Lesson Title: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber
An activity to grow plants in an environment similar to the moon designed in a unique partnership between NASA scientists and engineers and education professionals. The lesson incorporates leading-edge insight and practical experiences for students on how NASA works with plants.
• Describe the need for life science research on the International Space Station and the moon.
• Identify various plant species that are suitable for lunar plant growth and their requirements.
Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson
Lesson Activities and Sequence
Introduction to STS–118 Mission and the Design Challenge
Keywords: botany, design process, ecosystem
- Choosing Plant Species
Students inspect the list of plants with their positive and negative characteristics from Lesson 1 and select five plants they would like to study further. With a partner, students research the plants they have selected to determine the plants' requirements for healthy growth.
- Designing the Plant Growth Chamber
Students list all the subsystems they need to design to meet the requirements of their selected plant species. Students search the Internet for descriptions, sketches, drawings, etc., of proposed lunar habitats, greenhouses and other structures.
- Building the Plant Growth Chamber
Students build and use growth chambers of their own design.
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
• Organisms and environments.
Science in Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
Research and Information Fluency
• Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
• Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
• Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
• Process data and report results.
Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.
• Select and use applications effectively and productively.
• Troubleshoot systems and applications.