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Biomimicry: Students Inspired by Nature for Innovative Solutions

Dec 2, 2023 | News

While most middle school students may find inspiration in the digital world, one group of students immerses themselves in the wonders of nature, driven not just by curiosity but by a passion for innovation. Welcome to the ACS Athens Biomimicry Team – an initiative where nature’s wonder meets cutting-edge scientific exploration, and where the “Justin Beavers” redefine the boundaries of inspiration.

This team for Middle School students embarks on a journey into biomimicry, where nature becomes the ultimate muse. The team, whose name reflects the group’s knack for finding fun in the intersection of nature and the contemporary, is currently focused on competing in the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, a project-based learning experience and competition that beckons these young innovators to imagine solutions to real-world problems. Their mission? To draw inspiration from natural systems and organisms, tapping into the evolutionary brilliance that surrounds us.

At the heart of this biomimicry exploration, “The Justin Beavers” emerge, a middle school team with a vision. They’re crafting water desalination sailboats that could provide energy-neutral water desalination for Greek islands. To do so, they are drawing inspiration from one of nature’s most ingenious innovators, beavers, and mangroves, which remove trash and desalinate salt water using highly negative pressure that is generated by evaporative capillary forces in mangrove leaves. The team is actively looking for community mentors that have experience in physics and chemistry to assist them in finalizing their concept design schematics that will enable them to continue in the Challenge so they can develop their desalination devices. All interested mentors are invited to share their interest and information HERE.

Participation in the Biomimicry team is more than an extracurricular activity; it’s a transformative experience for these students that starts at the Innovation Lab. As they actively collaborate on scientific projects, developing skills in scientific communication, design, and engineering, a spark of enthusiasm lights up each team meeting. These students leave meetings not just with newfound knowledge but with a shared vision – a better, more sustainable future that they are empowered to create.

This team holds a profound significance, echoing the sentiment that this generation of students carries a weighty responsibility. Dr. Mitchell, the coach supporting the Biomimicry team, emphasizes that “by participating in challenges like these, students not only develop solutions for global sustainability issues but also discover the positive impact scientists are making worldwide. It’s about nurturing innovation, scientific reasoning, and inspiring a positive outlook, alleviating the burden society places on the shoulders of these young minds.”

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