Biomimicry is the practice of taking inspiration from nature to create solutions to meet human needs in a sustainable way. MSI offers 2 programs that introduce this concept and encourage students to apply it in critical thinking, problem solving, and design. Through hands-on observation of live animals, students learn how to identify and analyze adaptations that can be mimicked to solve human challenges.


3rd and up 


Click to see program themes.

The Discovery Voyage Biomimicry Program includes an in-class introductory visit and a voyage aboard Marine Science Institute’s research vessel. In the classroom students are introduced to biomimicry and practice identifying adaptations and functions by interacting with live animals. During the 4 hour voyage students find inspiration by studying the plankton, invertebrates, and fishes using scientific methods and tools.


The Classroom Biomimicry Program takes place entirely in the classroom, where students examine live animals and learn about their adaptations. During the first hour-long session students record the ideas and observations that they use for the second session focused on applying biomimetic concepts.


The culmination of both of these programs is a final design challenge. This challenge requires students to apply their knowledge of adaptations to creating sustainable solutions for an imaginary research station. They design elements that address mobility, energy, waste management, and other requirements. The students’ final designs are completed in small teams, and presented to the class.  

Biomimicry Programs Pricing:

Classroom Biomimicry (3rd and up)

  • A 60-minute introduction to Biomimicry, including animal exploration

  • A 40-minute Design Challenge

  • 20 minutes for peer-to-peer presentations of their Marine Labs

  • This program can also be split into two one-hour programs on different days. The first visit is the 60-minute introduction to Biomimicry, including animal exploration. The second visit is the 40-minute Design Challenge and the 20-minute peer-to-peer presentations.

  • Cost $450* 1 visit or $500* split visits


Discovery Voyage Biomimicry (5th and up) 

  • A 50-minute introductory Biomimicry program in your classroom ($150 per class)

  • A 4-hour hands-on Discovery Voyage aboard our 90-foot research vessel.

  • The cost of this package is $1,300-2,600*, depending on need.

  • Up to 45 students (cannot be more)

You can do more than one presentation per visit.


*Sliding scale available depending on need

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500 Discovery Parkway

Redwood City, CA 94063

Tel: 650-364-2760

Click here for directions

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Marine Science Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. Federal Tax ID# 94-1719649

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Inspiring respect and stewardship for the marine environment through experiential learning

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