EXAMPLES OF THE LESSONS
Certain species of spiders create an additional structure on their spider web. Historically, these were thought to increase the structural integrity of the web, making it more stable (thus the name), but recently, it has been proven that their functions include: attracting prey, communicating with other spiders, camouflage, warning, etc.
Structurally rigid and three dimensional sculptures will be fabricated using only flexible stretch wrap and random structural elements from the surrounding environment.
Classroom furniture or trees or poles, scissors, stretch wrap
Many structures in nature are strong and stable as consequence of rigid structure being inside a flexible outer membrane. The examples include cells, whose shape is determined by the cytoskeleton inside phospholipid bilayer cell wall.
Creation of a three-dimensional and structurally strong form will be achieved with wooden sticks and stretch wrap. The resulting structure is very strong despite the absence of any fasteners or glue.
Wood sticks, stretch wrap
Tessellation is a tiling of parts that fit together without any gaps or overlapping. Honeycombs, cellular tissues or foam are good examples.
Designing and making models of two- and three-dimensional tessellations in nature, focusing specifically on Voronoi patterns and polyhedral packing.
Poster board, tape, scissors, skewers, hot glue guns
Bee balm is a native and common plant that packs its seeds into space-optimizing seed pods. Each pocket containing an individual seed can be modeled with truncated cone (frustum).
A two-dimensional shape will be calculated and designed in a way that it will form a truncated cone when folded. By taping the cones together a secondary shape (large sphere) will emerge as a consequence of the previous step.
Poster board, tape, scissors, pencils, ruler, compass
Fractals are objects and patterns in nature, which are assembled of parts having the same form character as the whole. The examples are trees, snowflakes, coastlines, lungs, etc. in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation.
Calculating, drawing and folding tetrahedrons from poster boards and assembling them into larger three-dimensional fractal sculptures following the simple algorithms.
Poster board, tape, scissors, markers, pencils
Insect do not have muscles, rather an intricate system of fluidic network that control opening and closing of the legs’ joints.
Design and fabrication of a model of spider elbow, leg or an entire spider-like system of joints and arms.
Hand pumps, tubing, scissors, poster board, tape, pins, balloons
LIST OF THE TOPICS:
Part 1: Two Dimensions
Hexagons + Pentagons: Spheres
Hexagons + Heptagons: Hyperbolic Surfaces
Part 2: Three Dimensions
Tessellations / Froth / Vesicles
Folding Origami / Petals in a Bud
Tensegrity / Stretch-wrapped Skeletons
Polyhedra / Lattice Cells
Part 3: Material Science
Stabilimentia / Spider Net
Gels / Hydrogels
Fly on the Ceiling
Part 4: Color
Reflection / Refraction / Rainbows and Sunsets
Vision / Optical Illusions
Mixing Colors / Pigments / Lights
Stenciling with Photosynthesis
Part 5: Motion and Flow
Pneumatic Activators / Spider legs / Flower Opening
Motion through Growth
Wheels / Wings / Legs / Fins
Part 6: Emergence and Growth
Seed Pods / Truncated Cone / Frustum
Weaving / Bird Nests
Part 7: Systems and Exchange
Energy / Heat
Part 8: Electricity
Part 9: Sound
Vibrations / Reed
Drums / Xylophone
Waves / Strings