What happens to tomato seeds that have been in space? Do they grow the same as seeds that have only been on Earth? Can astronauts grow food in space to sustain a long-term space voyage to Mars?
That’s one question that the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Students’ Corner aims to answer – at the Tomatosphere – a program that offers students between Grade 3 to 6 and 9-10 a chance to help scientists study the effects of space travel on plant growth and development.
Joining the program gives you an opportunity to study germination of 2 groups of seeds – one that has been to space and a control group – and to report results. And yes! It’s open to homeschoolers. You simply need to combine with a group of other homeschoolers, as it’s more cost effective for the program to send group seeds out.
The Agriculture website has other great features too – including lots of information about farming in Canada, games and puzzles, links for homework help and extended learning, details on the science of agriculture, learning about the environment, and the Canada Agriculture Museum.
The museum is located in Ottawa Ontario and offers school tours and a hands-on chance at learning about farming, crops and animals. But even if Ottawa is too far to visit, you can still use the resource! The website has free pdf lesson plans and teaching kits, podcasts, newsletters and information on farming machinery over the years.
Another resource from the main page is for 4-H – a club for kids. “In 4-H Clubs the focus is on fun, friends, and learning cool new skills …like creating crafts, building a website, producing a play, building a small engine, or learning all about animals!”