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 am certain that the study and practice of biomimicry in everything we do, business, product design, food production, housing, education--is essential. The Institute of Biomimicry is the organization providing the education, training, network, and awareness to make this happen in society. I have a consumer product prototype. I am determined to integrate bio-inspired principles to solve our design challenges. The Institute has continually provided the expertise, research support, and direct outreach to help me find a designer--which is the make-or-break reality of this project. Because of their personal commitment and stellar professionalism, I am educating myself about how to find biomimicry solutions in my work. The Biomimicry Institute holds, without a doubt, the answers to what we unnecessarily grapple with about environmental and economic recovery.
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!
I have been involved in biomimicry since before the Biomimicry Institute was officially established and have watched it grow into a network of passionate facilitators that have become a crucial resource for teaching biomimicry to University students at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. The Biomimicry Institute has been instrumental in offering support to our faculty and students, developing curriculum and establishing research projects and networks. Our students have been involved in the Student Challenges, which is leading to ongoing research and potential internships for our students. Through the Biomimicry Institute we have established a broad network of educators across North America and Europe that has helped validate and support our research and curriculum efforts.
The Biomimicry Institute put us in touch with Christopher Viney at UC Merced. They also helped us develop our online and hands-on biomimicry activities. Christoper Viney was a total pleasure to work with. He collaborated with our winner to create a bio-inspired design - the Floppy Flyer. It resulted in a citizen science call to action on our website. For Videos of Christopher and our Biomimicry winner visit kidssciencechallenge.com. We launch a new challenge on October 1st, so after that date the videos and activities will be in our archive. The Biomimicry Institute made much of this possible, and we're extremely grateful!
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.
The Biomimicry Institute has been a great resource for us as we design programs around the topic of biomimicry. In 2011 we will offer an entire overnight experience that is supplemented with educational material and insight from the institute. What was most helpful was their educator's conference in 2010, which provided an enlightening and inspiring experience for us as we entered the early stages of development. We are very excited to share our program with the institute and get useful feedback from them in the near future.
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.