1. Michael Helms
  2. Senior Research Scientist
  3. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  4. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. meltem alemdar
  2. https://www.ceismc.gatech.edu/about/staffdirectory/meltem-alemdar
  3. Principal Research Scientist/co-PI
  4. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  5. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  6. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Caroline Greiner
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  4. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Roxanne Moore
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxanne-moore-5510267/
  3. Senior Research Engineer
  4. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  5. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  6. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Abeera Rehmat
  2. Research Scientist, II
  3. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  4. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Jeff Rosen
  2. CEISMC Program Director
  3. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  4. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Julia Varnedoe
  2. Researcher
  3. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  4. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Marc Weissburg
  2. https://cbid.gatech.edu/
  3. Professor
  4. Students and Teachers Learning from Nature: Studying Biologically-Inspired Design in High School Engineering Education
  5. https://birdee.ceismc.gatech.edu/
  6. Center for Biologically Inspired Design
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    Chief Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 08:12 a.m.

    It is nice to see bio-inspired design make its way into teacher professional development programs. Has your hypothesis of whether it will attract more female students been corroborated with the evidence, or is it too early to tell? Also, because at some level much of what we take for granted as human design really comes from nature anyway, whether the teachers make connections to the designed world in ways that they are able to extract bioinspired designs in their existing built environment. Great work. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michael Helms
    Meltem Alemdar
  • Icon for: Marc Weissburg

    Marc Weissburg

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 08:18 a.m.

    Thanks for your comments! We've been very limited in what we can do in the classroom so we are still gathering data. Stay tuned!

  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 09:59 a.m.

    Stephen, interesting observation about the built world. Our first design project for students is based on thermodynamics, and teachers are able to translate from nature to their designs in that context.  We've also published the paper "Getting Beyond the Hairy House: Using Structure-Function-Mechanism to Advance Biologically Inspired Design Pedagogy," which addresses the pitfalls of copying structure to design, instead of the underlying mechanism. Our SFM scaffolds help teachers focus on mechanism and mechanism transfer. I believe this will translate equally well to the built environment, at least for something like thermodynamics applications.

  • Icon for: Ekundayo Shittu

    Ekundayo Shittu

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 10:26 a.m.

    This is impressive! There's so much we can learn from our environment... this is a project that will truly enhance engagement. Kudos! I voted!!

     
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    Michael Helms
  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 11:12 a.m.

    Thank you Ekundayo. Our early experience with teachers suggests not only strong engagement when they are able to see and interact with live biology in the context of design, but an entirely new perspective for viewing the natural world through a designers lens. It is very fulfilling to watch in action. We structure out curriculum to make sure that students and teachers get into the natural world and have hands-on experiences with organisms as they are thinking about design. Making that connection can be transformative.

  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    Chief Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 12:03 p.m.

    Michael - Interesting paper. Reminded me of the difference between biologically inspired design (in which the design process is  human-centric), and using biological processes as design conventions, which might include how can a processes of evolvability or ontogeny be part of the design process. Like the additive process of 3D printing being like how bivalves build their shells through a similar additive process. Something to explore, in case teachers bring it up.

  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 10, 2022 | 04:19 p.m.

    Your process for inspiring students to develop design based on biological examples for non-living projects makes it clear that imagination is a powerful and useful tool in scientific  thinking. It requires something more than linear logic.  It provides a good example for understanding John Dewey's interpretation of scientific thinking. Thank you for making me aware of this.

  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 03:34 p.m.

    You hit the nail on the head. Bio-inspired design is a form of analogical thinking (or Design by Analogy, aka DbA), which breaks us out of our all too familiar logical pathways. Working with nature also evokes joy and positive feelings, which are so very helpful in the current learning environment. 

     
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    Rebecca Sansom
  • Icon for: Erica Wortham

    Erica Wortham

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2022 | 02:14 p.m.

    Thank you for making this approach and imperative more accessible.  As human-centered design continues to gain ground, we are challenged is to situate human-centered within bio- or eco-centered; your project helps make the transition possible.   

  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 03:36 p.m.

    Thank you Erica, I couldn't agree more.  Expanding the design context will be critical for future designers to solve our 21st century challenges.

  • Icon for: Folashade Solomon

    Folashade Solomon

    Facilitator
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 10:06 p.m.

    I am inspired by the work of this project. Beyond the visits to the zoo and botanical gardens, how did you engage the teachers in learning? How do you plan to evaluate the teachers' learning? Will they be expected to develop their own material?

  • Icon for: Marc Weissburg

    Marc Weissburg

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 08:45 a.m.

    Thanks for the positive comments! We have a professional learning program we use to help the teachers deploy the curriculum effectively. One of our goals is to use this experience to understand how best to do this, and identify the right level of biology to help the (primarily) engineering teachers be confident and prepared. We'll use this knowledge to design an asynchronous web based platform so we can reach anyone who wants to learn this. Our experience has been that it's hard to expect people to master both the biology and the design/engineering concepts, so we provide as much material as we can, which we hope will prepare the teachers for an open ended design based project for the most advanced students and classes. 

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 04:24 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work. We are doing a professional development program for biology teachers and one of our challenges is finding ways to incorporate engineering design. I wonder whether you would be able to share the templates you’ve designed for structure function mechanism? 

  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 04:52 p.m.

    Rebecca,

    Thank you for your interest. Biologically Inspired Design is a wonderful mechanism to link biology and engineering.  We use Structure-Function-Mechanism models as the bridge for understanding both biology and designed systems, creating a shared language and providing some mental traction when reaching across to a new discipline. It also puts some bones on the NGSS structure-function cross-cutting concept and takes it one level deeper with mechanism.  We'd be delighted to share the method and the models we've developed, and to hear more about your efforts to teach engineering to biology teachers, and the challenges you face.

  • May 12, 2022 | 05:33 p.m.

    I am fascinated by this project and how innovative it is. Are you developing modules for teacher to use, co-developing them with them? How do you envision the school-based part of the support going? Thanks.

  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 06:51 p.m.

    Thank you Danielle for your interest. We are developing a sequence 3 units, about 8 weeks each, for teachers to use in high school engineering courses, with the idea of using one unit per year as students progress through the engineering sequence. We use DBIR practices in developing the units, taking teacher input into account both during professional development, and as they teach. As part of that, we meet with teachers weekly during implementation to review lessons, take notes on what works and does not, and to discuss upcoming lessons. We also observe a few classrooms each week. All of this input goes into refining the final product. Our goal is to provide purely online professional development support for scale up, which we will begin to pilot in the final year of this project, and hope to expand to a more fully featured online platform and support community in future scale up work. As we learn more, we are discovering a wide variety of supplemental resources and content that can be developed to make this widely available. For example, our partnerships with the Zoo and Garden which were not a part of the original research plan, provide us with these unique experiences for teachers, and more content than we can ingest. We're still trying to figure out the best ways to scale these experiences for online professional development. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Danielle Dani
  • Icon for: Molly Phillips

    Molly Phillips

    iDigBio Education, Outreach, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
    May 16, 2022 | 11:07 a.m.

    This is so fantastic!!! I am a member of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Education Sessional Committee and we are hosting a virtual Natural History Collection Education DemoCamp. The goal is to share, discover, and discuss educational materials that have a framework in natural history. This project would be a perfect fit so if you all have the bandwidth to participate please do! We really want to build more connections between museums, zoos and botanical gardens! Please see the website https://spnhc.org/education-democamp/ for more info, or please reach out with more questions! We also have an Open Educational Resources Portal where you can post your finished materials to get them out there to a broader audience: https://qubeshub.org/community/groups/collections

  • Icon for: Michael Helms

    Michael Helms

    Lead Presenter
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 16, 2022 | 11:18 a.m.

    Molly, thank you. That looks like a great fit. I'm not sure we can participate this June, as it coincides with our Summer teacher training, but once we have statistical results that support that the research works as intended with students, we can certainly look at sharing through your distribution network. 

  • Icon for: Molly Phillips

    Molly Phillips

    iDigBio Education, Outreach, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
    May 16, 2022 | 11:40 a.m.

    Yes that would be wonderful! Let us know how we can help!

  • May 16, 2022 | 12:58 p.m.

    This is very cool! I'm excited to hear about next steps - how the teachers use the information in their classrooms. Thanks for your work!

  • Icon for: Susan Keen

    Susan Keen

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2022 | 04:06 p.m.

    This was a wonderful presentation that shows how being a good biologist with a broad organismal background can provide new perspective in so many fields.  The concepts in bio design and biomimicry are not as well known as they should be.  Thank you for making this.  

  • May 16, 2022 | 06:24 p.m.

    Nice to hear that bio-inspired design is being introduced during high school and leveraged as a means to attract more girls into engineering. We introduce it to 5th graders who go on to design bio-inspired robots, modeled after projects by colleague Dr. Krishna Kaipa does with his engineering students.

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