K-12 Students Design Greenhouses for NASA Astronauts

Press Release From: Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2007


ALEXANDRIA, Va. -. Join the Challenger Center for Space Science Education for the NASA K-12 Engineering Design Challenge and design a plant growth chamber for use by future astronauts living and working on the Moon by November 30th. Participating teachers and students will receive space-flown basil seeds returned by Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan, the back up to Christa McAuliffe, the first Teacher in Space, for follow-on experiments with their mini-greenhouses.

Classrooms will receive a special certificate for their engineering design along with space-flown and control (non-flown) seeds for conducting scientific experiments. All submitted designs will be showcased on the Challenger Center for Space Science Education website and may be reviewed for further testing by a special panel of NASA scientists, astronauts and engineers.

In the future, astronauts will use plants to provide food, oxygen, and clean water and waste recycling while living on the Moon or on Mars. In this design challenge, K-12 students design and test plant growth chambers using space-flown seeds and will receive national recognition for their efforts on the Challenger Center web site. Original designs should be submitted by November 30th to one of the fifty Challenger Learning Centers across the country. Please send along with the design, the teacher's name, school, town, state and grade level.

To find out more about the Design Challenge and to locate a Challenger Learning Center near you visit

The Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger 51-L mission. Challenger Center programs raise student's expectations of success by fostering a long-term interest in science, mathematics, technology and engineering, motivating them to pursue a career in these fields. The network of 50 Challenger Learning Centers across the U.S. train more than 25,000 teachers annually to incorporate project-based learning and use the theme of space exploration to engage students in critical thinking, decision-making, communication and teamwork.


Rita Karl
Challenger Center for Space Science Education
1250 North Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

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