Plants in Space – Sample Unit of Work
The following Unit of Work was developed as a collaboration with the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program and teachers from the Rivers Academy of STEM Excellence. It is an 8 week cross-curriculum unit to be delivered one and half to two hours per week. The Unit of Work document is available below.
Science and Technology focus: Working Scientifically, Design and Production, Living World, Material World
Summary of Unit
As humans seek to explore and colonise outer space, it is critical to develop efficient ways to grow plants to provide a reliable source of renewable food and oxygen. Finding solutions to the challenges of growing plants in space requires innovative thinking and an understanding of both the growth requirements of plants and of the environmental conditions experienced in space.
Note: Given the time required to grow plants, overlapping Learning Sequence 2 (Conduct a scientific experiment) and Learning Sequence 3 (Research and identify the challenges of space exploration and colonisation) is recommended.
Unit aims and objectives
- design and conduct fair tests
- develop a deeper understanding of the growth requirements of plants
- define problems faced by scientists as they seek to grow plants in space
- develop teamwork and collaboration skills
- are introduced to the design thinking process
- are encouraged to solve real-world problems
- apply their knowledge to develop a design solution to meet one of the challenges to growing plants in space
- engage with critical and creative thinking
- provide and receive constructive feedback.
Key inquiry questions
- How can we test for the growth requirements of plants?
- What are the challenges of space exploration and, more specifically, to growing plants in space?
- What design solutions can we develop to meet the challenges of growing plants in space?