Understanding how we can use lunar soils to grow crops for future human missions is one of the next great steps in supporting a return by humans to the Moon.

Middle and high school students and their educators can be part of NASA’s efforts to return humans to the Moon to stay by joining a teacher-led, student global science experiment, learning activity and inspirational project-based learning challenge to see who can grow the best crops using lunar regolith simulant.

The Virginia Space Grant is partnering with The Institute of Competition Sciences and five other Space Grant programs on a special NASA-funded regional project to expand the reach of the Plant the Moon Challenge to underserved and underrepresented STEM students in the six partnering states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Virginia Space Grant Consortium is the project lead.

The Plant the Moon Challenge NASA Space Grant Regional Expansion Project builds on the Institute of Competition Sciences Plant the Moon Challenge by providing additional state/jurisdiction-based support to educators, free lunar regolith simulant kits, teacher stipends, enhancement activities, special experiential state and regional awards and expanded educator professional development. The enhanced professional development for educators and curriculum extension activities will be integrated in the ongoing Plant the Moon Challenge. The project is expected to engage more than 13,000 students in PTMC over the next three years. Informal and formal educators in the project region can learn more here.

Virginia educators can contact Joyce Corriere at: vsgc@odu.edu.