Plant the Moon & Plant Mars Challenge: Spring 2024

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

Type:Submission

Categories:Agriculture, Environment

Scope:International

Registration

Registration for this competition has ended.

Contact


ptmc@competitionsciences.org

The Plant the Moon 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 & Martian 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 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 Activity Kit including lunar or Martian regolith simulant, a Project Guide and 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, 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 lunar or Martian soil simulant package complete with pots, masks, and a pH meter. The lunar and martian soil simulants are specially designed to mimic the soil of the Moon or Mars in chemistry, composition, grain size, and density. Teams will also receive a digital 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!

See https://plantthemoon.com/best-in-show/ for examples of past winning experiments.

Website: https://www.plantthemoon.com

Managing Organization: Institute of Competition Sciences

Contact:

ptmc@competitionsciences.org

Eligibility:
Elementary, Middle School, High School, University/Professional teams are all welcome to participate and will be judged & awarded according to their age division.

Registration Opens: October 2, 2023

Registration Closes: January 19, 2024

Overview

The Plant the Moon 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 & Martian 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 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 Activity Kit including lunar or Martian regolith simulant, a Project Guide and 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, 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 lunar or Martian soil simulant package complete with pots, masks, and a pH meter. The lunar and martian soil simulants are specially designed to mimic the soil of the Moon or Mars in chemistry, composition, grain size, and density. Teams will also receive a digital 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

See https://plantthemoon.com/best-in-show/ for examples of past winning experiments.

Participate

Website: https://www.plantthemoon.com

Managing Organization: Institute of Competition Sciences

Contact:

ptmc@competitionsciences.org

Eligibility:
Elementary, Middle School, High School, University/Professional teams are all welcome to participate and will be judged & awarded according to their age division.

Deadlines

Registration Opens: October 2, 2023

Registration Closes: January 19, 2024