Thursday, July 16, 2015

How Can Feathers Be Waterproof?

Pi enjoyed his mist bath!

The Raptor Center is holding a summer camp on Biomimicry for the first time.  Biomimicry looks elements of nature for inspiration to solve human problems or address human needs.  The evolution of plant and animal adaptations, for example, shows they have "solved" problems by being able to survive.

The exercise our campers engaged in was to see how feathers have evolved to be waterproof, among other things.  Camp leader Erin A. gave Pi the bald eagle a mist bath, so the campers could see how his feathers did deflect water.  (Though he did thoroughly enjoy his bath!)

Design work for the rain jackets!

Then, the campers devised their own ways to create waterproof "rain jackets" with various human-made materials.  The test was to see if they got wet after being in their own mist/rain bath for ten seconds.

This opportunity to be able to teach this topic would not have been possible without the support of our donors and friends in the campaign to build the new structures.  The new space for our education birds was built to allow for easier public gatherings and presentations.  The addition of many water spigots in the new space allowed us to use water hoses in different areas, including being able to go outside the bird courtyard to conduct the experiment.

This camp is just one example of many in which we are again grateful for the opportunities to better serve the public with our new space.

No comments:

Post a Comment