The award-winning team at Lichen Labs has developed an inspiring 3-part virtual course for 7th-grade life science teachers that brings Nature and biomimicry into the classroom and stimulates curiosity and interest in science called UNature Virtual.
The training includes a video overview and lesson plan. Each lesson includes educational videos, handouts, and worksheets to help students grasp the core concepts. The course uses real-life examples throughout to understand the context and to inspire creativity.
Our goal was to create a course that ticks all the boxes for science, technology, and design and interdisciplinary learning (language arts and art)!
This STEAM Course Facilitates;
- Investigation and research
- Making connections between design in Nature and the functions of the natural world
- Design and engineering of an original bio-inspired product
The course is self-paced for teachers and can be completed in 3 – 4 hours, depending on the time spent on assignments. Middle school students are guided through the short video segments in 3 class periods with “outside” homework assignments.
Through training and video lessons, it minimizes the time it takes to make this project meaningful and provides a complete overview of innovation inspired by Nature.
Lesson 1A Overview for Teachers
We begin with an introduction to UNature for educators. It gives a roadmap to the on-line course and summary of the program and each of the individual lessons. UNature integrated STEAM learning components meet nine current US Core Middle School Life Science Standards.
How Does Nature…attach and detach? Survive without water? Heat and cool its homes?…
Learn from Nature’s adaptations and strategies for surviving and thriving. Discover how to emulate these problem-solving abilities in human designs through biomimicry.
STEAM Journaling Inside and Outside
Lesson two includes video walkthrough, and printable journal prompts for students to complete in the classroom, a nearby park, or even their backyards! This interactive lesson encourages students to go outside and learn from Nature up close and personal. Students find a specimen in Nature to observe. They will draw and record their observations and environmental conditions.
Applying Biomimicry and Bio-inspired Design
In the third and final lesson, each student will go back outside and find a specimen in nature to observe, analyze, and gather conclusions for why an animal or plant’s characteristics adapted the way it did in its location and exposure conditions. They will brainstorm and create their own design by mimicking that same adaptation strategy.
The student will understand that Nature has been developing survival strategies that we call adaptations for 3.8 billion years. By emulating these strategies, we can create new technologies that can improve life on Earth.
UNature Virtual for Real STEAM
Science teachers can lead their students through this UNature course virtually or in the classroom setting. Check out the trailer video and Read the full overview of the course here.