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Biomimicry Package

an introduction to biomimicry principles and innovation

Biomimicry (learning from and mimicking the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges) is a compelling way to teach NYSSLS & STEAM and integrate 21st Century skills. We give students the opportunity to absorb biomimicry principles both out in the field and around the design table, opening and inspiring window into how structure and function create the intricate sustainable systems all around us. Learn more about Biomimicry here: https://biomimicry.org/

Classes & Activities:

– Pond & Stream Investigations
– Cathedral Gorge Hike
– Team Building
– Explore & Draw Nature Journaling
– Design Challenge

Evening Programs: Intro to Biomimicry, Birds of Prey, Campfire

What you get:

Explore and Draw Nature Journaling – NEW!

Forage outdoors for materials and engage in drawing and painting with newly opened eyes to discover and draw the beauty of the natural world.

Biomimicry: Problem Solving & Innovation Inspired by Nature – NEW!

Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics structures and strategies found in nature to solve human challenges. It offers an inspiring and compelling way to help students grasp scientific concepts and engage them in collaborative problem-solving. Embedded in biomimicry is experiential learning, innovation, systems thinking, and addressing engineering problems. Ashokan offers a number of ways to introduce your students to biomimicry while supporting student instruction toward the goals of the NYS Science P-12 Science Learning Standards.

Pond & Stream Investigations

Just downstream from the Ashokan Reservoir, a vital source (40%) of NYC’s drinking water, The Ashokan Center is the host of many aquatic systems for students to explore. Students become citizen scientists by collecting biological samples from our ponds and streams to investigate the health of our freshwater ecosystems. Through observation and identification of the organisms found, students can form and test hypotheses about the health of the Ashokan aquatic ecosystems.

Hike to Cathedral Gorge

Hike through an old Eastern Hemlock forest along the Esopus Creek and explore the natural and social history of the region! The trail passes relics of the recent and prehistoric past, including a 19th-century water mill, a 130-year-old covered bridge, and a glacial gorge, before it ends at a 80-foot waterfall—the walls of which reveal rock layers that are millions of years old.

Team Building Level I: Challenge and Discovery

Work as a team to solve a variety of fun and purposeful challenges that cultivate trust and cooperation among the group. Designed to de-emphasize competition, these activities encourage creativity, spontaneity, and imagination, along with communication and leadership skills.

Evening Options:

Birds of Prey

Bill or Brian Robinson bring in a number of beautiful and interesting predatory birds (owl, Harris Hawk, kestrel, Turkey vulture, or red-tailed hawk.) While each bird perches on his leather glove, they engage the group on the subjects of instinct, migration, the food chain, and adaptation, noting the differences in beak and talon.

Campfire (Outdoor or Indoor) with S’mores!

Enjoy an hour-long full-group campfire experience with warm s’mores, jokes, songs, and stories from the Ashokan staff. In the event of inclement weather we will create a similar experience indoors!

NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards

MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-SL2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and protecting ecosystem stability.

MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.

HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.