Saturday, August 20, 2011

Science is for Everyone! Biomimicry

Picture from article below.
This is an unbelievable example of how science is in-fact for everyone, not just Ph.D's!  A 13 year old boy made some basic observations and identified some patterns in tree design.  Wondering why trees had this organization he decided to design his own tree with similar branching patterns to natural trees, and with solar panels as "leafs".  Amazingly, he discovered when the solar panels were organized on a "tree" with similar branching patters to natural trees, the solar panels collected significantly more light.  This has huge implications for the solar industry and will surely have huge benefits for society in the future.  All this stemmed from a 13 year old going on a hiking trip.  This is a great example of biomimicry which we discussed in a previous post.

I love this because this discovery all started with a young boy on a hike making some basic observations.  Basic observations, like this one, are exactly how all science begins.  Everyone is capable of doing this.  Science then asks: why or how does this work?  From there, an experiment is made to answer the question.  This is also an example of how even the basics of nature have yet to be discovered and simply how amazing it can be!

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