As parents passionate about the natural world, we believe biomimicry is an important spark to ignite young minds, and it is a perfect example of the power of outdoor learning. It requires us to observe nature, ask questions about how things work, and then creatively apply those solutions to our own problems—exploring nature through critical thinking.

Outdoor Learning

From April 22nd to 28th, Wales Outdoor Learning Week encourages teachers, education groups, and families across the country to embrace outdoor learning and experience the many benefits of connecting with nature.

Launched in 2019 by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in partnership with the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning, this initiative highlights the power of exploration and discovery in the natural world.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Margaret Mead

We think it perfectly captures what education should be: a thrilling exploration, not a dry lecture. We, as parents, are the first teachers. Furthermore, we set the stage for open discussions, where questions are celebrated, not silenced.

Exploring Nature Through Critical ThinkingObservations and Reflections

In today’s whirlwind of information, the ability to think critically is the anchor that keeps young minds grounded. Education, in its essence, is not just about accumulating facts and figures; it’s about cultivating a mindset—a mindset that embraces curiosity, scepticism, and the pursuit of truth. It’s about teaching children to be detectives—asking ‘why?’, digging deeper, and piecing things together, not just swallowing facts. Education isn’t just about memorising dates; it’s about nurturing a curious, questioning mind that chases truth and seeks out different perspectives. Following this lead, many schools have adopted outdoor learning for some lessons.

Nature’s Inspiration: A Challenge

Imagine you’re exploring the forest and come across a spider’s web. Its strands are incredibly strong and flexible, perfect for its function. Biomimicry, the art of learning from nature’s designs, shows how spider silk’s ingenuity is inspiring all sorts of amazing inventions, including the following list.


Spider Webs have inspired:

  • Bullet-proof clothing.
  • Wear-resistant lightweight clothing.
  • Ropes, nets, seatbelts, parachutes.
  • Rust-free panels on cars or boats.
  • Biodegradable bottles.
  • Bandages, surgical thread.
  • Artificial tendons or ligaments.
  • Supports for weak blood vessels.


Discovering Nature’s Genius

Every encounter with nature holds the potential to spark curiosity and inspire young minds. That’s why we embarked on the journey to create our award-winning Rockford’s Rock Opera stories to encourage children, not only observe nature but also appreciate the marvels of biomimicry.

In our first audio story, ‘Lost on Infinity,’ an extinct Giant Moa bird character explains to a young boy that “every creature has a secret” and losing creatures to extinction isn’t just sad, it could deprive the world of important answers. And these ‘Creature’s Secrets’ run through the story and resonate in the real world. For example;


The Namib Desert Beetle
A Real-World Creature’s Secret Example

Living in Africa’s parched deserts, the Namib Beetle survives on just 1.3cm of rain per year. Its wings, covered in tiny bumps, attract water at their tips while repelling it on the sides. By capturing droplets from the foggy ocean breeze, it quenches its thirst.

Inspired by this clever insect, scientists have created a water bottle mimicking the beetle’s trick! A bottle that could collect up to three litres of water per hour. This offers hope for water scarcity in hot, dry climates.


Unlocking Nature’s Secrets – Our “Stories, Science, and Secrets” Podcast

In our podcast, ‘Stories, Science, and Secrets’, we delve deeper into the science behind our Rockford’s Rock Opera audio stories.

Join us (free!) as we unravel the mysteries of extinction, evolution, and habitats, drawing parallels between the fictional realm and the wonders of nature. The first part of each episode is a chapter from our ‘Lost on Infinity’ audiobook story, followed by engaging discussions and insights about the real-world science behind it, including of course, lots of Creature’s Secrets! We aim to inspire young minds to think critically and explore the world around them.

Enriching Education – Resources for Inspired Learning

Accompanying our Rockford’s Rock Opera musical audiobooks and ‘Stories, Science & Secrets’ podcast are class resources, designed to enrich the learning experience. Many were written by teachers and used in classrooms for 5-9 year olds. From lesson plans to slides and classroom activities, our resources provide educators with comprehensive tools to engage students in hands-on exploration and discovery. We have class resources that cover every chapter and every topic, such as extinction, biomimicry, habitats, and evolution.

We have recently updated all our resources to cover the new Welsh Curriculum too.

Cultivating Critical Thinking Through Stories

Another way to encourage and develop critical thinking is by sharing stories and engaging in discussions that spark an exchange of ideas and opinions. These conversations become springboards for children to draw on their existing knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and experiences.

While listening to our first audio adventure, ‘Lost on Infinity’, you could ask questions like:

  • “How is Patrick similar to another character you’ve encountered?”
  • “If you were in Moog’s situation, what would you do differently?”
  • “What caused this event to happen?”
  • “How might this story be different if told from the Registrar’s point of view?”
  • “How could Moog reach the centre of Infinity a different way?”
  • “What do you think will happen to Ick next?”

Look at things from different angles and encourage children to consider the ‘why’ behind things.

Lifelong Learning Skills

Through these discussions, children not only develop a deeper understanding of the story, but also hone their critical thinking skills – a valuable asset for lifelong learning.

Education is not just about preparing our children for the world as it is today, but for the world as it will be tomorrow.

Through our Rockford’s Rock Opera audio adventures and our ‘Stories, Science & Secrets’ family, we advocate critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity.


Download Lost on Infinity audiobook here FREE

Listen to our Stories, Science & Secrets podcast – available on all podcast platforms