ABSTRACT

In solution-centric STEM inquiry, teachers present students with existing solutions to current problems, and students evaluate the solutions to distil insights about the affordances, advantages, and disadvantages of the solutions. Solution-centric STEM inquiry works on the assumption that there are no perfect solutions to problems. Rather, every solution has limitations, and there are trade-offs made. As such, uncovering these limitations could allow learners to learn how current solutions work and how they are created, and explore other alternatives. In vignette 2, we describe a lesson that shows characteristics of solution-centric STEM inquiry with the teachers obtaining their inspiration from nature’s design. The aim of the series of lessons was to introduce students to the concept of biomimicry and apply the principles to engineering designs. The biomimicry approach can be found in applications such as Velcro (mimicking seeds with hooks), industrial adhesives (molluscs), and turbine blades (whale fins).