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The Kid Should See This, Biomimicry Institute


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Health

Resource Types

  • Videos, 1 minute, 38 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

How Did Trees Inspire the "Sustainable Superstar" of Toilets?

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  • This resources highlights the iThrone, a sustainable toilet that does not use water and is power-free, using an evaporative collection bag to condense the waste. 
  • Students will learn about how this evaporative toilet serves to address issues related to water scarcity, energy usage, environmental sustainability, and public health. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video has engaging graphics and diagrams that keep students' interest while helping with comprehension of the topic. 
  • This resource provides 15 links to additional resources for a thorough understanding of the topic. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may help to activate students' prior knowledge about different types of toilets before watching the video about the iThrone. 


  • As students watch the video they can be asked to draw their own diagrams demonstrating how the iThrone works and discuss with a partner after watching. 
  • Ask students to create an advertisement for the iThrone convincing others of its benefits related to sustainability and health, especially for communities in need. 
  • Students could work in groups to do a deeper dive into other facets of water, poop, and trees using the additional links at the bottom of the resource.  
  • Other resources on this topic that could be integrated into a lesson with this video include this video about water pipe turbines, this video about aquaponics and using fish waste to grow plants, and this Ted-Ed resource about water scarcity. 
Scientist Notes
Using the concept of evapotranspiration, this resource brings to the forefront an evaporative toilet model that can separate clean water from feces and compress the water into vapor to reduce waste. The resource also demonstrates the pee-powered bio-battery innovation, where urine is turned into electricity. This superb innovation presents a win-win solution to water scarcity, renewable power and environmental sustainability. The resource is recommended for the classroom.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
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