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Table 2.

Quick examples to apply biomimicry to standards (NGSS) at K–2, 3–5, and 6–8 grade levels. (A high school example is provided in Table 3.) Notice that these include examples from Life Science standards and Physical Science standards to demonstrate the interdisciplinarity of biomimicry.

Grade LevelNGSS StandardPerformance ExpectationBiomimicry Leading QuestionBiomimicry Application Example
K–2 

1-LS1-1

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

 
Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. How do plants and animals get what they need to survive? How can plants and animals inspire us to design ways to move things, grab things, or obtain things we need? Elephants use trunks to obtain food and water. Trunks can inspire instruments to help humans grab or hold items or move water. 
3–5 

4-LS1-1

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

 
Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. How does nature protect itself? How can plants and animals inspire us to design better ways to protect ourselves or items? Animals that survive in extreme environments (hot or cold) have a variety of structures to help them survive the extremes. Polar bears have thick, double-layered coats, including transparent and hollow inner fibers to help stay warm. The structure of the polar bear’s fur can inspire apparel or blankets to help humans stay warm. 
Middle school MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. How does nature utilize sunlight to obtain energy for survival? How can plants inspire us to design better ways to harness and utilize sunlight? Plants use a variety of techniques to obtain sunlight (solar energy) for survival via the photosynthetic process. Colors and structures of leaves can increase the amount of light available for absorption for photosynthesis. This concept can inspire solar cells for energy acquisition, adaptive clothing that keeps us warm or cool, and building facades that direct light to or away from certain areas at certain times of day. 
Grade LevelNGSS StandardPerformance ExpectationBiomimicry Leading QuestionBiomimicry Application Example
K–2 

1-LS1-1

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

 
Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. How do plants and animals get what they need to survive? How can plants and animals inspire us to design ways to move things, grab things, or obtain things we need? Elephants use trunks to obtain food and water. Trunks can inspire instruments to help humans grab or hold items or move water. 
3–5 

4-LS1-1

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

 
Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. How does nature protect itself? How can plants and animals inspire us to design better ways to protect ourselves or items? Animals that survive in extreme environments (hot or cold) have a variety of structures to help them survive the extremes. Polar bears have thick, double-layered coats, including transparent and hollow inner fibers to help stay warm. The structure of the polar bear’s fur can inspire apparel or blankets to help humans stay warm. 
Middle school MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. How does nature utilize sunlight to obtain energy for survival? How can plants inspire us to design better ways to harness and utilize sunlight? Plants use a variety of techniques to obtain sunlight (solar energy) for survival via the photosynthetic process. Colors and structures of leaves can increase the amount of light available for absorption for photosynthesis. This concept can inspire solar cells for energy acquisition, adaptive clothing that keeps us warm or cool, and building facades that direct light to or away from certain areas at certain times of day. 
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