"Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival." -Biomimicry Institute
Each year the Biomimicry Institute holds a global challenge to address a human problem using nature as inspiration for the solution. The 2019 challenge will mark the second year of the youth challenge. The theme for next year's challenge is climate change. Instructor Ariel Heintze, B.S. Architectural Engineering, is an engineer in the building design industry. "I am excited to bring the design process to young minds, notably through the emerging field of biomimicry, a design process based on observing nature," states Heintze, an engineer with PAE, a local leader in sustainable engineering design. Heintze's enthusiasm for biomimicry engineering knows no bounds, and the class--Biomimicry Engineering Challenge--is her brainchild.
The class, designed to prepare students to submit a design (along with other required components), is as much brains-on as it is hands-on. The rapid prototyping design thinking process will be covered as students work toward submission-ready designs under Heintze's coaching. While students can register for the class as individuals, the Biomimicry Challenge reflects real life engineering teamwork in that submissions must be made by a team of two or more. Following the 6-session class, which runs on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3:30 PM, October 21st through December 9th (no class Nov. 25th) at the University of Portland in the Shiley School of Engineering, there will be a free supervised work session for registered students on January 6th as well.
Because of the unique nature of this class, we invite interested students and their families to attend a free information session on Sunday, September 30th from 1 to 2 PM at the University of Portland in Shiley Hall, room 101. Instructor Ariel Heintze will lead this session, which will give an overview of the challenge and the class format, and will get your student (and their team?) started on solving climate change challenges using inspiration from nature. We hope to see you there!
To view the class in our online catalog, or to register, please click here.