Growing Beyond Earth Challenge STEM Education Program
The Growing Beyond Earth Project (GBE) is a STEM education program designed to have middle and high school students conduct botany experiments, designed in partnership with NASA researchers at Kennedy Space Center, that support NASA research on growing plants in space. GBE was initiated by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in collaboration with NASA's Exploration Research and Technology Programs and Miami-Dade County Public School District. Project goals are to: (1) improve STEM instruction in schools by providing authentic research experiments that have real world implications through curricular activities that meet STEM education needs, comprehensive teacher training, summer-long internships and the development of replicable training modules; (2) increase and sustain youth and public engagement in STEM related fields; (3) better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields; and (4) support current and future NASA research by identifying and testing new plant varieties for future growth in space. During the 2016-17 academic year, 131 school classrooms participated in the program. To date, students have tested 91 varieties of edible plants and produced more than 100,000 data points that have been shared with the researchers at KSC.
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