Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of biological needs to engineer a membrane that will support and protect a model frog.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 3–5; includes modifications for grades 1–2.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Biomimicry, needs of living things
  • 5 lessons (8–9 class sessions)

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students are introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. (30–40 min.)
The class reads a storybook in which a boy named Juan Daniel living in El Salvador explores the field of Bioengineering in order to design a safe environment for his fútbol team’s mascot, a small frog. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students think like bioengineers as they match technologies with the natural objects that inspired them. (45–50 min.)
Students experiment with materials as they think about how to design a membrane that will let desired substances through. (100–110 min., 2 sessions)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, test, and then improve their own model membrane designs. (100–110 min., 2 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources