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RoboSnail and furry wetsuit inventor wants students to look to the animal world for engineering inspiration.

MIT’s Professor Anette Peko Hosoi is challenging our students to explore the unique qualities animals possess and how it can enhance human ability or solve human problems in the Super Natural MIT Challenge. 

  • MIT STEAM
  • MIT STEAM
  • MIT STEAM

MIT’s Professor Anette Peko Hosoi is challenging our students to explore the unique qualities animals possess and how it can enhance human ability or solve human problems in the Super Natural MIT Challenge. 

Alice created a silicone model of beaver fur. She tested different fur lengths and densities and immersed the samples in water to study which one trapped the most air and would therefore keep the wearer warm yet mobile. Through this  

Professor Hosoi and her student learned about the beaver’s special ability or superpower and developed a material that could lead to the creation of a bio-inspired athletic wetsuit.  

“As engineers we need to understand the physical mechanisms behind the biological solution and then adapt those mechanisms into engineering design.” 

Now, Professor Anette ‘Peko’ Hosoi is handing the baton over to our students. The objective of the Super Natural MIT Challenge is for Nord Anglia Education students to closely observe the natural world, understand the physics behind an animal’s adaptation and then apply that knowledge to engineering design.  

Students will discover the diversity of superhero-like powers possessed by animals and will be introduced to MIT researchers whose science and engineering work is inspired by animals. The challenge will culminate with students conducting their own bio-inspired project in a superhero context.  

The challenges devised by MIT are interdisciplinary learning activities. The Super Natural challenge covers teaching of subjects including arts, biology, design/design technology, engineering, environmental systems and societies, physical and health education and physics.  

Read: 

Nord Anglia Education’s approach to STEAM learning in collaboration with MIT 

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