Informal Education

Outside of the classroom, the opportunities for education about biomimicry are truly without bounds. We have developed informal education material for museums, zoos, interpretive trails, outdoor youth programs, television, film, and more. Informal educational institutions that we have worked with to help launch biomimicry programs include the San Diego Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Montreal Biosphere.

Exhibits and displays we have developed or helped develop have been displayed at the California Academy of Sciences, Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the Basque Biodiversity Center, Exploration Works!, the Green Living Show in Toronto, and more.

If you have ideas or questions about our informal educational efforts, feel free to contact us at media(a)

Every Thursday evening, California Academy of Sciences (CAS) organizes a themed event called NightLife that is part educational experience and part cocktail party. During 2011 Bioneers (October 14-16), NightLife drew more than 1,500 attendees who learned about biomimicry to the beat of dance and techno music. Guests viewed our collection of biomimetic products and watched the documentary Second Nature: The Biomimicry Evolution.

In the African Hall, over 50 biomimicry design sketches from university students were on display from the California College of the Arts, the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, and the University of California at Berkeley Department of Architecture. Professors and Biomimicry Fellows Tom McKeag and Marjan Eggermont were on hand to discuss the students’ work and answer questions. The exhibition was viewed by hundreds of visitors during the course of the evening.

On April 21, 2010, Mayor John Engen helped cut the ribbon on the world’s first biomimicry-inspired interpretive trail in Missoula, Montana. “This biomimicry trail will be the first of its kind, but not likely the last,” said Sam Stier, youth education director for The Biomimicry Institute. “Interest in looking to nature for solutions to humankind’s various challenges is only growing.”

The interpretive trail, which consists of five educational signs along Missoula’s downtown riverfront, enhances educational opportunities for groups that use the trail system for programs and field trips. The signs showcase the unique plants and animals that trail users are likely to see and explain how scientists and engineers are drawing inspiration from these species for technological innovation.

The project was a collaboration between The Biomimicry Institute, the Montana Natural History Center, Run Wild Missoula, and Missoula City Parks and Recreation. JDSU donated special butterfly-inspired iridescent paint, which was used to powder coat the post of a sign about butterfly-inspired colorants.

Panel display at the Basque Biodiversity Center in Spain.