Biomimicry is the science and art of emulating Nature’s best biological ideas to solve human problems
Some Examples of Biomimicry
One common example of biomimicry is Velcro. Velcro was designed by a engineer who took a close look at the burdock burrs that clung to his clothes after a walk in the woods and noticed the tiny hooks on the burrs that attached to the fibers of his clothing. More about Velcro at this link.
Birds have long been the inspiration for humans when designing airplanes. Here the fast flying falcon may have influenced the design of the swift B2 bomber. Their sleek profile and aerodynamic lines make them both efficient flyers. More information about peregrine falcon flight here.
The structure of lotus leaves (or lily pads) helps them keep their surfaces clean and dry. There are microscopic folds and wax crystals on the surface of the leaves that help them repel water and dirt particles. Lessons from this plant can help researchers make self-cleaning paint, glass and clothing. More about lotus leaves here.
Even though mussels live in wet environments, they are able to stick themselves to solid objects so that they are not carried away by the tide or waves. The sticky fibers that they use are the inspiration for scientists to develop glue that can be effective in wet conditions. More about mussels here.
There are a number of good WEBSITES that feature STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities for children. These are just a few of them:
20 Science activities for toddlers and preschoolers – Happy Hooligans
50 Easy science experiments kids can do at home with stuff you already have
Science in Action: experiments for kids
12 science experiments you can do at home
Left brain, craft brain science and art experiments you can do at home
In addition, there are many BOOKS that will help you learn more about Biomimicry and Bio-inspiration, and how scientists and engineers are using the lessons of the natural world to solve problems. Look for them at the library, local bookstores, or on-line.
Here are a few of them:
Nature Did It First!
Susan A. Goodman
Grade Level: pre-school – grade 2
Nature Did It First: Engineering Through Biomimicry
Grade Level: K-1
Grade Level: 2-5
Nature Got There First
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Grade Level: 4 – 8
Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
For older students and adults