One of the most interesting aspects of the Soirée is getting a chance to see what students from partner schools are doing with grant funding from Climate Cycle. At Smyser Elementary, teacher Heidi O’Toole and her students are learning about growing your own food, using an aeroponic tower garden.
Aeroponics, sometimes considered a type of hydroponics, uses no soil, and a minimal amount of water, mixed with nutrients, to grow plants. NASA has been researching aeroponics for several years now:
Successful long-term missions into deep space will require that crews grow some of their own food during flight. Aeroponic crops are also a potential source of fresh oxygen and clean drinking water. But this is about more than a breath of fresh air or taking a quick shower. Each ounce of food and water produced aboard a spacecraft reduces payload weight, allowing space for other cargo that can’t be produced onboard.
Visit the Student Showcase at the Soirée to learn about how the Smyser students are progressing with their plantings.
Even indoors, in the winter, you can plant seeds and that nourish young minds and young palates. Who knows, maybe one of these students will be farming in space someday!