Janine Benyus: Biomimicry's Surprising Lessons from Nature's Engineers (TED Talks)

Repost from: http://www.ted.com/talks/janine_benyus_shares_nature_s_designs.html
Original post date: April 2007

In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.

A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus' concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature's successes can inspire humanity.

The Key Is Bees

There are beautiful moments in education when learning about the world around us also teaches us about ourselves. A scientific study about bumblebees’ spatial relationships and color perception, published in the December issue of the Royal Society’s Biology Letter and written and devised entirely by a group of 8-10 year-olds, is an example of just such an opportunity.
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Reflection on the EfS Curriculum Design Studio

Last summer, I had the pleasure of taking one of the most productive professional development workshops in my sixteen years of teaching. The Cloud Institute had asked participants of their Education for Sustainability Curriculum Design Studio to come prepared with a lesson plan or unit which would be worked on and viewed through the lens of the EfS standards. This made all the difference. I chose our fall science unit on Water/Salt Marsh Ecology.
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Two Video Animations Demonstrate EfS Attributes

These video animations were designed and produced by high school students in the Philomath High Robotics Engineering Division (PHRED) at  Philomath HS  in Philomath, Oregon.  These two 30 second animations are from PHRED Team 847. PHRED Team 847 is sponsored by local foundations, corporations and the Lions Club.

Operation Gyre is an elegant  30 second demonstration of several EfS attributes including authentic curriculum and assessment, the entrepreneurial mindset,  an understanding of the materials cycle principle and three of our enduring understandings:  “A Healthy and Sustainable Future is Possible”; “Live by the Natural Laws” and  “Read the Feedback”.  


Pure Water 847  is another elegant 30 second demonstration of  authentic curriculum and assessment, the entrepreneurial mindset, Biomimicry and “A Sustainable Future is Possible.”  In addition, the animations illustrate a robust use of technology in the classroom (Autodesk 3ds Max).