Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 4, 2014

Space-age planting

Tomatosphere project compares regular seeds to those that spent months on International Space Station

Covered with a half inch of soil and organized in neat rows in two trays, the 60 tomato seeds a class of Boulevard Elementary School students planted last week seem identical. But half of them spent 22 months in space.

As part of the Tomatosphere project, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Boulevard and Sycamore elementary schools are doing an experiment comparing how the space seeds and regular seeds grow. About 600,000 tomato seeds were taken to the International Space Station on the last U.S. shuttle in July 2011, and a Russian Soyuz vehicle returned them to Earth in May 2013.

More than 17,000 teachers in Canada and the U.S. registered for Tomatosphere this year and received a set of space seeds and a set of regular seeds to have their students study the differences. Tomatosphere sponsors include the Canadian Space Agency, University of Guelph, Stoke Seeds and Heinz.

The program has been running for 12 years, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher Jim McCarter has gotten Kokomo students involved for several years. He will report the results of their experiment to the Canadian Space Agency and NASA.

Students planted the seeds Thursday and prepared logs to record how the seeds develop every day. In a third-grade class at Boulevard, the boys will monitor how quickly each seed germinates and the girls will track what percentage of seeds germinate.

“The space seeds will germinate the fastest,” student Andrew Jay predicted, adding that germination is when “something starts to grow.” The majority of his classmates agreed with his hypothesis.

Mackenzie Tedder pointed out that radiation could impact the space seeds.

“When they were up in space, if the radiation hit them you can see if that affects how much they’ll grow,” she said.

Brielle Jackson and Isabella Bailey were two of the volunteers who helped plant the seeds. The girls made sure external factors impacting each seed were the same.

“They’ve got to get the same water, the same light and the same inches buried,” Bailey explained.

As of Monday, McCarter said none of the seeds had germinated yet.

Education reporter Lauren Fitch can be reached at 765-454-8587, by email at lauren.fitch@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LaurenBFitch.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS - KT072514 - Maconaquah celebrates 50 years - CLG Maconaquah alumni return to celebrate school's 50th anniversary Many fond memories were shared recently as 50 years of Maconaquah graduates gathered to celebrate as many years of Maconaquah High School history.But for all the reminiscing that took place, there was an equal amount of well wishes for “the next 50 y

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spirits high at Brickyard 400 SPEEDWAY – Despite threatening skies and chances of rain, fans at the Brickyard 400 were not disheartened by the forecast. Brickyard 400 race day dawned with rain and fog, and the sun broke through the clouds at mid-morning. Fans expected the race to

    July 27, 2014

  • Mud battle 01 Mud Battle at Oakbrook Church challenges participants

    Challenges are nothing knew to Army Specialist Anthony Walton. An Afghanistan veteran, who was injured in 2011, Walton has endured some of the worst conditions imaginable. While in Afghanistan, Walton was shot more than 30 times in his left arm durin

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Indiana fruit crops take another weather beating BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — The polar vortex that plunged Indiana into a deep freeze in January has taken a toll on the state's peach crop, and an April cold snap has done the same for apples. Orchard owners are bringing in peaches from out of state and sa

    July 27, 2014

  • NWS - KT072614 - Five Below Grand Opening - pic Five Below opening draws crowds

    Mary Martin is the director of marketing and business development for Markland Mall and, with four grandchildren, she's also a consumer looking for cost-effective deals which still leave her — and the kids — feeling satisfied. Martin was able to purc

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 931 business 02 Opening of new US 31 appears to have had little effect on local business The new U.S. 31 bypass came with a litany of questions for local businesses. How would the changes in traffic patterns affect sales? How long would it take to see the full effect from that change in traffic patterns? What is the long-term prognosis f

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • 1969 Kokomo grads share space stories On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped down the ladder of the lunar module “Eagle” and uttered those immortal words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”Best friends Dave Hudson and Greg McCauley, who had just graduated f

    July 27, 2014

  • first dirilyte Dirilyte alloy: Definitely not a Kokomo first As with many of the so-called City of Firsts’ inventions, Dirilyte was definitely not a Kokomo first, Dave Broman, executive director of the Howard County Historical Society, said.“Dirilyte is a little more clear-cut,” Broman said of research in the

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ride to help fight breast cancer WABASH — The Moonshine Cowboys Ride for a Cause will be Saturday at Scotty’s Bar, 780 Manchester Ave. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and kickstands are up at noon.The cost is $20 per person, and proceeds will go to fight inflammatory breast cancer. I

    July 27, 2014

  • SCP KT 072714 Innovation Symposium pic IUK Innovation Symposium receives grant for 2015 program A grant from the Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council will allow more students to participate in IU Kokomo’s Innovation Symposium overseas travel program.The grant will cover travel expenses for eight to 10 students to spend three weeks in

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries