Geckos with zig-zagged pupils. Chameleons that can look at two directions at the same time. And frogs that can see above the surface while they are underwater!
Eyes are a great topic to explore when you are talking about biomimicry.
You can solve design challenges:
“Use one of the words that rhyme with frog. Invent something new by using the word and add something that you observed about reptiles or amphibians. For example, you got the new word fog and you add that frogs have really big eyes. So you could make a car with big frog eyes. Make a drawing or a model of your idea.” From Biomimicry for Young Children – Mammals, Reptile and Amphibians.
We get information about the world through our sense. Most animals rely on their vision more than any other sense. Many animals have developed the most amazing eyes, some creatures can see colours that are invisible to humans, while some can barely see spot the difference between day and night. Some animals have a large field of vision and animals such as chameleons and frogs can see what is coming from above, the side and even behind them.
Photo: Eye Design Book
The colossal squid has eyes the size of a basketball! And the tuatura, has a third eye on top of its head. A tuatura is a kind of lizard that is unique to New Zealand. The third eye is called parietal eye. Lizards and frogs can also have a parietal eye.
Inspired by these colourful eyes we decided to make a mind-map to help us with the biomimicry design challenges. We made some eyes using paper and cut out branches for the mind map or painted the branches. This was a big mind-map.
A mind map can also be made in a box. a perfect way to display a mind-map!
Photo: Andrew Young
Why Teach Biomimicry
Biomimicry is an exciting way to inspire young children to be creative, curious and to observe the world. The projects are intended to inspire a playful and creative approach towards problem solving. Children come to understand how animals and plants can be used as a platform upon which ideas and inventions can be developed. Biomimicry bridges the boundaries traditionally found in education and provides young children with an opportunity to mix art, literature and science with an innovative approach. This topic also provides an opportunity to bring the learning outdoors – observing, listening and smelling are vital factors to build a foundation upon which ideas inspired by nature can be explored.
Lessons about biomimicry require a brave approach to teaching since there is a move away from an approach where teachers are asking questions and looking for quick answers. Instead young learners are given an opportunity to shape and explore their own ideas. Biomimicry and bioinspiration are constantly evolving and new ideas are explored to solve problems and designing innovations. From Biomimicry for Young Children – Mammals, Reptile and Amphibians.
Think Dive Book Tips
Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steve Jenkins