Volume: 05, Issue: 16 09/12/2007 
Cinnamon basil plant, image credit: Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.
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Plant growth chamber.
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STS-118 lifts off. Image credit: NASA.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
Mars Exploration Rover Status Report: Opportunity Takes a Dip into Victoria
NASA Space Telescopes Find 'Lego-Block' Galaxies in Early Universe
Water Vapor Seen 'Raining Down' On Young Star System
Life and Work on the Moon: What Images Come to Mind?

Grow Space Seeds in Your Classroom

Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan brought cinnamon basil seeds with her aboard flight STS-118. Those seeds were combined with other seeds that were on the International Space Station and are now back on earth. You may design a plant chamber and grow those very seeds in your classroom by participating in the NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber. Here is how the challenge works:

Elementary, middle and high school students design, build and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers -- while engaging in research and standards-based learning experiences. Students participate in the engineering design process and learn how to conduct a scientific experiment.

Choose from three ways to participate in the challenge:
1. Design, Build and Evaluate a Chamber
2. Design and Evaluate a Chamber
3. Evaluate a Chamber

Educators who complete the challenge with their students can request cinnamon basil seeds that have flown in space on the STS-118 space shuttle mission. Students can compare plants grown from both space-flown and Earth-based control seeds, and test the designs of the lunar plant growth chambers. The seeds will be available to the first 100,000 registrants who must be residents of the United States, U.S. Territories, and Outlying Areas.

For more information about NASA’s Plant Growth Challenge and to register, please visit the following website:

Space Explorers, Inc. has designed a database to allow teachers who are participating in the NASA Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Challenge to record their cinnamon basil seed growth data. This database will allow students to input their data online and compare that data with plants growing in participating schools across the country. There is no cost to participate in the challenge or to use Space Explorers’ database. If you do not subscribe to Space Explorers programs, you may begin using the database by completing the form at the following website:

If you are a current subscriber, you may access the database by entering your username and password at the following website:

Space Explorers, Inc. is excited to see the outcomes of the various growth chambers designed throughout the country! If you have any questions as you begin using the database, you may call Space Explorers toll free at 800-965-3763 or e-mail customerservice@space-explorers.com.

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