New Student Research Opportunity from NASA

With the conclusion of the data collection of the Butterflies in Space project and the individual student and team development of entries for the scientific poster contest, your students may ask, “What next?” A better question might be, “Where to now?”

When humans establish a permanent outpost on the Moon, plants are likely to provide a food source and strategy for recycling air and water supplies. To help students learn more about the potential role of plants on the Moon, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is challenging students to design a Lunar Plant Growth Chamber that could be used on the Moon, and then test its ability to sustain plant growth.

This challenge is a great way to extend the benefit and impact of the Butterflies in Space project. Butterflies on the International Space Station were fed artificial, plant-based foods, but their natural foods are plants themselves. Designing and testing a chamber to support a mini-ecosystem (plants and butterflies) on the Moon would be an outstanding extension activity for students. To learn more about this opportunity, visit the following NASA site. ... index.html

Here, you will find all necessary information and supplementary materials, available for free downloading. NASA also has basil seeds that were flown in space on the STS-118 mission. They are available for the asking (while supplies last) and can be used to test students’ Lunar Plant Growth Chamber(s).