Submission Guidelines


Details are provided below for each of the materials required as part of a submission to the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge. Please refer to the Challenge Rubric for the criteria on which the submission will be evaluated.


Project Overview 

The Project Overview consists of three questions. Your team's answers to these questions will be the first thing judges will read about the project, so make sure they are complete and well-written. These responses will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the Challenge website if your team is selected as a winner or honorable mention. Each response has a 100 word limit.

  • What is the problem your team addressed for this challenge and how is it related to climate change?

  • What does your design solution do? How does it solve or improve the problem you selected?

  • How was your solution inspired by nature? What organisms did you learn from and how did what you learned inform your design?


Project Image

The project image is a drawing, diagram, or photograph that clearly portrays your team's design solution. This image will be the first visual representation judges encounter for the project, so make sure it is clear and compelling. This image will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the YDC website if your team is selected as a winner or honorable mention.

Image requirements:

  • JPG file format.
  • No smaller than 1500px by 1000px.
  • Include an image caption (entered separately in the submission form; do not put this on the image itself).

Video Pitch 

The Video Pitch should provide an engaging overview of the design project and convince the judges that the idea has merit. Be sure the video include an explanation of the specific climate-related problem the innovation solves, how it is inspired by nature, and conveys key discoveries or insights from the design process. The video will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the YDC website if your team is selected as a winner or honorable mention.

Video requirements:

  • Maximum 2 minutes in length.
  • Uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube and made available for public viewing. (You will enter the video link on the submission form.)
  • Include credits for images, video clips, and music used.

Download this Video Pitch Tips resource, for additional suggestions and resources that can help you create a compelling video.


Project Portfolio 

The Project Portfolio is a document or presentation that combines narrative and images to tell the story of your team’s biomimicry design and process for developing it. The portfolio should illustrate how your team approached selecting a specific climate-related problem, how you researched biological models, and how you developed the bio-inspired design solution, including testing ideas and getting feedback from others. 

Portfolio requirements:

  • PDF file format.
  • No more than 14 pages.
  • Pages letter size (portrait or landscape), or Powerpoint slide size.
  • Include a title page/slide that includes: your team's school or organization, grade level, and team members' names.
  • Include a reference page/slide for all sources, image credits, and experts consulted.

Download this Project Portfolio Guidelines and Checklist document to help your students prepare an effective portfolio.


Team Photo

An image depicting all team members and (optionally) their coach(es). This image will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the YDC website if your team is selected as a winner or honorable mention.

Image requirements:

  • JPG file format
  • No smaller than 750px by 500px