butterfly resting on branch

The 2021 Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge Winners & Designs

The Youth Design Challenge is a program developed by the Biomimicry Institute that provides a remarkable opportunity for coaches and students from middle school to high school to share their creative ideas with respect to biomimicry and innovation in nature. This year’s event is complete and there were some truly amazing submissions from schools around the world. It’s inspiring to see a raft of young aspiring designers and ‘scientists’ using nature’s beautiful design to develop real-world solutions to serious issues.

Jump right to this year’s winners: https://biomimicry.org/youthdesignchallenge/#awardrecipients

For a complete breakdown of this ground-breaking event, see the 2021 YDC Handbook right here: Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (PDF)

Innovative Inspiration From Nature

From mangrove forests to antelope horns to mud wasps and butterflies, students from 53 schools all submitted design entries into this year’s challenge. Even during COVID lockdowns and stay at home orders, these incredible students and coaches created a real challenge for the judging committee to select the winners for the 5 separate awards available.

  • Naturalist Award: For comprehensive research into biological models, thorough explanations of their natural history and strategies, and selection of appropriate organism models to inform the design.
  • Changemaker Award: For an innovative design proposal that could potentially move forward in future research and development and/or would have a significant impact if implemented.
  • Design Cycle Award: For perseverance in the iterative design cycle including exploration of multiple design ideas, using creative techniques to test potential solutions, and/or getting feedback from diverse experts and interested community members to inform design revisions.
  • Problem Definition Award: For systems thinking, thoroughness, and creativity in researching, identifying, and defining a problem to solve.
  • Storyteller Award: For an engaging presentation of the required application materials that creatively and accurately captures the team’s innovation process and learning journey.

To learn about registering for 2022 and reading all about the winners and their designs, roll over to the official website right here:  https://youthchallenge.biomimicry.org/.