Teach With the Challenge

The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge offers high school and university educators an exciting platform for teaching biomimicry.

Since 2009, the Biomimicry Institute has offered world-class biomimicry design challenge opportunities for students and the teachers they work with. (Learn more about this history.) Our Global Challenge continues that tradition with dedicated prize categories and educational resources created to support and encourage young innovators.

Why teach with the challenge?

We've found that design challenges offer an excellent way to teach and learn biomimicry. Hands-on, project-oriented, team challenges help students develop research, collaboration, and critical thinking skills, and biomimicry itself provides a new way for students to engage with biology, engineering, and design topics. Challenge topics focus on critical real-world problems that can also help educators situate their teaching in the context of important social and environmental issues.

What does the challenge offer educators and their students?

  • Detailed Challenge Brief - Our design briefs are suitable as a framework for a semester or year-end project.
  • Theme Resources - We work with knowledge and media partners to provide resources and information about our selected Challenge topics (for 2015-17 the topic is Food Systems).
  • Biomimicry Toolbox - This resource provides a comprehensive introduction to the goals and methods of biomimicry. It is suitable as a guide for students' self-education, or as a resource that can be used as part of a class.
  • Support Webinars - Our webinar series was developed to support participants through every stage of the biomimicry design process.
  • Online Community Platform - The community portion of the Global Challenge website offers students and teachers/mentors the opportunity to collaborate.
  • Motivation - Challenge winners will be featured in high profile media, will have access to biomimicry experts and mentors, and can compete for cash prizes and other awards, including the $100,000 “Ray of Hope" grand prize (if competing in the Open category).