Saturday, February 18, 2017

Schools : Apps : Learn to Plant Growth in Space

Astronaut Naomi, cosmic comrade
screenshot: SSI Plant Growth

"Welcome to the International Space Station! As the newest member of the ISS crew, it’s your task to familiarize yourself with the station, and help out with the plant growth experiment."

NASA ISS Plant Growth

As a veggie and admirer of NASA exploitations, I was pretty excited to hear about NASA Science Investigations: Plant Growth, a free game.

Released two months ago, the educational app lets students zoom around the International Space Station (ISS), complete various astronaut tasks, and even interact with a fellow astronaut. 

Most importantly! It teaches young people how to grow crops like the ones NASA astronauts tend to by using the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) aboard the ISS.

screenshot: SSI Plant Growth
It's well worth the download if your students would love to visit the ISS. Or maybe my/ their love veggie.
First, they learn how to maneuver themselves around the ISS, much like an astronaut would. Each rack and feature aboard the ISS is replicated flawlessly in the game, which is great and terribly confusing because everything looks the same.

screenshot: SSI Plant Growth

Here some advices of the game to students:

Trying to move in zero-g will be different than what you are used to on Earth! Spend some time flying and flipping around the station without gravity to assist you.

Once you’ve become comfortable moving in zero-g, find astronaut Naomi, your cosmic comrade. 

She recruits you into helping her grow fresh vegetables on board the ship, which is entails more wandering around the ship in search of a laptop. 

screenshot: SSI Plant Growth
via Gizmondo

 Assist her in cutting-edge research: 
  • How micro-gravity effects plant growth in space. 

  • What kind of light do they need? 

  • How do you water plants without gravity? 

  • Why is growing food important in space?

  • Collect mission patches for completing tasks and for making discoveries. 

screenshot: SSI Plant Growth
via Gizmondo

Can you grow enough plants to create a salad for the astronauts to eat? Launch time!

Astronaut Peggy Whitson harvests Tokyo Bekana Chinese cabbage aboard the International Space Station on Feb. 17.
Credits: NASA TV

Some information:

The app also contains information on plant growth experiments, for use in the classroom and at home.

screenshot: SSI Plant Growth

Target: + 4

Curriculum: Sciences

Language: English

Gadgets : iPad, iPhone.

Free game

For those more talented than I, the app is an exciting way to learn more about the importance of plant growth in space.

credits : NASA

“These experiments will provide a key piece of the puzzle of how plants adjust their physiology to meet the needs of growing in a place outside their evolutionary experience,” Dr. Paul said. “And the more complete our understanding, the more success we will have in future missions as we take plants with us off planet.”

University of Florida’s Dr. Anna Lisa Paul

I'm sure that Sciences teachers will catch this educational resource and will include the game into sciences curriculum.

I bet the students will be excited using this game in the classroom. They can visit SSI and learn to plant lettuce... in space!

“I love gardening on Earth, and it is just as fun in space . . .” (...)  “I just need more room to plant more!”

Peggy Whitson tweeted in early February


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Schools : Apps : Learn to Plant Growth in Space bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Resources: Links

Veggie Plant Growth System Activated on International Space Station

Meals Ready to Eat: Expedition 44 Crew Members Sample Leafy Greens Grown on Space Station

Cabbage Patch: Fifth Crop Harvested Aboard Space Station

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