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Mangrove Magicians: Water Desalination


Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Ecology, Sustainability Studies, Industrial Design, Business, Entrepreneurship

Biomimicry, Computational Modeling, engineering, and product design in developing a mangrove-inspired water desalination filtration prototype.

The Mangrove Magician internship will combine biomimicry, engineering, and product design to develop essential career skills for tackling global challenges. Inspired by the remarkable natural filtration capabilities of mangrove trees, interns will delve into the fascinating world of biomimicry, learning to emulate nature's ingenious solutions to human problems. Through a series of interactive sessions, participants will explore the intricate xylem structure of mangroves and its role in water filtration and nutrient transport.

Guided by expert mentors, interns will apply computational modeling techniques to mimic the xylem structure and design a prototype filter capable of producing both freshwater and battery salts. They will gain hands-on experience in engineering design, prototyping, and product development, honing their skills in creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

Throughout the internship, you will develop crucial career skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, project management, and technical proficiency. By rigorously evaluating the prototype's performance, durability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, you will also enhance their analytical and decision-making abilities, preparing them for future roles in engineering, product development, and sustainability. Through guest lectures from industry professionals, you will gain insights into real-world applications of biomimicry and product development, further enriching their career prospects and professional growth.

Available Intern Positions:

3 High School, 3 Undergrad & 1 Master, PhD

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“Being a mentor for the Born Global Foundation has expanded my network to reach students with big ideas and the audacity to go after them."

Joy Lapseritis 

MS Biomimicry ASU; Ph.D Biological Oceanography MIT 

Branch Head Naval Undersea Warfare Center


Week 1: Introduction to Biomimicry and Mangroves

  • Session 1: Overview of Biomimicry Principles

  • Session 2: Mangroves as Bioinspiration: Understanding Xylem Structure

Week 2: Computational Modeling

  • Session 1: Basics of Computational Modeling

  • Session 2: Applying Computational Modeling to Mimic Xylem Structure

Week 3: Engineering Design

  • Session 1: Principles of Engineering Design

  • Session 2: Designing the Prototype Filter

Week 4: Product Development

  • Session 1: Prototyping Techniques and Materials Selection

  • Session 2: Building the Prototype Filter

Week 5: Prototype Evaluation - Performance

  • Session 1: Performance Testing Criteria

  • Session 2: Testing the Prototype for Fresh Water and Battery Salt Production

Week 6: Prototype Evaluation - Durability

  • Session 1: Understanding Durability Requirements

  • Session 2: Durability Testing and Analysis

Week 7: Prototype Evaluation - Scalability

  • Session 1: Scalability Factors and Considerations

  • Session 2: Scaling Up the Prototype for Mass Production

Week 8: Prototype Evaluation - Cost Effectiveness and Commercialization

  • Session 1: Cost Analysis and Optimization Strategies

  • Session 2: Commercialization Strategies and Next Steps

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