I believe that biomimicry will become one of the major waves of our future, reversing the historical trends of trying to "dominate nature", and instead putting humankind back on track in studing the ingenious infinite coping mechanisms that nature has developed over the eons. Kudos to the Instutite of Biomimicry!
Thanks, Rich, for this review and mostly, for sharing our interests and concerns and being an evangelist for biomimicry in your own work! - Diana Lee, Biomimicry Institute
When I first heard about Biomimicry and wanted to integrate it into my classroom curricula I had to do all the research myself. Now with the creation of the Biomimicry Institute and the Ask Nature resource I am able to bring incredible resources to my lessons.
I came across The Biomimicry Institute a few years ago as I was preparing to teach a high school course on biomimicry. New to the field, but excited to dive in, I contacted TBI so see if they had any curricular materials they were willing to share. When they learned that I was planning to teach a semester-length course for high schoolers on biomimicry, they invited me to share my own materials with them for dissemination to other teachers, as they had little in the way of high school curriculum. Sam Stier, their Education Director, was great. He was supportive and encouraging. After seeing what my students produced, he invited me to attend TBI's education summit and to present my students' work. The summit was full of really interesting presentations and networking opportunities. Since then, I have seen many of the initiatives discussed at the summit implemented - the "Ask Nature" website and the certificate program in Biomimicry. This is an organization that is making things happen!
The Biomimicry Institute promotes learning from nature to create more sustainable human designs. Telling the best stories nature has to offer, provides an ever important vehicle to get our young people inspired to look at the world through a different lens; a lens that sees the amazing design lessons nature has to offer, a lens that sees we humans are just a part of nature, a lens that is inspired about what the future has to offer.
Working with The Biomimicry Institute (TBI) has given us the opportunity to bring our laboratory research to a general public audience, enhancing the visibility and usefulness of our research beyond academia and industry. The free, online database of sustainable technologies inspired by nature (www.AskNature.org) is unlike any other resource out there. TBI is also helping us to create a physics lesson plan based on our research for high school teachers, connecting laboratory research to youth education. We envision that partnerships like ours will enhance the level of science available to the public, and increase scientific and engineering awareness.