Activity: Planets in Space
- Students will investigate the value of green plants in space research .
- Students will list the qualities required such as excellent food source, generator of oxygen, physical space requirements.
- Students will discover the best converter of light energy to biomass .
- Wheat or Rye seed
- Oats (whole only, not milled)
- Corn seed
- Potting soil
- 3 half-gallon milk cartons
- Balance scale
- Grow-type fluorescent lamp (top of plants should be 7.5-10 cm from lamp)
- Procedure A
- Cut the milk cartons in half and poke drainage holes in the bottom of each carton
- Fill with potting soil and plant the seeds
- Keep moist
- Grow the plants under a fluorescent lamp
- Record your results on a graph
- Procedure B
- After 14 days pull the plants
- Wash off the dirt and dry with a paper towel
- Weight the plants and record the results on a graph
- Procedure C
- Dry the plants in the sun until they are crisp
- Weight plants and record the results on a graph
- Have the students think about and answer how the plants will help the atmosphere on an International Space Station .
- Which plant is the best converter of light energy to biomass?
- How can knowing more about plant growth in space benefit plant growth on earth?