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.

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.

Plant the Moon Challenge (PTMC), developed by the Institute of Competition Sciences, is 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. Participating educators receive a PTMC Activity Kit for each team of about ten students including lunar regolith simulant, a Project Guide, and a pH meter. Student groups work together to design their plant growth experiments using the simulant. Experiment variables may include the plant growth setup structure, amount of water used, and nutrients added to the regolith simulant. Teacher-advised teams use the Project Guide to define their plant growth experiments. The grow period is eight weeks. For two weeks before the grow period, teams are engaged in weekly activities and virtual events that supplement their hands-on project activities with STEM learning activities connecting them with NASA Artemis-related content.

Students working

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 in the project fact sheet.

Students at laptop