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 an invention of which the original blueprints were based on plants and their processes. Create an infographic explaining how natural design provided the building blocks for some of our most creative engineering feats. Downloadable PDF

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

Electronically submit the following:

✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry must be emailed to and include student’s name, grade, and school name in attachment name and the email message
 Entry is an infographic
 Entry must explain a plant-inspired solution to an existing problem
 Maximum size 12” X 16”, incorporating original hand-rendered or computer generated imagery and explanatory text (no matting or frame)
 Bibliography citing a minimum of 2 sources, following MLA or APA format
 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)