2nd Grade: Biomimicry Commercials

After studying and learning about how inventors, engineers, and scientists are looking to nature for solutions to problems, the 2nd graders researched two animals and melded two adaptations to create their own invention.  They used DoInk Greenscreen to create a commercial advertising their product.  Enjoy!  I know I loved watching them write, practice, and create their commercials.  We have some budding advertisers in here. 

2nd Grade: Biomimicry Thinglinks

The second graders have been hard at work creating Thinglinks to advertise their Biomimicry Invention.  They used a whole host of apps in their projects: Comic Book, ChatterKid, Educreations, PicCollage, and of course, Thinglink.  I love the individuality of each child’s work.  A few projects are not quite finished, but I went ahead and posted everyone’s.  As they add more to their project you will see the added tags show up on their Thinglink.

We have a Thinglinks inside of Thinglinks. 🙂 Click on the tag next to your child’s name and it will take you to their Thinglink.  Click on all of their various tags to learn about their invention and which animal inspired it.

The kids also started researching a famous bridge for our last project of the year.  I can hardly believe that we only have one class left!

Second Grade: Bridges and Biomimicry

In second grade we have been learning about biomimicry, a science that encourages inventors and engineers to look to nature to create solutions and inventions.  My students chose an animal to research.  They learned about their adaptations and considered how one of the adaptations could influence the design of a product that would positively impact our world.  Each student created an advertisement for their product.  They uploaded their image into Thinglink, an amazing app.  The kids used Chatterkids, PicCollage, Comic Book, Educreations, Video, etc. to share more about their product and the animal that influenced their invention.  Many are still working to finish, but here are 2 to give you a sneak peak.  The rest will be posted next week.

You need to hover over the images.  You will see dots pop up on the image.  You click on the various images to see all the work they have done.

By Kaylee
By Dasom (Still a Work in Progress)

We have also started our study of a structure that was initially influenced by nature…the bridge.  We are looking at the way humans developed the design of bridges over time, the forces that impact bridges, and the main types of bridges.

I started by giving the kids a challenge: Build a bridge, with one piece of paper, 5 paper clips, and scissors that is capable of handling a live load of 100 pennies.  Here is a video of the kids creating, redesigning, and testing.

We then discussed some of the forces that caused our paper bridges to fail or succeed.  The second graders learned about the main types of bridges and how to decide which one to build in any given situation.  The 2nd graders broke into 6 groups and each group built a different bridge.

On Monday we will look at the differences and which work better in which situations.  Each 2nd grader will also begin researching a famous bridge for their end of year structure project.

2nd Grade: Biomimicry and Design

Biomimicry is about looking to nature to be inspired to design, specifically to design something that can fix a problem that exists.  We have spent time investigating ways examples in our world.  We looked at how the burrs inspired Velcro, sharks led Speedo to develop faster swimwear for athletes, how the tiny hairs on the bottom of a gecko’s feet are inspiring stronger tape.  

After our investigations, it was time for the 2nd graders to become the engineers.  They chose an animal to research.  They took notes, paying special attention to their animal’s adaptations.  They then brainstormed 4 possible inventions based on 4 of the adaptations of their animal.  They chose 2 to develop further and finally chose one that they wanted to take all the way.  The 2nd graders had to design their product, explain how it uses biomimicry and helps improve an issue effecting people.  We learned about advertising and marketing so that the kids can create their own advertisement showcasing their product.  Below are some pictures of the planning stage of their product.  Next week they will think about how to create their finished project.

We are also starting an investigation of a man-made structure: The Bridge.  The kids took a pre-test to showcase what they currently know about bridges. Next week we will begin studying important language related to bridges, we will build bridges and learn about the various types of bridges.

2nd Grade: Biomimicry

The second graders were introduced to a new term two weeks ago, Biomimicry.  We looked carefully at the word and the kids noticed that the word mimic was in the Biomimicry.  We discussed that bios means life and the 2nd graders made some predictions as to what the term biomimicry stood for; “the study and imitation of nature’s remarkably efficient designs [encouraging] scientists, engineers, architects and innovators of all ages who can use those models to create sustainable technologies.”  So essentially, looking to nature to find ways to invent, solve problems, and create.  We watched a video clip that showed some examples of Biomimicry in action.  One that really got my attention was fabric designed based on a leaf that repels liquids and stays dry.  With 3 kids and 2 dogs I would appreciate all of my fabric being treated in this manner.

Last week the kids read an article about how the bur, the shark, and the gecko inspired innovation.  The bur is what led us to Velcro.  Who knew that such a nasty seed to lead us to such a useful invention.  I love to tell of all the diapers I wasted in my babysitting years because they didn’t have Velcro tabs. The shark led Speedo to improve its design of the swimsuit for Olympians.  Every millisecond counts! The small hairs on the bottom of a geckos feet, called setae, led to the creation of some very strong glue.

This week we continued our study of biomimicry by looking closely at the adaptations of a giraffe.  We found that a giraffe has a heart that is 2.5 times bigger than you would expect, which allows a giraffe to stand without fainting.  The skin around the legs and the neck of a giraffe is extremely tight, much like a G-Suit, to allow the blood to move around the body more efficiently.  This research led into a discussion of some possible inventions based on the giraffe’s adaptations.

Next week the second graders will choose an animal to research and the students will brainstorm inventions based on what they learned about their animal.  You might start talking about a plant or animal, their adaptations, and how this can lead to a new invention or fix to a current problem.

TESSELLATIONS: Many weeks ago, after studying polygons in nature the 2nd graders learned what it means to tessellate and had a chance to create their own tessellations.  Here are a few of the finished pieces.

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