The word is difficult to parse. Try this: bio-mimic-ry. Though not so easy on the eyes, the word lucidly explains its own meaning: biomimicry is the imitation of designs and processes found in nature. It asks how we humans can benefit from mimicking the intricate and graceful systems displayed by life forms all over the world.
Some professionals may be a little bit jealous that teachers get the summer off. Well, teachers don't necessarily get the whole summer off. Laser i3 school districts in North Carolina, Texas, and New Mexico are currently undergoing summer professional development that brings the teachers back into the classroom and puts them on the other side of the desk.
Two weeks ago, the Smithsonian museums and research facilities were filled with the sights and sounds of adults mimicking insect mating calls, hunting for organisms in brackish water, and allowing African Giant Millipedes to scurry across their willing hands. These adults were participants in the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATS), week-long events focusing on the professional development of science educators. Emphasis is placed on inquiry-based teaching to facilitate effective learning in the sciences.
From their lookout in the White Mountains of the western United States, the bristlecone pines have seen it all. They watched from afar as the Confederates suffered heavy losses at Union hands; they heard the scratch of Shakespeare's quill; they heard the first fireworks bang at their invention in China; they listened to the grinding of stones as the Egyptians erected the Great Pyramid at Giza. Through practically every point in human history -- for the last 5,000 years -- these trees have remained steadfast witnesses, rooted in the soil.
Halfway through the 2013-2014 school year, two third-grade students approached Atalaya Elementary School principal Diane Katenmeyer-Delgado and asked if they could start a science club. Principal Katenmeyer-Delgado, supported the idea but told the two girls that they needed a teacher to oversee the program. After only a few weeks, the girls had succeeded ... they convinced sixth-grade teacher Ms. Michels to take the lead.
Sitting on a picnic blanket on July 4, you stare up at the star-studded sky. It is a dusky deep blue, still glowing faintly by the light of the recently set sun. The grass and trees below are similarly dimly lit, all painted shadowy gray. Suddenly, a boom and flash of light announce the arrival of an intruder into this monochrome world: RED. The color sprouts up above, like a fountain pen spattering an inky hue that stains the sky.
When it comes to bugs, I'm pretty squeamish. So when Bob Matthews, a Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the University of Georgia, handed me two clay tubes fused together and told me to break them open with tweezers to look for paralyzed spiders, fly cocoons, and live wasp larvae, I really didn't want to do it.