Challenge 1: Botanical Breakthrough

For Individuals or Groups (2–5 students per group) — Maximum points: 200 (100 per entry; 2 entries per school)

YOUR CHALLENGE: Nature can be regarded as the most profound inventor ever known. In response to the ever-changing environment, living organisms have evolved and adapted their form and function. To unlock solutions to modern problems, humans are inspired by, learn from and emulate nature’s materials, structures and systems. Research a current engineering issue and design a plant-inspired solution. Downloadable PDF

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 by 5:00 pm

Electronically submit the following:

✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry labeled with student(s) name, grade, and school on the back
 Illustration must depict common features in a technical drawing including shape of object in different views, dimensions, material and finish.
 Maximum size is 11” x 16”, and illustrations must be an original 2-D, hand rendered artwork; colored pencil, ink, paint or computer generated design
 Written portion must include an explanation of your plant-inspired design
 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

Bring your class on a virtual field trip at Fairchild. Please visit Explorer Field Trip Programs for more information.

For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 1 Evaluation Sheet

This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 1 Benchmarks

Biomimicry Institute
Biomimicry: when technology is inspired by nature (video)
Smithsonian Magazine’s How Biomimicry is Inspiring Human Innovation

Plant Inspired Inventions
Researchers inspired by how plants, bacteria can harvest light energy
A better fake leather, inspired by plants
Ivy’s powerful grasp could lead to better medical adhesives, stronger battle armor
Nature’s blueprint: Solar cells inspired by plant cells
Inspired by venus flytrap, researchers develop folding ‘snap’ geometry
Physics World’s Plant-inspired Innovations (audio)