Local middle school participates in a science experiment by NASA

Photo by Alexis Horn

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A local Florida Middle School was selected to participate in a science experiment selected by NASA. They want to see if they can grow crops in moon soil.

Stewart Middle Magnet School was selected by NASA as one out of ten schools in Florida to participate in the Plant the Moon Challenge. The school won a grant through The Florida Space Grant Consortium to participate in the experiment.

Julian Rivera is a science teacher at the school, and he explains the reason they are doing this experiment is because NASA wants to build a permanent orbiting station around the moon. Having a permanent base makes it harder to get supplies to the station compared to an international space station. “So they want to know can we make our own food, grow our own food on the moon. They brought back some dirt from the moon back in 1972 and a geologist with them brought back some of the moon dirt and they’ve analyzed it and they want to know can we grow something in it.”

“Each team received real lunar soil simulant from the University of Central Florida’s CLASS Exolith Lab,” and they will see how vegetable crops can grow in the soil. After they collect their results, the schools will send their findings to NASA.



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