In this project, students will explore the question ‘Can plants grow on Mars?’ by setting up a scientific experiment to test growing plants in Mars Soil Simulant.
|Can plants grow on Mars?
|Science and Technology
|Junior (Grades 4-6)
Students will grow plants in Mars Soil Simulant by setting up an experiment using the scientific method.
According to the Ontario Curriculum, “K–12 STEM education is the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including cross-curricular and/or integrative study, and the application of those subjects in real-world contexts” and “among the transferable skills developed through STEM education are computational thinking, coding, design thinking, innovating, use of the scientific method, scientific inquiry skills, and engineering design skills. These skills are in high demand in today’s globally connected world, with its unprecedented advancements in technology.” The quest to build a city on Mars and make humanity interplanetary is a very compelling “real-world” context, calling on all of humanity’s collective “computational thinking, coding, design thinking, innovating, use of the scientific method, scientific inquiry skills, and engineering design skills.”
The Ontario Curriculum states “Transferable skills are the skills and attributes that students need in order to thrive in the modern world.” Each transferable skill is accompanied with student descriptors. Here are the student descriptors for each transferable skill students can expect to gain during this unit.
Global Citizenship and Sustainability
- Students make responsible decisions and take actions that support quality of life for all, now and in the future.
Students will learn about the challenges of growing plants on Mars and set up their experiment using the scientific method.
Once the experiment is set up, students should record their observations of the course of several weeks as the plants grow.
Once the plants in the experiments have grown (or haven’t grown) students will make a conclusion based on their observations.