Bioinspiring an interest in STEM

Jeffrey Laut, Tiziana Bartolini, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attracting K-12 students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is viewed as a critical element for benefiting both the economy and society. This paper describes an outreach program, conducted in a Brooklyn, NY, USA, public middle school, aimed at educating students in mechatronics, biology, and bioinspiration. The program is designed to foster student interest in STEM subjects, especially engineering-related concepts, by actively demonstrating their application in solving tangible real-world problems. It consists of a series of lectures and practical activities that culminate with a hands-on bioinspiration-based event at the New York Aquarium. Survey results show that students who participated in the program have a better understanding of the relationship between engineering and nature, demonstrate improved knowledge of select STEM topics, and are more interested in pursuing STEM careers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6822652
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Bioinspired robots
  • K-12 education
  • educational technology
  • mobile robots
  • science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • underwater vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Bioinspiring an interest in STEM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this