For over a decade, Allison Academy students have had the opportunity to engage in the Fairchild Challenge – an award-winning interdisciplinary environmental science competition designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and foster environmental stewardship for a more sustainable future.
NASA project – Unique and dynamic scientific opportunity
One of the most unique and dynamic opportunities in recent years has been the Growing Beyond Earth Project. In partnership with NASA and the Kennedy Space Center, Fairchild Tropical Garden has offered Allison Academy students, as well as students across the nation, the chance to collect botanical data that contributes directly to NASA’s effort to find suitable crops for long-term space missions. Using an in-class laboratory similar to the one being used on the International Space Station, our students are conducting ongoing research on various factors contributing to plant growth in space, and have received an award for the quality and clarity of their data.
This STEM-based project has given Allison Academy students the opportunity to contribute authentic data to the scientific community, has put them in direct contact with NASA scientists and college professors, and continues to empower them to become, as Fairchild’s education staff puts it, “the next generation of scientists, researchers, educated voters, policymakers, and environmentally-minded citizens.”