On Wednesday, June 27, I had the pleasure of delivering the keynote address at the Quebec Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Symposium in Montreal. Met some terrific people who are conjuring new ways to engage kids in STEM.
One example is Tomatosphere, an education program for Canadian and U.S. students, sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, Heinz Canada Ltd, HeinzSeed, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Stokes Seeds and the University of Guelph. The project currently has 600 000 tomato seeds on board the International Space Station. Students are sent seeds to learn how to conduct a scientific experiment by comparig the germination rates of the seeds. They also report on the growth and development of their plants.Why? As the project website states, “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 crew members. Traveling to and from Mars, 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 your science experiments will help Canadian scientists to understand some of the issues related to long-term space travel.”
There’s still time to participate in their final mission. Visit Tomotosphere to learn more.
Here’s a copy of the slides used in the presentation. Videos won’t appear in the slideshow, unfortunately, but you can view them in the playlist embedded below.

SciCheer’s Favorite Videos (playlist):

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