Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource provided by Leeds Museums and Galleries | Leeds Discovery Centre.

This resource aims to show students how the world around us is inspiring and influencing technology to solve real world problems. It explains the different ways in which scientists and engineers are learning from insects and applying these natural solutions and adaptations to their designs, from nanotechnology to space exploration.


Curriculum Links

  • KS1 Science – Working scientifically; making simple observations and asking questions
  • KS2 Science - Living things and their habitats; Evolution and adaptation
  • KS3 Science - Variations between species; Genetics; Relationships in an Ecosystem; Analysis and Evaluation


Aims of Resource

To show how much we can learn from observing the natural world around us and explore important technological innovations that are being inspired by the diversity of life on Earth.


Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the diversity of life and interdisciplinary science innovations
  • Understanding the link between natural adaptations and their applications in helping to solve real world problems
  • Skills to logically and critically investigate adaptations in nature and think about how they apply to today’s challenges.


Discussion Ideas

  • Can you think of any inventions we already have that might have been inspired by animals?
  • Can you think of anything that could be improved by adopting ideas from the insect or animal world?


Activity Ideas

  • Design your own Ento-bot
    - Think about challenges facing humans today and the things we could learn from other animals to overcome them. Design your own entobot. You could draw it, or build it from modelling clay or other craft materials.
    • What problem is your entobot solving?
    • What insect feature(s) does it make use of?
    • What size is your entobot?
    • Does your entobot work alone or in a group?
  • Observe at home
    - Take some time to observe the world around you. How do the insects you spot move around? How are different animals or plants adapted to live in the habitats you find them?