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Biomimicry

Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges—and find hope. It’s like peeking into the super-connected world of life, where we find our cozy spot. Think of it as copying the smart moves of today’s nature experts – the living species. After billions of years of trial and error, the things that didn’t work are ancient history, and what’s left is like a treasure map for our survival. The mission is to craft products, processes, and systems that blend seamlessly with the Earth’s rhythms, revealing fresh pathways to sustainable living. Throughout this journey, we not only gain wisdom from nature’s depth, but we also set sail on a voyage of healing for both ourselves and the planet. Biomimicry offers versatile blueprints that can flexibly fit various contexts and industries, while also being scalable to meet a wide range of needs. Embodying this spirit, the Biomimicry Institute’s Youth Design Challenge (YDC) stands as a platform for experiential learning, encouraging middle and high school teams to fashion bio-inspired concepts to untangle pressing real-world dilemmas. Join the ACS Athens Biomimicry Team in a pursuit that merges imagination, nature’s whispers, and the urgency of a planet.

BIOMIMICRY TEAM OBJECTIVES Students will:

  • Describe how structures, processes, and systems in nature have inspired humans to create innovative designs.
  • Experience a design process that blends design thinking, engineering, and biomimicry.
  • Define a real-world problem and identify criteria and constraints.
  • Gather and apply scientific information from credible sources.
  • Identify biological model(s) for design inspiration and describe how its traits perform a beneficial function.
  • Collaborate to create a biomimicry solution, inspired by a biological model.
  • Demonstrate science and engineering practices and an understanding of STEM concepts.
  • Collaborate to present what they designed and how they designed it to a wide audience.
  • Defend how their solution contributes to addressing their respective chosen Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

Prerequisites to join:

  • Current ACS Middle School Student;
  • Teams of 2-8 students;
  • Aspiring Innovators, Entrepreneurs, STEM scientists, Environmentalists;
  • Must attend weekly team meetings on Mondays from 4.00 – 5.30pm (excluding school holidays); Up to 5 absences allowed until April 4th 2024;
  • Parental Consent and Release Form signed.

Meetup Dates: Mondays / 4 – 5.30 pm

  • Jan 29
  • Feb 5, 12, 19, 26
  • Mar 4, 11
  • Apr 1

About the Coach: Dr. Natalie Mitchell was raised in Louisiana, USA, prior to attending high school at ACS. She earned her BSc. and MSc. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Greenwich, London. While working for the UK National Health Service (NHS) in infectious disease diagnostics, she was awarded Runner-Up Innovation of the Year for the invention and development of a rapid detection method for multi-drug resistant bacteria. She moved to Greece to continue her research in Professor Eleni Giamarellou’s lab at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens at Attikon Hospital, before moving back to the US. At the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University (ASU), she developed recombinant and attenuated vaccines before embarking on a PhD in Microbiology at ASU, where she was the recipient of a prestigious Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship. Her PhD involved biomarker discovery using mass spectrometry and led to multiple additional patents. Dr. Mitchell got the “bug” for teaching at ASU, where she taught Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Immunology to undergraduates, as well as mentored Capstone and Honors projects. She has co-authored multiple scientific articles with students and hopes to continue doing so at ACS. She has also taught at Grand Canyon University and the Mayo Clinic Medical School in Arizona. She has over a dozen peer-reviewed scientific publications, has given a number of scientific presentations around the world and is the author of 4 patents.

Fee: 50€

To join the team contact: theinstitute@acs.gr

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