A grade one class in Kenora is participating in an out-of-this-world project that could have implications for humanity surviving long space voyages.
Courtney Jordan's Valleyview grade one class, in partnership with the ACE program at Beaver Brae Secondary School, is participating in Tomatosphere.
Tomatosphere is an international science program, started in 2001, that aims to provide students with a real taste for science.
Students in Jordan's class will be studying the effects that the vacuum of space has on the seeds and their growth.
"Half the seeds went up [to] the International Space Station (ISS) and half of them are control seeds," said Jordan.
The seeds that went to space spent four weeks on the ISS before returning to Earth for study.
"Before the [April] break, the kids were able to look at the seeds. They were counting them, observing them and [gathering] data about the seeds before they were planted," said Jordan.
The seeds have been planted and Jordan expects the seeds will sprouting in the coming weeks and then the real fun begins.
"[The students] are gonna have some fun looking and measuring and seeing how many plants grow and how tall they are," Jordan added.
The students will document their results and through Beaver Brae's ACE program, sent the results to a national database where results from across Canada will be compared.
The results will help scientists determine whether UV and zero-g exposure affect our ability to grow plants after exposure to the vacuum of space. By participating, Valleyview students will be helping future explorers to survive on long space voyages.
The ACE program stands for Academic Connections through Empowerment. It is an alternative education high school program through Beaver Brae, in partnership with a community partner (WJS Canada).