BIOMIMICRY Inventions Inspired by Nature

January 4, 2012

I’m a Round 2 Cybils judge for the Middle Grade/Young Adult Nonfiction. Congratulations to all the nominees and finalists. See the list of finalists in this category here.

Now back to 2012 SimplyScience.

Biomimicry  Inventions Inspired by Nature

By Dora Lee

Illustrated by Margot Thompson

Kids Can Press, 2011

ISBN #978-1-55453-467-8

Grades 4-7

Nonfiction

“Somehow, every other species has made this planet its home without destroying it. If they can do it, why can’t we?

More and more, people are realizing how much we can learn from nature. Mabye what works in nature will work for us, too. These ideas lie at the heart of biomimicry—‘bios’ means life and ‘mimicry’ means imitating.”

Biomimicry explores patterns found in the diversity of nature as the inspiration for technology and inventions that benefit people. From nature’s sustainable patterns, people are inspired to use those patterns to solve current problems on Earth and beyond. The book gives specific examples of ways nature has triggered useful inventions and suggests possibilities for how it may help our future. From Velcro to bullet trains, examples abound. Short, information- packed sections about the different nature-inspired inventions follows an introduction section that organizes the inventions in that group.

Subdued earth tones in the acrylic on canvas highlight the text and the forms in nature that inspired the technology. The art suggests rather than details the natural inspiration, which is well covered in the densely packed pages. The overall look suggests that it is for older readers and not a young children’s picture book. The final spread concludes with a charge to sustain the future of humans on Earth and live within the limits of the web of life on this planet.

This book provides a fascinating look at a range of inventions resulting from nature. It gives a challenge and inspiration to look to nature for solutions to very real problems on Earth. The book includes a glossary and index.

Activity

Review some of the ways humans have adapted inspiration from nature using examples in the book. Then have the readers create their own design for an invention based on a form in nature. The “On the Move” chapter provides adaptable suggestions.

Here are some examples of biomimicry.

This site has more information about biomimicry.

National Science Standard: biodiversity and humans; influence of engineering, science, and technology on society and the natural world

Book provided by publisher for Librarians’ Choices book review committee at TWU.

Olympic Technology will be here next week. I left the book behind while traveling!

Extra! Extra! This link has some fun, general teaching ideas about science and math.


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