Beyond Benign

Elementary School

CUR ES Enrichment Resources

Enrichment Resources

Advanced Biomimicry Matching Game

Participants explore the concept of biomimicry, or taking inspiration from nature in the design of new technology, through a matching game.

Are Mushrooms the New Plastic?: Ecovative Design Challenge

By asking participants “What if we could grow our own packaging?” we invite them to explore Ecovative mushroom materials, a Styrofoam (polystyrene) packaging alternative grown from mycelium (mushroom “roots”) and agricultural waste. Participants compare the life cycle of polystyrene to that of Ecovative and design and make their own Ecovative product.

Blackberry Solar Cell

Participants create their own solar cell using non-toxic materials and blackberry fruit as the dye, understanding how solar cells are manufactured currently and the green chemistry research towards greener solar energy devices.


Participants evaluate the wastefulness of different sectors of the chemical industry and are challenged to think about the Environmental Impact Factor of chemical reactions using m&m candies.

Fabulous Fabrics

Participants explore the life cycle of synthetic and natural fibers, investigate the dyeability of different types of fabrics and discuss the green chemistry opportunities in the textile industry.

Green Glue

Participants explore the concept of biomimicry, which is taking inspiration from nature in the design of new technologies, through a matching game. Participants then think about how nature and green chemistry can help them make a green glue.

Intro Biomimicry Matching Game

From the Green Glue lesson. Participants explore biomimicry through a matching game.

Ocean Plastics

Engage participants by introducing them to the problem of micro plastics in the ocean and challenge them to evaluate a sustainable alternative beverage packaging using the three criteria of green chemistry.


Participants learn about biomimicry and explore Sharklet film, an innovation based on shark skin that inhibits the growth of bacteria on surfaces. Through hands-on simulation participants discover the secrets behind the technology. *For Sharklet samples please contact Beyond Benign.


Participants learn about chemistry in electronics and use a bio-inspired polymer to make their own photoresist.

What To Do About CO2?

Participants explore acids and bases while learning about the impacts of CO2 on the environment and possible green chemistry solutions.