Current activities

Board game in the making              INTRODUCING BIOMIMICRY INTO SCHOOLS:          A Pilot Project with Riverwood Primary’s Team BioQuest

As part of our desire to create a biomimicry community of practice within the greater Knysna, Sue has been giving classes at Riverwood Primary on a Friday afternoon to Team BioQuest – a group of learners from Grade 4 to 7.  From card games to treasure hunts, from designing board-games to role-playing, learners have been introduced to this remarkable planet that is our home and the strategies, processes and plans of plants, animals and microbes for thriving on earth.  Now we’re moving on to taking lessons from all these different organisms and systems and seeing how we can apply them at school and home


Sue Swain of BioWise with Whealin van Rooyen from Riverwood Primary with the 'bio-wise brick' Whealin made over the weekend
Sue Swain of BioWise with Whealin van Rooyen from Riverwood Primary with his ‘bio-wise brick’
Learners from Riverwood taking part in the 'bio-wise brick' demonstration
Learners from Riverwood taking part in the ‘bio-wise brick’ demonstration


In Nature, all waste is food for something else.  Learning from that, we’ve introduced the concept of ‘bio-wise bricks’ which are 500ml, 1 liter and 2 liter plastic bottles that get crammed full with non-recyclables so that they become virtually as hard as a brick.  Once we have got several hundred bricks, we are going to build bins, benches and planters.  We’re also conducting research into using these bricks to build classrooms and even potentially homes.  This is the starting point of our broader community challenge:  Mission Zero Waste and its related ‘Waste Nothing’ operations


Map for Riverwood


Inspired by Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots programme, Team BioQuest has begun a community mapping exercise which starts with  locating the school within its immediate surroundings, then looks at its broader community and then investigates the school itself, and finally compares  this to the functioning of our indigenous forest.  This is being done as a means to i) understand the context in which Riverwood Primary is operating; ii) understand the design and functioning of our human community iii) understand how an  ecosystem functions; iv) identify the differences and v) assess how the school compares and vi) make changes to function more like nature