Berkshire Region

One-Week Institute for Grades 3-8 Educators

Thinkers and Tinkerers: Using Biomimicry to Teach Engineering and Life Science

During this hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based professional development institute, educators:

  • Immersed themselves in the world of innovation and problem solving.

  • Discovered how nature’s designs can connect science content to real-world design challenges to produce models, tools and prosthetics, and learned how to bring the design challenge experience to their own students.

  • Examined examples of biomimicry to explore how nature’s own innovations can help us tackle health and environmental issues.

  • Met with research and design engineers to learn how they develop high performance plastics, agri-nutrients, polymers and metals. Participants then observed how engineers use polarized light to test the stress strength of a product.

  • Experienced how the engineering design process works to produce anatomically correct models of human organs and other products for medical study and testing.

  • Learned how to create a science center at their schools to build these experiences into inquiry-based investigations for their students.

Partners & Collaborators: Flying Cloud Institute; MASS MoCA; The Chamberlain Group; Sabic Manufacturing; Miss Hall’s School; Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary; Nature Matters


Flying Cloud Institute Logo

Flying Cloud Institute

Mass MoCA Logo


Sabic Manufacturing Logo

Sabic Manufacturing

The Chamberlain Group Logo

The Chamberlain Group

Miss Hall's School Logo

Miss Hall’s School

Mass Audubon Logo

Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Nature Matters Logo

Nature Matters