What’s Happening In Our Science Courses?
As a culminating project in Mrs. Frump’s biology class, students were asked to research the concept of biomimicry, which uses nature as inspiration to solve problems. By observing animals, plants and natural processes, we gain insight into what works and what does not. For engineers, these observations are helpful in both the design process and inspiring new inventions using natural technologies. There are many examples of biomimicry, with one of the most well-known being Velcro® — a product designed to behave like the cockleburs that stick to animals (and people) when they brush by the plant. Mrs. Frump first asked her students to research current examples of biomimicry involving both plants and animals. Then, she asked them to make observations of living things outside their home. Finally, students had to describe how the features they observed could be used to solve a problem. The resulting projects have been awesome! One student observed the reflective nature of the scales on butterfly wings and described how better solar panels could be made. Another student described how the mechanics of a squirrel’s rotating hind feet could be used to create a better mount for security cameras. Another excellent example came from a student who coded a program that utilized a bee algorithm to find the fastest and most efficient route for airplanes that might be running late due to storms, late take off, etc. It is truly inspiring to see the ingenuity of our ExCEL students at work.