Museum Exhibit Shows How To Grow Food In Space

Wednesday, October 12th 2016, 6:55 pm
By: News On 6

In the movie "The Martian," a character gets stranded on the Red Planet and has to figure out how to eat.

That poses the question, how would you grow food in space?

That question sparked an exhibit at Tulsa's Air and Space Museum.

Some students from the Zarrow International School checked it out. 

They wondered how to grow three years' worth of food on a planet where nothing grows. 

In 'The Martian,' actor Matt Damon is marooned on the planet and is running out of food."

Those at the Air and Space Museum figured they could turn that into a program.

The class from the Zarrow International School are actually exchange students from Spain and are here for eight weeks.

All of the students had seen or were familiar with 'The Martian' movie. 

So, how do you grow food in space?

The museum turned to Grogg's Green Barn for a practical example.

"We've got kale and collards, swiss chard. Lots of high nutrient value greens growing here," said Carla Grogg.

Jared Casci, museum education director, gave the kids a short primer in the classroom. 

"Currently right now on the international space station, they are using hydroponics so the astronauts aren't eating the little prepackaged meal all the time," Casci said. 

Then they turned them loose in the lab. The kids saw how the plants grow in the water, then they met Amelia, the praying mantis.

They brought Amelia in to eat aphids that were eating the plants. 

It's fascinating stuff for 5th graders from Spain - or anywhere else.

The movie posed the question, and Grogg's Green Barn and the Air and Space Museum provided an answer. 

The exhibit is part of the Air and Space Museum's education program.

For more information, visit the Tulsa Air and Space Museum website