Learn what it takes for our in-house research team to help create science education experiences that you can apply to your everyday life.
When we set out to create an OMSI exhibit about biomimicry, the first question our visitors would ask was obvious: what is biomimicry, and why does it matter to me?
The first part is easy enough to answer. Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics nature. It’s how humans came up with Velcro (inspired by burr needles), Olympic swimsuits (modeled after sharkskin), and underwater adhesive (brought to you by mussels).
But to answer the second part of the question — why biomimicry matters to you — called for a little research. Luckily, we have a team of expert researchers right here at OMSI.
We knew we wanted to create an exhibit that made biomimicry relevant to Spanish and English-speaking visitors alike, with a focus on girls. So together with our partners at Adelante Mujeres, The Biomimicry Institute, and the Fleet Science Center, we launched a series of studies to help us understand how our exhibit could deliver learning that would truly benefit these communities.
Some of our most important takeaways came from talking directly with Latina girls. When we asked them to imagine their ideal world, their focus stayed squarely on solving real-world problems. Willow pictured “a city where we are connected to nature, solar panels, wind and water energy, and no pollution.” Angel pictured a world where “everyone helped each other.”
And Yetzali spoke about the challenges her parents overcame while immigrating to the U.S., and said, “our [parents] took so many risks to put us in the place we are. We need to make this world a better place.”
Our takeaway: the exhibit needed to provide a place to envision and engineer a sustainable world in ways visitors could implement in their everyday lives.
So we built Creatividad silvestre | Wild Creativity: a bilingual Spanish/English traveling exhibition that engages visitors in biomimicry through the lens of engineering, and focuses on solutions for the challenges we face in our own communities and around the world. It’s designed to meet you in your life to solve challenges through biomimicry — and we can’t wait to see how you use what you learn to make your corner of the world better.