Currently, we live in a world where the only sure thing is that tomorrow the living conditions will be different from those offered by society today. Young people must prepare to colonize all those technological and scientific ecosystems that the future holds for us. The emergence of aerospace studies is a race in which Ecuador cannot avoid participating. That is why the International Space Station (ISS), is a laboratory that is serving as an inspiring center for students, teachers, and researchers around the world, the benefits of developing research is generating amazing findings, for health, agriculture and educational development.
That is why our institution, always in the search of being at the forefront, has been the first school in the country to send a sample of seeds to space, through the partnership with Alpha Space, ISS. The samples are set to be exposed in the MISSE platform at high temperature and radiation conditions.
This type of research is becoming an exciting challenge that various universities and schools in the world are tackling, as it allows them to devise and experiment with the various conditions to which they are exposed.
The space that was allocated to send the sample was: 1 in x 1 in x 2 inches (approximately 6.45 cm2), considering this spacing constraint we selected the radish seed (Raphanus sativus), since the dimensions of its grain and its short period of growth, making it ideal to observe its entire life cycle, moreover, also because in Guayaquil, this vegetable is consumed in various ways.
Once the sample was selected, students using the Design Thinking methodology and real learning spaces were able to construct a set of hypotheses in which they predict, what will be the behavior of the seeds once they return to earth, and said samples will be compared with a control set.
In the preparation process, various activities were carried out promoting the internalization of the event in our community. The adventure of launching the project began with the participation of Alpha staff in our school to make the whole educational community aware of the importance of the activity, there were also exhibitions of infographics prepared by students in the language and literature area about the participation of Jesuits in the space linking their contributions with science, our students created collages, banners and stick figures alluding to the subject of space exploration.
Several teachers from the science area were invited to the “Guayaquil Space Society” talk where several personalities from the city of Guayaquil gathered to publicize and share the process of preparation and the resources used to empower students on the subject. This experience has just begun, in March 2020, when the seeds return, the children will use the steps of the scientific method to draw conclusions and define the results of their first hypotheses. We will keep you updated because this story is to be continued.
Jean Medina G. and Odalis Garcia G.