Challenge 2A: Growing Beyond Earth®
(PreK to 1st Grade)

For Individuals or Groups (2–5 students per group) — Maximum points: 200 (100 per entry; 2 entries per school)

YOUR CHALLENGE: For the last seven years, astronauts have been tending to a small garden on the International Space Station called Veggie. They have grown all kinds of plants including fresh greens to eat and colorful flowers to brighten their days if they are missing home. The astronauts tend to their plants, they must carefully observe them so they can provide what their plants need to stay healthyDownloadable PDF

2A. Self Portrait and Written DescriptionWith materials supplied by Fairchild, students will grow Profusion Zinnia plants, the same variety grown on the International Space Station in 2016. With the teacher’s help, students can choose a location at school where they think it will grow best and make observations of their plants, just like the astronauts. Students will create a self-portrait with their plant and include their observations of how their Zinnia went from seed to flower.

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 by 5:00 pm

Electronically submit the following:

Delivered to Fairchild in person or via certified mail:

  • Self Portrait and Description

✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry must include student(s) name, grade, and school name clearly printed on back of entry
 Illustrations must be original hand-rendered artwork done in colored pencil, crayon, pens, fine-point marker, or paint only; no computer generated designs
 Description, hand written or typed, must be on standard 8.5″x 11″ paper
 Written component, 50 words or less, must include observations of how their Zinnia went from seed to flower
 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

Bring your class on a virtual field trip at Fairchild. Please visit Explorer Field Trip Programs for more information.

For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 2A Evaluation Sheet

This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 2A Benchmarks

Welcome video from NASA
Historic Vegetable Moment of the Space Station (video)
Photo of current VEGGIE system


This website is based upon the work supported by NASA under grant award No NNX16AM32G. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.