This article describes an investigation of the use of biologically-inspired design as a context from which to teach innovative design. The research compared ideation behavior among mechanical engineering students from a capstone design class to mechanical engineering students who had taken a semester-long course specifically focused on biologicallyinspired design. Both groups of students were presented with the same design challenge, and pre-established metrics were used to characterize the novelty and variety of the resultant designs generated by the students. The designs from the biologically-inspired design students had an average novelty score 80% higher than those from the control group of capstone students, and the result was statistically- significant. The biologically-inspired design students also had a 37% higher average variety score, although a small sample size led to a high variance and prevented statistical significance. The increased scores for novelty and variety imply a greater tendency toward innovative design among the biologically-inspired design students. The source of greater innovation is unclear but may be due to improved analogical reasoning capabilities among the biologically-inspired design students.