Nature’s Designs

Discover the many patterns, shapes, and designs in nature. The plants and animals around us are design engineers. The show features photographs and computer demonstrations of the many patterns found in the natural world. This program is best for ages 10 and older.

Following are Massachusetts Science Curriculum topics that are addressed in this program:

Life Science
Characteristics of Plants and Animals
8 Describe how organisms meet some of their needs in an environment by using behaviors (patterns of activities) in response to information (stimuli) received from the environment. Recognize that some animal behaviors are instinctive (e.g., turtles burying their eggs), and others are learned (e.g., humans building fires for warmth, chimpanzees learning how to use tools).

Engineering Design
2.1 Identify a problem that reflects the need for shelter, storage, or convenience.

2.2 Describe different ways in which a problem can be represented, e.g., sketches, diagrams, graphic organizers, and lists.

2.3 Identify relevant design features (e.g., size, shape, weight) for building a prototype of a solution to a given problem.

2.4 Compare natural systems with mechanical systems that are designed to serve similar purposes, e.g., a bird’s wings as compared to an airplane’s wings.

2.1 Identify and explain the steps of the engineering design process, i.e., identify the need or problem, research the problem, develop possible solutions, select the best possible solution(s), construct a prototype, test and evaluate, communicate the solution(s), and redesign.

2.2 Demonstrate methods of representing solutions to a design problem, e.g., sketches, orthographic projections, multiview drawings.

2.3 Describe and explain the purpose of a given prototype.

2.4 Identify appropriate materials, tools, and machines needed to construct a prototype of a given engineering design.

2.5 Explain how such design features as size, shape, weight, function, and cost limitations would affect the construction of a given prototype.

2.6 Identify the five elements of a universal systems model: goal, inputs, processes, outputs, and feedback

Content Standards
3. Energy and Power Technologies—Fluid Systems

Engineering Design Process
1. Identify the need or problem

3. Develop possible solution(s)
Draw on mathematics and science
Articulate the possible solution(s) in two and three dimensions
Refine the possible solution(s)

4. Select the best possible solutions(s)
Determine which solution(s) best meet(s) the original requirements

8. Redesign
Modify the solution(s) based on information gathered during the tests and presentation

Contact me with this form or call 413-267-4757
Additional details are at the bottom of the main programs page


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