Stokes Seeds has been a proud sponsor of Tomatosphere™, which has evolved into a regular component of the science curriculum.
The award-winning Tomatosphere program has engaged more than three million students since its inception in 2001. Each year, over 15,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms across Canada use Tomatosphere™ as a way to investigate the effects of space on food to support human space travel. The results from Tomatosphere help Canadian scientists understand some of the issues related to long-term space exploration.
The basic experiment of Tomatosphere is a 'blind test' in which teachers and their students will not know the treatment of their seeds until completion of the germination process and submission of results. Students will learn how to conduct a scientific experiment and compare the germination rates of the seeds. They may also report on the growth and development of their plants, and may be inspired to pursue further education in science and technology.
Watching these seeds grow will encourage classroom dialogue about the elements of life support requirements for space missions - food, water, oxygen and the need to consume carbon dioxide exhaled by crewmembers. Traveling to and from Mars - the closest planet to Earth - could take almost three years. It's imperative to know how to grow food for the journey there, the stay on Mars and the return journey. The results from the experiment will help Canadian scientists to understand some of the issues related to long-term space travel. For more information www.tomatosphere.org