Last week a news article came out that discussed how scientists have developed a unique material that can be used for a variety of functions based on the quick mechanical responses built into the Venus Flytrap’s design.
This material is super thin, only about 1.5 millimeters thick. In order to create the quick spring reflex this thin material is formed with lots of micro craters. The material is then paired with a second sheet and sealed on all sides. The material operates by triggering the craters to flip out and in when they come into contact with heat, physical pressure or electrical charge.
Once this technology is perfected it can be used to deliver medication to specific body locations or used as a sensitive food wrapper that is capable of alerting people when food has spoiled or been contaminated by heat.
This news story brings up an important science concept, that nature is indeed a great resource for innovations. Plants especially have unique mechanical designs that scientists and engineers can mine and mimic to create human friendly applications.
In your classroom, discuss this notion with your students. Offer extra credit to students to research other nature inspired inventions and innovations. This is a great project for students to complete right before science fair season, as their findings can help them to come up with the basis for an amazing science fair project.
Superior science fair project ideas can be generated from a lot of different activities. From reading science fair books to reviewing past energy science fair projects, students need to learn how to mine their world for inspiration.