This June, the Great Lakes Biomimicry (GLBio) team and the University of Akron Biomimicry PhD program filmed for the recently globally syndicated Children’s STEM program Xploration: Nature Knows Best. The film crew traveled around Northeast Ohio to The University of Akron Campus, Akron Public School’s National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) STEM High School, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to highlight the incredible work we’re doing in Biomimicry STEM Education programming. GLBio is the glue that holds the entire Northeast Ohio Biomimicry fabric together and it’s because of this team’s leadership that pulled all of our collaborators and resources together to come up with not only this opportunity, but numerous others, as well, to elevate the NEO Biomimicry landscape and our partners to the global stage. (Hmmm…this reminds me of someone and another little event that just happened…)
Some of the K-12 STEM highlights include: Lorain County’s Elyria High School Biology teacher Jennifer Smith; NIHF deep Biomimicry Project Based Learning initiatives; PhD education fellows and how we work with the schools and other informal education centers; the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Biomimicry Trail, as well as Professor Wylde’s traveling show, which has re-written its script to be all about learning from nature! As an added point on the Zoo’s education outreach – every single 2nd-8th grader in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) comes to the zoo as part of their education (Check out this article discussing the CMSD partnership with our museums, zoos, and other learning opportunities). Additionally, The University of Akron’s Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) PhD research program earned the spotlight, as well. Professor Peter Niewiarowski showed off one of our many Tokay geckos, and PhD Candidate Bill Hsiung discussed structural colors of Morpho Butterflies.
As an added bonus, the film crew was also impressed with PhD candidates Emily Kennedy and Bill Hsiung’s (and others) start-up company “Hedgemon”. They filmed the Hedgemon team talking about their hedgehog-inspired shock-absorbing composite.
Look for the episode to air sometime in October 2016, and in the meantime for your dose of Northeast Ohio Awesomeness: GO CAVS!
Dr. Peter Niewiarowski showing the Tokay Gecko adhesive system.
Biomimicry PhD Candidate Bill Hsiung showing the power of structural colors in nature.
Elyria High School Biology teacher Jennifer Smith on how integrating Biomimicry into her curriculum has positively influenced her students and their grades.
One stop on the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Biomimicry Trail.