The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Year 8.6 – Exploring the Red Planet

Think into the future where the colonisation of Mars could become a reality. What would we need to survive on the Red Planet? How could we survive when the closest supermarket on Earth would take between 150–300 days to reach? Can we grow food in space?

This term, the students of 8.6 embarked on a scientific journey through our Earth and Space Science unit. This journey began by looking at the Red Planet, NASA and the International Space Station. Many boys took up the challenge to spot the space station and were excited to share their sightings with the class the following day.

During this scientific journey, through questioning, research and discussions, the boys identified that there was a need for a sustainable food source on Mars to allow human exploration to become a reality. This led to a scientific investigation to discover whether it is possible to grow food in space, and what would be the optimal conditions for plant growth. Through the use of an online plant growing simulator, the boys applied the scientific method and designed an experiment to test their hypothesis of the optimal growing conditions for tomatoes in space. If they produced a "monster tomato", they knew they were onto a winning combination of the optimal amount of water, fertiliser, temperature and light!

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Where to from here? To infinity and beyond!

Miss Rochelle Gaudieri
Year 8.6 Homeroom Teacher