Go discover the genius inside you, by discovering the genius around you!

Wouldn’t it be amazing if your students could experience what it’s like to be  a Nature-inspired inventor?

They can!

Guide your students through a Nature-inspired design project: we’ll show you how. There’s no better way to teach young people about the fascinating world of innovation inspired by Nature. You can spend as little as an hour and get good results, but several days or even weeks is even better. And you can use the project as a great way of teaching STEM.

If you would like to see examples of the amazing things kids create when inspired by the natural world, just take a look at the Earth Innovators Gallery.

The Earth Innovators Program supports and highlights the work of teachers doing Nature-inspired design projects with their students. Joining the program is completely free and without obligation. By registering you will have access to:

  • Free curricula (Engineering Inspired by Nature – Upper Elementary) including activity ideas, resources, and materials about innovation inspired by Nature to share with your students, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and other frameworks.
  • A simple way to greatly increase your students’ engagement. Let your students know their work is part of the international Earth Innovators Program, and that their inventive ideas have a chance of being displayed and highlighted on the Earth Innovators Gallery. Each student will also receive an official Certificate of Participation in the Earth Innovators Program.
  • By joining, you will also be able to connect and interact with other teachers doing Nature-inspired design projects with their students. This includes cross-cultural exchanges with teachers and classrooms participating in the Earth Innovators program in other regions and countries. You will also be invited to the Earth Innovators group on LinkedIn, to join a community of interacting teachers doing similar innovative work from all over the world.

We are currently developing a new curriculum for the Earth Innovators Program. The curriculum will be designed for upper elementary students to explore engineering and design inspired by Nature, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. We’re excited to be partnering with a large network of teachers who will pilot the new curriculum with thousands of students starting in the fall of 2017.

If you are interested in being part of this pilot, please contact us.

Please note: the Earth Innovators program is designed for educators working with students that are about 9-12 years old (in grades 4 and 5, depending on the country). For older students, you may want to consider the award-winning Engineering Inspired by Nature curriculum for middle and high school students.

Sean Dupre, a 5th grader from Houston, conceived, prototyped, and tested this jacket inspired by his cat. On cold days, cats puff up their fur, trapping warm air next to their bodies. Likewise, on cold days, you blow more air into the jacket; on warmer days, you deflate it.

Eliza H., a 3rd grader from New York, wanted to help her grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Her design concept is a pair of slippers that leave a trail, like snails do, to help her grandmother find her way around the house. Nature-inspired inventing gives young people an opportunity to be creative and compassionate, while developing analogical thinking skills.

A team of students from West Branch, Michigan, works together on the design of a water filter inspired by wetland cattails.