Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge

Ages:Elementary, Middle School, High School, Undergraduate, Professional

Types:Submission, Performance

Categories:Biology, Chemistry, Environment, STEM

Scope:International

Registration Opens
Apr 1, 2021 1:01am
America/Los_Angeles

Registration Closes
Aug 12, 2021 11:59pm
America/Chicago

The Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge is a global science experiment, learning activity and inspirational project-based-learning challenge to see who can grow the best crops using lunar and martian regolith simulant.

NASA's Artemis Program is the United States' new initiative to first return to the Moon as a stepping stone human exploration of Mars. The Artemis program, will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. However, having humans on the Moon is challenging in many ways. One of those challenges is how you will feed your crew. Bringing all of the food and water with you that is needed for long-duration human missions becomes a problem as your mission duration and mission size expands. Using the local resources on the Moon itself could lead to great advancements in our capabilities to explore our celestial neighbor.

Understanding how we can use lunar soils to grow crops for future human missions is one of the next great steps in supporting our return to the Moon! And learning the biological capabilities of martian soil may help sustain human life on Mars!  Help NASA scientists and the academic community at large learn the best lunar crop conditions by completing your own Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge project and sharing your results with the world!

The Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge is a student activity and competition to see who can grow the best crops using regolith simulant. Participants will be sent a Plant the Moon  and Plant Mars Activity Kit including lunar and/or martian regolith simulant, a Project Guide and a pH paper. Teams will use the Project Guide to define their own plant growth experiments using the  simulant. Students will define their own experiment parameters such as the structure of the plant growth setup, amount of water used, and nutrients or fertilizer added to the regolith simulant to help support plant growth.

Projects will be evaluated based on review of their experimental setup and the results of their plant growth. Teams will submit photos (optional videos), and an experiment report. Best-in-show awards will be provided to teams with the best plant growth results and experimental design.

Each team of students will receive a Plant the Moon or Plant Mars soil simulant package from the University of Central Florida's CLASS Exolith Laboratory. The lunar and martian soil simulants are specially designed to mimic the soil of the moon and mars, respectively, in chemistry, composition, grain size, and density. Students will also receive a Project Guide from the Institute of Competition Sciences. Following the project guide, you will create your own experiment to examine important variables related to plant growth in the simulant. Results from your experiment will be shown to NASA scientists and our scientific evaluators to select best in show projects!

This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Website: https://plantthemoon.com

Managing Organization: Institute of Competition Sciences

Contact:
Paul Myers
paul@competitionsciences.org

Entry Fee: $0

Eligibility:
Participants can form teams of 1 to 10 students. Elementary and Middle School students participate in the Primary Division, students from 9-12 grade participate in the Secondary Division, and students in university participate in the College Division. Students from anywhere throughout the world can participate. Additionally, adults are allowed to participate in their own special division for professional experiments.

Registration Opens
Apr 1, 2021 1:01am
America/Los_Angeles

Registration Closes
Aug 12, 2021 11:59pm
America/Chicago

Overview

The Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge is a global science experiment, learning activity and inspirational project-based-learning challenge to see who can grow the best crops using lunar and martian regolith simulant.

NASA's Artemis Program is the United States' new initiative to first return to the Moon as a stepping stone human exploration of Mars. The Artemis program, will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. However, having humans on the Moon is challenging in many ways. One of those challenges is how you will feed your crew. Bringing all of the food and water with you that is needed for long-duration human missions becomes a problem as your mission duration and mission size expands. Using the local resources on the Moon itself could lead to great advancements in our capabilities to explore our celestial neighbor.

Understanding how we can use lunar soils to grow crops for future human missions is one of the next great steps in supporting our return to the Moon! And learning the biological capabilities of martian soil may help sustain human life on Mars!  Help NASA scientists and the academic community at large learn the best lunar crop conditions by completing your own Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge project and sharing your results with the world!

The Plant the Moon and Plant Mars Challenge is a student activity and competition to see who can grow the best crops using regolith simulant. Participants will be sent a Plant the Moon  and Plant Mars Activity Kit including lunar and/or martian regolith simulant, a Project Guide and a pH paper. Teams will use the Project Guide to define their own plant growth experiments using the  simulant. Students will define their own experiment parameters such as the structure of the plant growth setup, amount of water used, and nutrients or fertilizer added to the regolith simulant to help support plant growth.

Projects will be evaluated based on review of their experimental setup and the results of their plant growth. Teams will submit photos (optional videos), and an experiment report. Best-in-show awards will be provided to teams with the best plant growth results and experimental design.

Process

Each team of students will receive a Plant the Moon or Plant Mars soil simulant package from the University of Central Florida's CLASS Exolith Laboratory. The lunar and martian soil simulants are specially designed to mimic the soil of the moon and mars, respectively, in chemistry, composition, grain size, and density. Students will also receive a Project Guide from the Institute of Competition Sciences. Following the project guide, you will create your own experiment to examine important variables related to plant growth in the simulant. Results from your experiment will be shown to NASA scientists and our scientific evaluators to select best in show projects!

Criteria

Awards

This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Participate

Website: https://plantthemoon.com

Managing Organization: Institute of Competition Sciences

Contact:
Paul Myers
paul@competitionsciences.org

Entry Fee: 0

Eligibility:
Participants can form teams of 1 to 10 students. Elementary and Middle School students participate in the Primary Division, students from 9-12 grade participate in the Secondary Division, and students in university participate in the College Division. Students from anywhere throughout the world can participate. Additionally, adults are allowed to participate in their own special division for professional experiments.

Deadlines

Registration Opens
Apr 1, 2021 1:01am
America/Los_Angeles

Registration Closes
Aug 12, 2021 11:59pm
America/Chicago