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  • THE GROWING BEYOND EARTH® PROGRAM

  • I am honored to represent Ransom Everglades Upper School as the lead student of our school's research team participating in the upcoming 2023-2024 Grow Beyond Earth® (GBE) program, a partnership between the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and NASA.

     

    As NASA looks toward a long-term human presence beyond Earth’s orbit, there are specific science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) challenges related to food production in space. Established in 2015, GBE enables student community scientists to actively contribute data toward NASA mission planning.

     

    GBE is a STEM, classroom-based citizen science project designed to advance NASA research on growing plants in space. It includes a series of plant experiments conducted by students in a Fairchild-designed plant habitat similar to the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) on the International Space Station (ISS).

     

    With experiments currently in progress in more than 400+ middle and high schools from 48 states nationwide and 8 countries, GBE provides a steady stream of valuable data to NASA scientists who are developing technologies for growing food crops for long-duration missions into deep space.

     

    In its seventh year, more than 40,000 middle and high school students and their teachers nationwide have contributed hundreds of thousands of data points and tested 180 varieties of edible plants for NASA.

     

    As part of the program, students also have the opportunity to present their findings to NASA Researchers and Administrators during the live, virtual Student Research Symposium.

     

    To learn more about the Grow Beyond Earth® program, visit the link below:

    https://fairchildgarden.org/gbe/

     

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  • RESEARCH EXPERIMENT DESCRIPTION

  • Leafy greens are a rich source of vital nutrients often absent in the conventional prepackaged astronaut meals. The experiment aims to assess the potential of select leafy green cultivars for space-based cultivation. These specific varieties - Red Romaine Lettuce, Escarole, Kohlrabi, Celtuce, Pak Choi, Nasturtium and Arugula - underwent preliminary testing in the GBE schools during 2015 and 2016 using an earlier GBE kit model. With advancements in technology, these cultivars are being revisited for this year's experiment in order to gauge their performance under improved conditions.

     

    On the ISS, resources for growing plants are limited. In closed-system agriculture, every gram, ml, and kilowatt is accounted for. While most parameters for the experiment are set, the students are asked to monitor the watering, temperature and humidity very closely. As with all GBE trials, participating in this experiment requires very detailed and accurate data collection and note-taking.

     

    Each participating school receives a package from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden that contains planting pots, seeds, growth medium, fertilizer, tray, wicking mat, fan and finger guard, light timer and a hygrometer/thermometer as well as a mini botany lab container, which is assembled by the students.

     

    During Trial #1 of the experiment, the team will record the findings from our cultivar test throughout a 28-day period. For Trial #2, the team is provided with the opportunity to conduct our own original research using the provided experiment materials and then present our findings to NASA scientists and administrators at the GBE Student Research Symposium at the end of the school year.

     

    To read the information packet provided by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which details the specific instructions for the 2023-2024 Grow Beyond Earth® experiment, visit the link below:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Dm-d1MBEONlvvkN0gWsds9FXnuvQOX9d/view?usp=sharing 

     

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  • RESEARCH TEAM MEMBERS

  • In this section, I will list the team members participating in the program. In this section, I will list the team members participating in the program. In this section, I will list the team members participating in the program. In this section, I will list the team members participating in the program.

     

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  • EXPERIMENT RESULTS UPDATE

  • In this section, I will provide updates on the project results. In this section, I will provide updates on the project results. In this section, I will provide updates on the project results. In this section, I will provide updates on the project results. In this section, I will provide updates on the project results. In this section, I will provide updates on the project results.

     

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