The Youth Design Challenge (YDC) offers classroom and informal educators a new framework to introduce biomimicry and an interdisciplinary approach to scientific and environmental literacy. It is a free, hands-on, project-based learning experience.
Students experience the wonders of the natural world while working in teams with an adult coach, applying what they discover to develop ideas that promote a healthy planet.
What will your team do?
- Your team will take on the role of innovators and work together to apply biomimicry (nature-inspired innovation) to address a social and/or environmental issue related to a chosen Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Suggestion: work on an issue that affects your local community!
- As a coach, you will guide your students as they study how organisms in nature have adapted to similar problems and challenges and apply what they learn to innovative solutions. Final projects can then be entered into the nationwide competition for prizes awarded by the Biomimicry Institute.
Entries to the competition are judged once annually and prizes are awarded in two grade level categories: middle school (6th-8th) and high school (9th-12th). There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards for National teams. International submissions will compete for Honorable Mention.
Projects selected for awards will receive:
- Recognition on the Youth Design Challenge website, on the Biomimicry Institute website, and in media and outreach.
- An Award Certificate for each member of the winning team.
- The Youth Design Challenge is a team competition for students in middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12).
- A team consists of a pair of students or a group of up to either students and one to two adult coaches affiliated with a school, education organization, or homeschool.
- Coaches are asked to participate in the judging process during a preliminary review period in which they will rate a selection of student entries against the rubric. Award winners are then selected by a panel of expert judges from among the top-scoring entries.
Entries are submitted online and include the following elements:
- Written project overview
- Project image
- Video pitch
- Project portfolio
- Team photo
For complete details about requirements, visit the Submission Guidelines page.