Youth Design Challenge (YDC)

The Youth Design Challenge is a hands-on, project-based learning experience that provides classroom and informal educators with an engaging framework to  introduce bio-inspired design and an interdisciplinary lens on science, engineering, and environmental literacy. It gives middle and high school students a unique STEM  experience and empowers them to envision solutions to social and environmental challenges. During the program, students learn and experience:

  • A process that weaves nature’s ingenious solutions into problem solving.
  • Fun outdoor excursions to observe nature and identify the functions and relationships behind biological attributes.
  • How forms, processes, and systems in nature can inspire innovative sustainable design.
  • Confidence in making, inventing, creating, and offering solutions to complex problems.
  • How science and design impact society and the natural world.

The 2024 Youth Design Challenge
winners are announced!

With biomimicry education, students:

Develop skills

in addressing environmental and sustainability issues, creative problem-solving, and systems thinking.

Are curious

and better able to use science and engineering to solve critical challenges.

Gain a new perspective

on nature and how it can be a model, mentor, and measure of success for innovation that supports a healthy planet.

Similarly, educators have an interdisciplinary platform to connect subjects to one another, and to the real world beyond classroom walls, along with an engaging framework for addressing climate science and ecoliteracy within STEM education.

YDC Impact:

Teachers Engaged

Students Reached



Access to these materials has revitalized my ecology unit and made it so much more relevant, purposeful, and exciting for students. It has enabled the unit to become a PBL [project-based learning] experience and has heightened student engagement. I feel that I am giving them more tools and a framework to address the problems their generation will need to solve.
YDC Teacher

Ready to teach your students biomimicry?

While social distancing may be drawing students and teachers apart, the opportunity to grow closer to nature through STEM-rich biomimicry learning has never been more crucial.

Funders & Partners​

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Support the Next Generation
of Nature-Inspired Innovators

Imagine a world where everything we make is inspired by the natural world. By supporting the Biomimicry Institute you:

  • Help bring biomimicry education to more students and educators
  • Accelerate the growth of more nature-inspired startups and entrepreneurs
  • Increase the number of biological strategies and resources on and across our entire organization.

Tap into nature: