INSPIRED BY NATURE: Enhancing STEM with Biomimicry Design Challenges

Shoulder Event to the California STEAM Symposium

December 8, 2019 at Library of the Canyons, Orange County, CA

The Biomimicry Institute, Bioneers and Ten Strands are excited to offer the following professional development training to educators interested in the intersection of environmental education and sustainable design. Biomimicry, the process of looking to nature for design inspiration, offers an effective, engaging, and inspiring framework for STEAM education while empowering the next generation of problem-solvers to think differently about nature, engineering, and a sustainable future.

This workshop for middle and high school teachers (6th–12th grade) will demonstrate how educators can use biomimicry as a framework to engage students in standards-aligned STEAM content while enhancing 21st century skills. The training is offered as part of the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, a FREE project-based learning program and design competition hosted annually by the Biomimicry Institute. The Youth Design Challenge introduces teens to the practice of biomimicry and invites them to invent bio-inspired solutions to challenges related to climate change.


Lead Workshop Facilitators:

  • Laura Arndt, Global GreenSTEM
  • Gretchen Hooker, Biomimicry Institute

Anaheim Workshop

In this hands-on indoor/outdoor workshop, educators will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of biomimicry and begin to see the natural world in a new way.
  • Learn effective strategies for sharing biomimicry with students and connecting nature with technology, engineering, and design
  • Experience the biomimicry design process first hand in a mini design challenge focused on water challenges.
  • Discover how to use biomimicry and the Youth Design Challenge to support standards and learning objectives in their class or program.
  • Explore ways to connect the Youth Design Challenge to local concerns to create authentic challenge experiences
  • Receive free resources and curriculum mapping tools to plan for integrating a biomimicry challenge unit into their classroom or program.

What to bring:

  • Lunch will be provided. Please bring a refillable water bottle.
  • Dress is casual and we will be doing outdoor activities; bring whatever you will need to be comfortable.
  • Note-taking supplies and a laptop or similar device are also recommended.

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