4-H Eco-Challenge 2014

Date: July 28, 2014 - August 1, 2014
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Indian Springs Metropark Environmental Discovery Center, White Lake Road, 5200 Indian Trail, White Lake, MI 48386
Contact: Jason M. Scott: jscott@msu.edu or 248-858-0892

4-H Eco-Challenge 2014 “Biomimicry”

Nature has created some amazing things:

Spiders that create web silk as strong as the Kevlar used in bulletproof vests Engineers could use such a material—if it had a long enough rate of decay—for parachute lines, suspension bridge cables, artificial ligaments for medicine, and other purposes.

Other research has proposed adhesive glue from mussels, solar cells made like leaves, fabric that emulates shark skin, harvesting water from fog like a beetle.

Probably the most well-known example of biomimicry is Velcro.

Velcro is widely known example of biomimicry. You may have worn shoes with velcro straps as a youngster and you can certainly look forward to wearing the same kind of shoes in retirement.

Velcro was invented by Swiss engineer George de Mestral in 1941 after he removed burrs from his dog and decided to take a closer look at how they worked. The small hooks found at the end of the burr needles inspired him to create the now ubiquitous Velcro. Think about it: without this material, the world wouldn’t know Velcro jumping — a sport in which people dressed in full suits of Velcro attempt to throw their bodies as high up on a wall as possible.

“Biomimetics.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 May 2014. Web. 15 May 2014.

“7 Examples of Biomimicry: Burr = Velcro.” MNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2014.

Visit the 4-H Eco-Challenge 2014 registration page for more information.

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