Biomimicry: Inventing with Nature

May 24 - June 21, 2018

Biomimicry: Inventing with Nature

How can geckos climb straight up walls without falling off? How do hummingbirds hover so gracefully in mid-air? How do the shape of birds' beaks enable them to dive swiftly to fetch prey? How do penguins swim so aerodynamically in all conditions?

How have we learned from each of these fascinating creatures to generate advancements in human technology?

Biomimicry is a delightful and magical approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human design challenges through inspiration from the natural world. Over the course of 6 weeks, children are introduced to the natural wonders of the world and will learn how to create new technologies and innovations using these design patterns.

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Age range:
Open to all children from the public, 7-12 years old.
All children from all schools everywhere are welcome to attend.
Our award winning Lumineer Academy educators
May 24 - June 21, 2018
Thursdays 4:00 - 5:30pm
Lumineer Academy, Makerspace,
126 Nelson Place, Williamstown VIC
Price: $215, includes the cost of all materials.

Weekly Overview

WEEK 1 - How does nature inspire design?

Nature has inspired design in every facet of our lives. From tigers' coat patterns for camouflage clothing to lily pads for the development of chemicals. In the first session, students investigate everyday solutions inspired by nature and how these are embedded in their everyday lives. Each participant will gain an understanding of biomimicry and apply this newly developed knowledge along with an introduction of basic circuitry to design a nature inspired wind turbine to generate power for their future home. Each student will develop working models and be introduced to the design process through expert facilitators to test and improve on their ideas.

WEEK 2 - Shape shifting to light emission - Hidden secrets of the marine environment

Hidden just beyond our sight in oceans all over the world are some of the most dynamic adaptations and patterns known to man. At our doorstep lays a wonderland waiting to be discovered in Port Phillip Bay. Shape shifting cephalopods such as octopus are masters of disguise whilst their close relatives, squids, are the masters of incredible light shows.

In this hands on workshop, students will consider how they can reimagine transportation from the ground to the air inspired by the aquatic environment. Students will investigate some local residents of Port Phillip Bay, analysing form, function and patterns of movement, students will reimagine the future of transportation inspired by the wonders of Port Phillip Bay.

WEEK 3 - Investigate the relationship between reproduction and flight. What do we still have to learn?

When you don't have the capacity to move to find a partner to reproduce, it takes some ingenious methods to ensure the survival of a species. Whether it's through the use of air or water, living organisms have evolved some of the most simple and effective ways to ensure biological diversity across the globe. Triggers such as fire have allowed indigenous species within Australia to survive, whilst mass spawning events such as those on the Great Barrier Reef ensure the ongoing survival of those corals along with countless other species through the coordination of mass feeding events.

Continuing to build on skills and understanding of Biomimicry, students will address a design challenge looking at safe aid delivery inspired by natural and biological events. Continuing to build on their understanding of the design process, students will learn the importance of iteration to design potential aid delivery systems inspired by nature.

WEEK 4 & 5 - How can smart materials be used to used mimic nature's patterns?

Flowers blooming to attract pollinators, clams closing to avoid predators, or murmurations of starling flocks are just some of the complex but innate natural patterns that can be observed in the world around us. But how can these patterns be used to design and create entirely new products?

By synthesising an understanding of both the design process and biomimicry, students are introduced to the intersection of material design and biomimicry to solve for an identified problem. Using Nitinol, a shape memory alloy, students will work through the design process to create a simple physical prototype of a proposed solution over the course of 3 workshops. Guided by facilitators, students will design, test and iterate simple prototypes to be presented in the final workshop of the series.

What are Lumineer Expeditions?

Lumineer Expeditions are hands on after school workshops open to all children from the community, led by our fully qualified and certified educators, in our dedicated makerspace.

Fun after school

Lumineer Expeditions are a series of hands-on after school workshops where you get to dream up fantastical ideas and make them in our dedicated makerspace built for kids.

Play with a difference

Lumineer Expeditions are based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths), a curriculum designed to provide kids with the tools and knowledge to invent, design, and construct new innovations. We aren't just any ordinary STEM workshop - we teach STEM playfully and joyfully, and in a human and social context.

Powered by Luminaria

The Luminaria Educational Philosophy recognizes our children as truly whole human beings - we cultivate a balance of character strengths, a robust and inquisitive mind, and the fluency to work collaboratively to transform ideas into impact.

We also equip our children with the context they need to comprehend the world they live in, and help them build engaged empathy, ethical grounding, and critical thinking -- all imbued with authentic purpose and meaning.

Luminaria prepares our children to understand, contribute to, and become courageous architects of our rapidly changing world.

Want to learn more? Learn more about the Luminaria Educational Philosophy or visit our full school program at Lumineer Academy.