In this unit, students are introduced to biomimicry and green chemistry as they learn about sharks and technologies that have been inspired by them. Then, students explore geometry while considering the micro-texture of Sharklet film. Finally, students investigate how Sharklet film prevents bacterial growth through a hands-on simulation.
This lesson sets the stage for talking about both sharks and biomimicry by introducing fun shark facts through a grammar-correcting challenge, then by considering examples of technologies modeled after sharks’ dermal denticles. In the upcoming lessons, dermal denticles will be discussed as the inspiration for Sharklet film, a micro-texture that prevents the growth of bacteria without the use of chemical or antibiotic methods.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the patterns and shapes found in Sharklet film. Then students are asked to apply their understanding of geometry by drawing pictures of both the natural and man-made world, and labeling lines, angles and shapes.
In this lesson, students will evaluate their puffy-paint Sharklet surface models they made in Lesson 3. Students will use sticky notes and binder clips to simulate the accumulation of bacteria on both the Sharklet surface and a flat surface. As students compare their three models, they will collect data to compare with the rest of the class in Lesson 5.
In this lesson, the class will compare the Lesson 3 data from each team. After discussing the results as a class, the students should conclude that the size of their Sharklet pattern and the spacing of their puffy paint matters more than the shape of their pattern. This leads to a discussion of how the Sharklet film works to prevent the growth of bacteria. The lesson and the unit wrap up by considering how the pattern of shark denticles benefits sharks’ survival.