Nature Inspired Tinkering

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Nature inspires us in many ways, including in design and inventions. Hook and loop fastener (Velcro) is one product inspired by a walk in nature. “Hitchhiker” seeds attached to the socks and pants of the inventor, Georges de Mestral. He examined how they stick so well, using a microscope to see the tiny hooks on the burdock seeds.  Over time, he was able to develop a nylon tape with hooks inspired by the seeds that have been used in shoes, heart transplants, and so much more.

We can all look to nature for inspiration, whether through an evening walk, the wonder of a rainbow, or how a nest is built. Take it a step further to investigate how nature might teach us for design and inventing purposes. Woodlawn Nature Center will host several opportunities to learn about biomimicry and nature inspired tinkering. Check out the following events at Woodlawn Nature Center centered on biomimicry and nature inspired tinkering:

April 21, 1-3 pm, Homeschool Nature Play

April 22, 10am-noon, Nature Play

April 22, noon, Lunch and Learn

April 22, 1-2:30 pm, Family Nature Club

April 23, 6 pm, Biomimicry: Nature Inspired Tinkering!

The Homeschool Nature Play and Nature Play feature open ended activities related to nature inspired tinkering and additional open hours of the Nature Center. The Lunch and Learn is geared toward adults. Bring your lunch for a discussion of biomimicry. The Family Nature Club includes a short presentation, guided hike, an exploration time. These are included in the admission price. Reservations are appreciated by emailingwoodlawnnaturecenteronline@gmail.com. Visit the Calendar of Events for upcoming programs or follow Woodlawn Nature Center on Facebook.

The Biomimicry: Nature Inspired Tinkering program is a more in-depth program for ages 7-12 requiring preregistration and prepayment of $5. Register online at woodlawnnature.org today. Participants will explore inventions inspired by nature, “tinker” with appliances and circuits, test their own seed models in the wind tunnel, and investigate how nature can influence the design process. This will be a full STEM experience. This is an excellent opportunity for children who like to build, investigate, and experiment.

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