can easily be integrated into your syllabi and courses.

EXPLORE: University Curricula

 

To access powerful learning curricula and resources, you will need to register with the Biomimicry Education Network. Sign-up is free, and please be assured that your email will not be shared.

 

 

Please note that YES! Magazine does its best to provide educators with easily accessible teaching tools. Email login or sign-up is becoming more common practice. We will recommend that you register only when we believe the materials are worth your time and effort.




Student Design Challenge
Discover the genius inside you, by exploring the genius around you.


Biomimicry 3.8 Institute sponsors international design challenges for youth (pre-kindergarten through high school) and university students.

Gillespie Students Shovels 220x165

Photo by Joe Gillespie

Youth Student Design Challenge

For the Youth Challenge, students create their biomimicry projects locally to share with their communities. Educators, parents/guardians, nature centers, regional biomimicry networks, and others are encouraged to use the Institute’s abundance of learning resources to assist their budding biomimicry scientists. There is no better way to learn about biomimicry than by doing it!

EXPLORE: Youth Student Design Challenge

 


Biomimicry 3.8 snail student design.jpgUniversity Student Design Challenge

Each fall the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute sponsors a Biomimicry Student Design Challenge focused on a specific real-world problem. College and university students work in teams using biomimicry concepts and tools to come up with a sustainable and innovative design solution. This year, the theme is Water Wise. Teams must use a biomimetic design process to address a local or global challenge related to water access and management. Ten finalists were recently named from a field of 65 entries representing colleges from Antwerp, Belgium, to Santiago, Chile, to Portland, Oregon.

EXPLORE: 2012-13 University Challenge “Water Wise”
VISIT: University Student Design Challenge

Photo of Team BioArch of Art Institute of Isfahan, courtesy of Biomimicry 3.8 Institute

 


 

Margo Farnsworth leaf swirl

An example of efficient structures and patterns within a leaf on the islands of South Carolina.

photo by Jim Pascoe

Ask Nature

Ask Nature, a project of the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, was created to help you solve your design problems—for free. A site tutorial will get you going. The digital library of nature's solutions is organized by function. Use the Browse function to surf strategies, products, and people. Warning: Allow for extra time to browse. You will be inspired and mesmerized!

EXPLORE: Ask Nature

 

 

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VISIT BIOMIMICRY 3.8 INSTITUTE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 


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The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the study and imitation of nature’s remarkably efficient designs. It brings together scientists, engineers, architects and innovators who can use those models to create sustainable technologies. Located in Missoula, Montana, the Institute focuses on academic and public education, offering trainings, curricula, tools, and resources for schools, universities, museums, zoos, nature centers, and other public forums.