Intro to BiomimicryPosted: June 28, 2011
Since I mentioned biomimicry in my previous post, I thought I’d link to a few resources until I can devote a full post to the subject. This TED Talk from Janine Benyus is a great intro and will hopefully get you excited about biomimicry, how relevant the subject is, and how much potential it holds.
Here is a brilliant product called Sharklet (mentioned in the video). Imagine proactively defending against bacterial infection by using this stuff on “touch surfaces.” What a powerful alternative to continually cleaning with disinfectants and harsh chemicals.
Speaking of which, proactively rethinking how we design chemicals and reduce environmental impact of existing chemicals are a few examples of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry outlined by Beyond Benign. Please check out their website to learn about the 12 Principles. Their ideas relate closely to Design Thinking in that they challenge us to rethink how industrial chemistry is currently practiced so as to reduce the potential for waste and toxicity. For us teachers – they also have some great lesson plans available for all ages. (Here is the obligatory Creative Commons License link: Beyond Benign / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) I’m currently taking a class offered by Beyond Benign and am thrilled at the possibilities of integrating these lessons into my existing Chemistry (and Biology) curriculum.
Back to biomimicry… Beyond Benign also posts great biotechnology lesson plans. For even more lessons and a curricular map, follow the link from Beyond Benign to one their partners at the Biomimicry Institute.
I hope this inspires some ideas for science teachers out there! I would love to hear feedback from any of you that are implementing Biomimicry or Green Chemistry concepts in the classroom. What works and what doesn’t?