learning from nature

Registration - Tours and Workshops for School Classes

Experimental Workshops
In connection with exhibit, the NYU School of Engineering's Center for K12 STEM Education, Design for America of NYU and Greenhouse Innovation Space are pleased to host a series of engineering and design workshops for young people ages 12-15. Explore the cutting edge fields of biomimcry and design thinking through hands-on activities and group interactions taught and lead by an experienced team of School of Engineering graduate and undergraduate students. Each workshop will engage you in applied engineering and design by examining forms and systems found in nature and using that knowledge to build and experiment with mechanical devices and structures.
Adapted from research in Professor Maurizio Porfiri's mechanical engineering lab, this workshop introduces students to various science concepts illuminated by the most basic of fish behavior--locomotion. How does the size and shape of a fish tail effect propulsion? Speed or agility? What do you lose or gain by changing the frequency of the tail's beating? What about efficiency? Come build an experiment--which includes a circuit, micro-controller, actuator, and, of course. your own handmade fish tail designs--to test these questions and learn how we can apply that knowledge and insight to real-world challenges.

Strong as a... plant?
Civil engineers and architects design and build structures, from skyscrapers and assembly halls to stadiums and schools. In this hour study the strengths, literally and figuratively, found in structural forms that occur in nature.  How might we adapt these forms through the design and engineering processes to better the buildings and places we inhabit everyday? Plants and trees have evolved to withstand the force of wind, efficiently collect energy from the sun, or minimize the effects of extreme heat, deftly adapting to their environments. Participants will build structures inspired by these naturally occurring feats of systems-engineering, experimenting with how different forms might serve your building's purpose best and exploring the inherent balancing act between form and function.

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