Biomimicry and Art of Aeronautics in Nature


Interested in fielding a team? Please contact us at

The objectives of this program are to...

  1. Acknowledge & Respond to Need:

    1. Meet the need of middle and high school youth for an engaging, fulfilling and accessible extracurricular experience.

    2. Provide a safe forum for a friendly extracurricular competition experience between peers from across ZIP codes and backgrounds.

    3. Present an enrichment experience fully aligned to national and NYS science learning standards.

  2. Level the Playing Field:

    1. Minimize the financial burden to compete by not charging a registration fee, meeting the first portion of each team’s fundraising and providing the priciest components directly to the teams.

  3. Catalyze Relationships:

    1. Include non school-based or community, youth-serving organizations in the list of entities eligible to compete.

    2. Assemble a cohort of teams from urban, rural, suburban, and community-based educational settings.

    3. Build a cohort of content area experts from the community, academia, and industry to access local and global experiences and perspectives.

Program specifications:

  • There will be four events centered on engineering challenges. Competitors will operate bird and insect ornithopters in two separate events wherein the competitors must complete an unknown task. BAAN will provide teams with their own pair of ornithopter drones. In a third event, competitors will apply principles of glider flight to complete an unknown task using their prebuilt vehicles. Competitors will apply their knowledge of freefall and terminal velocity to complete an unknown task using prebuilt vehicles. The two non-ornithopter events will require competitors to submit detailed documentation of their engineering design process. Competitors are encouraged to compete in more than one engineering event.

  • There will be four events centered on academic challenges. One event will focus on ornithology and will incorporate live specimens. Another event will challenge competitors to problem solve in real time hands-on science and engineering problems relating to flight. A third event will focus on the entomology of flighted insects. The fourth event will focus on the principles of flight at play in botany. Competitors are encouraged to compete in more than one academic event.

  • The Visual Art Symposium will challenge competitors to create pieces of original art that address one of four themes. Competitors are limited to four media: 2-dimensional, sculpture, photography, and videography. Competitors will present their pieces to a jury of local art authorities for scoring.

  • All teams must compete in every event -academic and engineering- as well as the art symposium.

How to participate in BAAN:

  • BAAN seeks at least 40 teams.

  • Schools and youth-serving community organizations can enter teams. Teams can have up to 12 students, plus three supervising adults to include a Coach.

  • Students must be in good academic standing in order to participate in BAAN.

  • BAAN will host Level 1 teams, Gr. 6-8, and Level 2 teams, Gr. 9-12.

  • There is no registration fee to participate in BAAN. In fact, the Competition will be assisting all teams by matching part of their fundraising efforts.

Images courtesy of Adobe Stock.