SIfT 2015

Biomimicry and Climate Change

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
June 22, 23, 24, 2015

This training is free for teachers in the South Sound GREENNisqually River Education Project, and Chehalis Basin Education Consortium projects.

Teacher participants will:

  • Learn from tribal, local and state climate change experts- meeting the challenges and seizing opportunities
  • Learn about nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet through particpating in hands-on activities & field trips 
  • Gain skills and experience to implement Biomimicry and Climate Change curriculum and community building action projects in your classroom
  • Receive curriculum to support action project and service learning participation
  • Learn water quality in the context of Environmental and Sustainability Standards, NGSS and Common Core
  • Contribute to program development and enhancement

Resources  presented at STI 2015:

  • Biomimicry in Youth Education: A Resource Toolkit for K-12 Educators – a digital flipbook indexing over 80 biomimicry education resources, selected to assist teachers working with students from kindergarten through high school.
  • – AskNature is the world’s most comprehensive catalog of nature’s solutions to human design challenges. This curated online library features free information on more than 1,800 (and growing!) natural phenomena and hundreds of bio-inspired applications.
  • Nature Nuggets Learn biological strategies and their corresponding design principles in a series of short and fun videos.
  • Velcro Race Game – This fun interactive has students race to put on apparel using Velcro (an invention inspired by Nature), and apparel using other devices (e.g., zippers, snaps, etc.), and compare and discuss the results. And the song!
  • Shoe Patterns
  • Here’s Davy Clark’s powerpoint about the 5 Major Habitat Types at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Biomimicry Design Approaches for 6-12 – Created for the Biomimicry Youth Challenge, this diagram and accompanying teacher resources introduces our “Biology to Design” and “Challenge to Biology” design methodologies to a 6-12 Audience.
  • Ask the Planet Music and Teaching Guides Ask the Planet is the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute’s award-winning album of children’s music, created help connect children to nature and create a sense of awe for the environment. Every song is joyously performed by The Missoula Coyote Choir and Friends.
  • Puget Sound Restoration Fund’s Hood Canal Kelp Project is a powerful, local example of the potential for solutions to climate change and ocean acidification.
  • ABC:Activity Bursts in theClassroom At this time when childhood obesity is an epidemic, and what used to be “adult onset” diabetes is occurring with increasing frequency in children under age 10, our kids need regular physical activity more than ever. But pressures on schools – in part related to the federal No Child Left Behind legislation – are causing reductions, not increases, in daily physical activity. In other words, No Child Left Behind is leaving more and more of our kids ON their behinds, all day long.  Use this manual for some great ideas on incorporating physical activity into your daily classroom routines.
  • Project GREEN Prezi includes some resources for water quality monitoring, benthic macro-invertebrates and designing your service learning projects
  • Curiosity Machine – Imagine, invent, engineer.  Join this on-line community of scientists, engineers and children creating together.
  • Climate Change in the Pacific NW and NOAA grant resources– a Prezi for you with lots of great links and resources

 Guest Presenters:

  • Tim McGee– Biologist & Biomimicry Strategist, Biomimicry 3.8
    Tim is a trained interdisciplinary biologist with an interest in applying biological know-how to industrial systems. Tim is a regular contributor to Treehugger the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Tim’s wealth of experience in biological research, industry, and design enables him to act as a Biologist at the Design Table with Biomimicry 3.8, where he helps clients explore how the natural world can help their company innovate and create a sustainable future. Here’s our Introduction to Biomimicry powerpoint as presented by Tim McGee from LikoLab.
  • Aimee Christy is a research biologist at Pacific Shellfish Institute. She holds a B.S. from the University of Washington and an M.S. from The Evergreen State College. Her current research projects include nutrient bioextraction using blue mussels, microplastics, harmful algal blooms, water quality outreach for K-12 students and alternative disposal practices for dog waste in urbanized environments. Here’s her presentation Mussel Magic from Sheila Wilson
  • Rick Crooks is responsible for the sales and promotion of Mutual Material’s hardscape product line to design professionals in the greater Puget Sound area. Key products are brick and concrete pavers (including permeable interlocking concrete pavers, or “PICP”) and segmental retaining wall (SRW) block systems. Rick also manages the promotion of Mutual’s entire masonry product line to key “South Sound” architectural and engineering firms.  They have their own Youtube Channel.  Here’s his presentation.
    Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers from Sheila Wilson
  • Micah McCarty Executive Officer at Nisqually Tribal Council, First Stewards, US Department of Commerce. Previously worked at The Evergreen State College, National Ocean Council’s Governance Coordination Committee and was a member of Makah Tribal Council.
  • Katherine Billings  Biomimicry Improv 

Field Trips at STI 2015:

Other Resources Provided at STI 2015:

  • Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills This curriculum will engage students in an area of learning that may be the oldest of all the cognitive disciplines. The closest name modern academia offers is “field ecology.” It might also be called “nature literacy”: an ability to read the “Book of Nature” fluently.
  • Pacific Education Institute founded in 2003 by a consortium of leaders from the private and public natural resource, agriculture and education sectors; including the Washington Forest Protection Association, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and key education stakeholders from the principals’, superintendents’ and school directors’ associations.  Together they have established teaching frameworks to guide project-based learning in the outdoors grounded in Washington State’s educational goals, the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Drain Rangers curriculum for primary and secondary grades – a great resource page from Puget Sound Starts Here and Pacific Education Institute.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Freshwater Mussels
  • Pacific Northwest  Freshwater Mussel Work Group – poster,  booklet  and more on Freshwater Mussels.
  • Art of Hosting is an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systemic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges.

Teacher Input

  • Web Hutchin’s offers 2 great web pages: Civics For All with lots of great curriculum resources and End the DNR Mandate where you can sign a petition to stop the state from clear-cutting forests to fund public education.
  • Becky Hendrickson found a great non-fiction book on Biomimicry on the Reading A-Z website, which has free trials, FYI!