STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Bioengineering: How Nature Inspires Human Designs

BioEngineering_CoverBioengineering, Discover How Nature Inspires Human Designs

by Christine Burillo Kirch; illus. by Alexis Cornell

128 pages; ages 9 – 12

Nomad Press, 2016

Engineers use the principles of physics to design and build machines, tools, and houses. Biologists study living things. Mash them together and you get Bioengineers: people who apply engineering principles to biological functions to create something people use.

Take Leonardo Da Vinci. He studied how birds and bats fly, and then designed a flying machine. He may have been the first person to document his use of bioengineering- through notes and sketches.

Bats use sonar to find the fruit and insects they eat. They send out a sound signal that bounces back off objects – letting the bat know where their dinner is. Submarines use sonar, too, and now engineers have developed walking sticks with sonar that will help blind people navigate more easily. Pretty cool, right?

This book introduces kids to a wide range of applications of bioengineering, from medical applications to wind power, farming, clothing, architecture, transportation, and 3-D printing. There are 25 hands-on projects, including “backyard bioengineering”, and tons of links to primary sources. Back matter includes a glossary, resources (including a list of QR codes) and an index.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for links and more about Da Vinci, Velcro, and maple-seed-inspired flight.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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