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MIT STEAM Supernatural Challenge Banner

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.

They can fly through the air, move at tremendous speeds, climb up walls and spin webs – these are superpowers possessed by superheroes in comic books and movies that originated from animals. These abilities that animals have are biological solutions that give them an evolutionary advantage.

Professor Anette ‘Peko’ Hosoi seems to have an interesting connection with animals. She has been looking at various creatures to see how they can help solve human problems.

“When you look at natural systems, a lot of them have evolved very efficient ways to perform certain tasks,” said Professor Hosoi.

“If we want to do something similar it can often be useful to look at natural solutions.”

MIT STEAM Supernatural Challenge
When you look at natural systems, a lot of them have evolved very efficient ways to perform certain tasks. Professor Anette ‘Peko’ Hosoi, MIT
MIT STEAM Supernatural Challenge

“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 NaturalMIT 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.

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