Creative Learning Alliance’s Team Wins Best in Show at Global Plant the Moon Challenge

(Joplin, MO) – In September of 2023 , a group of local students accepted the Institute of Competitive Science’s Plant the Moon Challenge, joining a global science experiment and research challenge to examine how vegetable crops can grow in lunar soil.

They received real lunar soil simulant and throughout October, November, and December, designed and conducted a set of experiments using this simulant to gauge the effect of different variables on the growth of green beans. These student experiments will help NASA scientists understand how to use lunar soil to provide nutritious crops for future missions to the moon!

The completed project was presented virtually to NASA scientists, program executives, and other dignitaries in December and team CLA Moon Farmers, won Best in Show for Plant Growth in the Elementary Division. In speaking about her review of the project at the awards symposium, Environmental Biologist Dr. Melanie Mormile noted specifically that the focus on soil weight was impressive and that the photos of the growth process were excellent.

Team members consisted of Seraphine Potts, Karleigh Long, Jack Powell, Xane Long, and Ledger Ward with Joplin R-8 educators Beverly Mouton and Kitty Ward as facilitators. Congratulations Team Moon Farmers on this tremendous victory!

About Creative Learning Alliance:

The Creative Learning Alliance is a hands-on STEAM based attraction that exercises curiosity, promotes exploration, and develops imagination for people of all ages through interactivity. The nonprofit is run by a volunteer board of directors working together to make this dream a reality for the region.


Neely Myers, Executive Director
Creative Learning Alliance

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