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Bio-Inspired learning

Nature has evolved over 3.8 billion years into model of sustainability. Nature recycles waste efficiently, uses renewable power from the sun, is resilient to sudden changes, is adaptable over time to new conditions, and self regulates through feedback.

What if we could use the operating principles found within nature to rethink how we live as humans? We believe we can contribute to a more sustainable world by looking at nature.

Nine basic principles

Whenever we take a walk in nature we can observe how it functions. If we look closely, we can observe that the same principles are repeated again and again; these are the basic operating conditions which make nature sustainable.

We call this nature-inspired learning, and it is the core of BioLearn.  We see more and more nature-inspired learning in science and in the world around us. This approach is also called Biomimicry, Bionica or Biomemetics.

Bio-Inspired learning can make a major contribution to a sustainable world. In BioLearn we embrace the nine basic principles that Janine Benyus described in the late 1990’s. These principles are the basis of our educational materials.

Background article about the nine principes.

nine_basic_principles
vrouwenmantel semelin 2006

Our resources

The original idea to create a source for teacher around Bio-inspired education started to root when we came across educational materials developed by the American organisation ‘Learning with Nature’.  Starting our journey we soon found out that there was also a organisation in Europe that had created biomimicry educational materials for different age groups: BiomimicryNL based in the Netherlands.

 

Both sets of materials where the basis of our project. The American materials where already in English, we had the Dutch materials translated. Below you finds our sources of inspiration.

The Center for Learning with Nature (USA)

The Center for Learning with Nature (CLN) develops award-winning curricula and provides professional development to teachers wishing to enrich their STEM teaching and reconnect children with Nature. CLN offers its multiple award-winning curriculum Engineering Inspired by Nature to public school teachers for free, in addition to the math enrichment curriculum Math Through Nature, Nature Through Math. A kit version of Engineering Inspired by Nature for upper elementary students (ages 8-11) is also available. To learn more visit www.LearningWithNature.org.

Downloads:

Engineering Inspired by Nature curriculum preview upper elementary school

Engineering Inspired by Nature curriculum preview middle and high school

BiomimicryNL (Netherlands)

BiomimicryNL is passionate to inspire people in different working settings to use Biomimicry as an innovative design method.

But why not start at an early age? With some funding BiomimcryNL started to create materials for 8-12 years old. This educational material is very well received at schools and encouraged by that success and supported by a science education netwerk they developed materials for 12-14 years and older. For Biolearn they were translated. You can download them here.

 

Downloads:

Introduction powerpoint bio-inspired learning

Techniques from nature - module 'Soft Landing' (year 8 - 11)

Techniques from nature - module 'Hands off' (year 8 - 11)

Techniques from nature - Teachers guide (year 8-11)

Biomimicry Challenge I - Studentmaterials Biomimicry (year 13-15)

Biomimicry Challenge II - Studentmaterials (year 14-16)