Over the pasttwelve years, Stokes Seeds has been a proud sponsor of Tomatosphere, which has evolved into a regular component of the science curriculum for more than 17,800 classrooms in Canada and the United States.
Tomatosphere™ uses the excitement of space exploration to teach the skills and processes of scientific experimentation and inquiry. Students investigate the effects of the space environment on the growth of food that will inevitably support long-term human space travel.
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