Biomimicry Educator’s Collaborative

Empowering K-8 grade students as stormwater designers, problem solvers and community, emulating nature’s genius.

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Biomimicry Oregon members Mary Hansel and Charlie Graham led biomimicry educator workshops in the Summer and Autumn 2013. Building on Biomimicry Oregon’s Genius of Place research and with the financial support of Erica Stokes, Education Coordinator at West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (WMSWCD), local educators had the opportunity to learn and experience the power of biomimicry concepts and explore how it might be integrated into their own curriculum development.

Charlie Graham developed and implemented biomimicry sessions during in-service educator workshops (Oct – Dec 2013) in collaboration with Tryon Creek State Park. The workshops were designed and instructed with Matthew Collins (Tryon Education Director) and Stephanie Wagner (Portland State University science instructor). Two biomimetic models were used as spring-board examples- “Leaf Pack” macroinvertebrate water quality analysis developed by the Stroud Water Research Center and the Backyard Habitat Certification Program (BHCP) developed by the Audubon Society of Portland and Columbia Land Trust. 

In a follow-up workshop, Ginny Stern, science teacher at Sunnyside Environmental School, presented her very successful Biomimicry Invention Convention to attendees. Charlie followed up with teachers in May 2014 and found two had developed impressive curricula applying biomimicry concepts to specific challenges. A pre-school teacher asked “how does nature manage waste?”, while a 6th grade teacher asked students “how does nature maximize space?” with 9 biomimetic lessons in a 5 month period, to solve for their own overcrowded classroom.

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