This 50-minute activity provides an introduction to biomimicry and quickly gets students brainstorming design ideas.


  • Students will define biomimicry.
  • Students will explain how engineers use biomimicry to design innovative new products.
  • Students will list examples of engineered products that were inspired by nature.
  • Students will use biomimicry to develop an idea for a new product.

In this activity, students first learn about and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of innovative new products. Then, working in pairs, students use what they’ve learned about biomimicry and engineering to think of animals’ features they could to create or improve something. This is followed by brainstorming and drawing a new product based on what they know about animals and nature.

The introduction and procedure sections of this activity provide educators with background information and examples to support introducing the topic to students.  Suggestions for assessment, homework, activity extensions, and scaling to other grade levels are also included.

This activity is hosted on TeachEngineering and provided with alignments to NGSS (4-LS1-1) and the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association standards for Technology.