The students LOVE this lesson!!!
This is a FUN and RELEVANT way for students to learn about adaptations as well as incorporating the NGSS standards on adaptations and engineering! Students investigate an adaptation and its benefit in the organism’s habitat and design a "biomimetic" product to solve a real world problem (Example: Vibram shoes have been modeled after gecko's feet). It is a complete and thorough lesson/unit (6 pages) with absolutely no prep work for the teacher for five days!!! It includes the project directions, an outline for each group, timeline, expectations and tips, a grading rubric, and a reflection related to costs/benefits and future improvements of products!!
This project requires students to work/research in groups of 3-5 although it is completely revisable to work on inividually. Students have to brainstorm, research, and design a new solution to solve a problem in the real world based on an organism's adaptation. Once students research and design a product, they present it to the class. The option of creating a 2D or 3D product is included as well as information about the Engineering and Design Process according to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Ideas that students have come up with are webbed gloves to swim faster, an adaptation sea turtles have and another is armor developed for the military imitated from an armadillo's outer shell/s.
This project covers the following NGSS Performance Expectations and Standards:
MS-ETS1: Engineering Design
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