SSEP CBL #1- Ben Prout

Question 1:

A. Describe the experiment

Five students that go to the Westcot Elementary School in West Vancouver varying between grade 6 and 7 in school district 45, want to transport red worms into space aboard the ISS to use the results for future space travels. These students chose upon red worms because these worms are one of the best for composting. These students found research on an experiment that took place on August, 2015 with astronauts on board ISS grew and consumed romaine lettuce that they planted July, 2015. Red worms consume the plant scraps such as the lettuce and their solid waste comes out as a very fertile soil. They were explaining if they send the experiment to the ISS we would be able to observe how the worms survive in a weightless environment and how they move differently when exposed to a weightless environment. Red worms do not have a bone structure, they use muscles to move around so their behavior will most likely would be different than it is on the Earth, these worms could consume leftover food and the solid waste of the astronauts to create more fertile soil. Using worms in space could save money on food and make it so NASA doesn’t have to spend as much money on transporting for to the ISS, and the transportation of the solid waste, if this project is sent to the ISS and is successful, we may be able create a sustainable food source in the station and not have to transport as much food cutting down costs, the food would also be much healthier to eat.

B. Retell the research the team that won did.

“Red Worm Composting in Microgravity” Research

Worms are one of the most important composters, they eat parts of plant that are leftover and their solid waste comes out as dirt and it has lots of nutrients in it and those nutrients help new plants grow. On august 10th 2015 some astronauts ate romaine lettuce they planted the month before in space. The reason why using worms in space would be helpful is that more plants could grow afterwards because the soil would be fertile again. In space astronauts lose their mass of their bones and muscles, worms do not have bones but do use muscles to dig dirt, this might affect their digging strength. Red worms are important for composting toilets, these toilets can separate solid waste from other waste and it goes into a metal can. In the metal can worms eat the waste and turn it into fertile soil that is used for plants. If these worms can survive in space, we could use them for making more food and that would cause us to not have to send as much food up to the ISS. If we used composting toilets in space, it would save the government a lot of money.

C. Explain what the experimental group and the control groups were and what the difference was.

Experimental/Control groups explained
The experimental group for the SSEP contest are the astronauts because they are the ones that are in the experiment’s conditions and the ones conducting it. The control group consists of the students because they are the ones that don’t see the experiment. This is useful so the control group cannot change the results because they want a particular outcome. Experimental groups are used to find the answers and the control group usually designs the experiment.

2. Ponder why you think this team won

I think this team won because their proposed experiment is very important for future space travel. This experiment may save lost of money in the long run. If the experiment was successful we could make a space garden and it could benefit everyone.


One thought on “SSEP CBL #1- Ben Prout

  1. Great work, Ben. You did an excellent job re-telling about the experiment. I appreciate how thorough you were and how you put in links for more information. Some things you can add to your post is some pictures and also an attempt to make a connection with the students who carried out the experiment.

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