How can we elevate knowledge about local ecosystems through experimentations with DIY biomaterials?
In this lesson, we will explore the creation of a collection of DIY biomaterial samples following these steps:
*NOTE* The time required for this lesson:
Ingredients (base recipe, per biomaterial sample):
Example video: click here
Pistofidou, A., & Davis, C. (2017, February 28). The secrets of bioplastic. Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://issuu.com/nat_arc/ docs/the_secrets_of_bioplastic_
Where are the green spaces in our local communities? Are there areas where plants go that are less obvious? How do seasonal changes affect the type and quantity of plants available? Who can I ask about changes in: population, landscape, and environmental quality?
How can I organize my pictures of local plants? What digital tools can I use to help me identify plants? How is machine learning applied to plant identification? What are sources of information for uses of local plants? References: Otter, J., Mayer, S., & Tomaszewski, C. A. (2020). Swipe Right: a Comparison of Accuracy of Plant Identification Apps for Toxic Plants. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 1-6. Saarugesan, S. (2019). Animal and plant recognition using android for kids (Doctoral dissertation, UTAR).
What are Polymers?
A polymer is a chemical made up of repeating units. They can be: resistant to chemicals, electrical or thermal insulators, and made into waterproof films. More information can be found here.
The example exercise focuses on the processing of red oak acorns. This lesson can be modified based upon the availability of local plants and time of the year. What is an acceptable amount of plants to harvest? How does harvesting affect the local ecosystem? What are the food supplies for local animals? How are insects such as bees impacted by harvesting plants? How much energy and resources are needed to yield a useful amount of materials?
In the previous step, we asked questions regarding processing acorn flour. Thinking about the time, energy, and resources. It's possible that we have different samples of acorn flour based upon our processing. In this step we explore DIY biomaterials recipes by modifying the base recipe in "What You'll Need". More recipes can be found in the Materiom - Materials Library.
What are the results of your experiments? How can we use your recipe to make items needed for day to day life? What have you learned about your local ecosystem? What have you learned about your neighbors?