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ERIC Number: EJ1114506
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Who Is Your Champion? A Close Look at How Plant and Animal Structures Can Help Solve a Problem
Walker, Caryn; Ethington, Roberta L.; Stark, Alyssa Y.
Science and Children, v53 n9 p39-45 Jul 2016
Everyone has problems, from the smallest ant competing for a food source to the largest elephant needing to cool down. Fortunately, organisms have structures that function to help them solve these problems. So when a group of fourth-grade students look for solutions to their problems, who do they turn to? A biological champion, of course! Plants and animals have a long history of solving problems, and by imitating their strengths, students can generate ideas for a better future. Currently, teachers are looking beyond the basic elements of core ideas to incorporate engineering practices; however, making this connection can be a challenge. The authors felt that by incorporating biomimicry, the practice of using nature as a guide to solve human problems (Baumeister 2014), into the existing "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS") fourth-grade science unit on structure and function, they could meet this challenge. Students ultimately explore the question: "What can we learn from plants and animals to help solve the problems we face in our lives?" Then, by working through the engineering design process, they created a model that demonstrates a solution to their problem!
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DEB1252614