BioMachine Design Challenge

The BioSTEAM International program encourages students to design their future, now. It is more urgent than ever for our youth to be informed and inspired to respond to the complex challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and the recent rise of pandemic diseases.  We provide diverse and creative tools for teachers to engage youth in sci-art interventions at the intersection of arts-humanities & science, bioethics & human ecology, nature/ecophilosophy & technology. Students learn from interdisciplinary and intercultural experts who share their knowledge to inspire youth to connect to and design with nature, and imagine a better world. Learn more
The BioSTEAM Design Challenge is a yearly competition. The 2019 theme was to design an imaginative BIO-MACHINE inspired by pollinators, to explore the topic of biodiversity loss and pollinator decline and how it is important to our community, our food security and the health of our planet. Middle and high school students from Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque participated in the BioMachine challenge.

The teachers were given the online BioSTEAM Curriculum Tool with a biomimicry curriculum derived from our guest BioSTEAM artist, Ana MacArthur, whose installation at Taos Land Trust called Pollinator Concentrator, inspired this design challenge. Teachers had to find the time amidst COVID and online learning to integrate the BioSTEAM activity into their core curriculum. Each teacher designed a unique curriculum that integrated the challenge into their subject area i.e. math, science, art, etc.

The BioMachine Design Challenge received a total of 197 student entries which included a drawing and a design statement. The jurors were Ana MacArthur, and Andrea Polli, sci-artist and founder of STEAM NM.

The Best of Show prize was $300 and the seven category prizes were $100 each. A $100 Educator Engagement Award went to the teacher who engaged the most students with a comprehensive curriculum design.

The Educator Engagement Award went to Justine Carryer of Taos High School for most students engaged through a comprehensive curriculum design entitled ‘Applied knowledge of mathematics and its relationship to the natural and biological world.

The School Engagement Recognition went to TAFT Middle School in Albuquerque New Mexico for best school-wide engagement through a comprehensive curriculum design entitled ‘Honeycomb Design and Sustainable Material.

Special thanks to our OUR SPONSORS that made the BioSTEAM project and BioMachine Design Challenge possible.