Banafsheh Khakipoor


Avon Lake Regional Water

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM

I like




PhD Projects

Dead-Zone Prediction modeling
Jan 2015 - Current

Dead zones are sections of a water body with no or little dissolved oxygen. They affect central basin of lake Erie in summer and are caused by to thermal stratifications, HABs, and many more reasons, and can cause death of aerobic aquatic species. Dead zones affect water treatment and hence, prediction of when they will happens, and their duration can help water treatment facilities prepare for treatment of hypoxic waters.

DIY Spectrophotomer
Mar 2018 - Current

Involving citizen science in water quality, such as nitrate and phosphate monitoring has many positive affects. Firstly, it helps in creating large sets of spatial and temporal data that can be used for source tracking of nutrients around Lake Erie by researchers and/or citizen scientists. It also helps in development of predictive models for HABs. What is more, these efforts help in education, community engagement in protecting our water resources. Finally, it also democratizes our policy making and research. To this end, we are developing an effective DIY Spectrometry method for measuring phosphate and nitrate in the tributaries of Lake Erie, using low-cost, easily-available materials, 3D printers, and laser cutters available in many public libraries and schools. This gives citizens the tool to measure P and N of their water sample by simply taking an image of produced spectra in our spectrophotometer using our EOS application on their smart- phone. Our application performs image analysis and outputs phosphate and nitrate concentration. http://erieopen.tech

Lesson development
September 2015 - Current

1- Intro to Biomimicry 90 minutes presentation with activities: This project takes student through 5 mains steps of thinking as a biomimist and coming up with solutions by exploring literature about natural systems and organisms. It can be tailored to grade 5-12 with younger kids doing low level biomimicry of only mimiking a model and young adults performing either systems or process level biomimicry.

2- Bee a Coder: This program integrates the arts with coding and biomimicry for grade 4-6. Interested in movement/dance throughout the natural world, students will explore the movement of bees for encoding and decoding of communication. Using the integration of the computer software Scratch and the basic movements of dance, students will code a dance to mimic a swarm of bees moving to specific regions. Each group will create a program in Scratch to decipher these dance movements; here they will learn about simple programming techniques such as creating variables, sequences, conditional and repetition statements. This could be as a competition where each group has to figure out the other groups’ secret location through a coding questionnaire and observation skills.

More lessons: Macro-invertebrates 3D models for 3D printing is in progress, potential brid or termite mount lessons to follow up on. For collaboration on any of these or new lessons contact me.

Select Papers and Presentations

E2BMO: Facilitating User Interaction with a BioMimetic Ontology via Semantic Translation and Interface Design
Download Link

Here, we propose a solution through a computer-aided user interface tool which integrates a biomimetic ontology with a thesaurus-based functional approach to biomimicry. Through a proof of concept illustrative case study, we demonstrate how merging existing tools can facilitate the biomimicry process in a systematic and collaborative way, broadening solution discovery.

Intro to Biomimicry workshops/presentations
March 2017, August 2017
DigiFabCon Boston MT, Austen BioInnovation Institute Akron OH

Workshop was on lessons developed to introduce student to biomimicry processes and how can one go about problem and solution driven methods to come up with nature inspired solutions. Presentation is available at request

Bee a Coder summer Camp
August 2017
Bay Village Library in Cuyahoga County OH

First Bee a Coder camp for grades 3-5 supported by TIES and NeoStem Ecosystem initiative, developed and delivered in collaboration with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning. Materials are available at request.

few DIY Spectrometry talks
February 2018, March 2018
International Women and Girls in Science Day at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, World Water Day Celebration at the Watershed Stewardship Center Cleveland OH

Staffing a table and taking visitors into measuring nitrate and phosphate in a sample water using simple chemistry and our DIY Spectrometer.