Educational Resources Lets Talk Science Challenge participants

Investigate the effects of outer space on seed germination with your class. Tomatosphere™ is a hands-on program that builds scientific inquiry and experimentation skills.

Order Seeds

Participate for free with online registration! Once registered, educators can order sets of seed packages for their classroom, community group or homeschool program. You can now order seeds each year to be shipped across Canada in the fall, spring or summer. We are currently accepting orders for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 planting. Learn more on the Tomatosphere website.

Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques holds up Tomatosphere seeds while aboard the International Space Station, Earth is in the background

Project Overview

Tomatosphere™ offers an excellent opportunity to have your students think and act like scientists as they practice their inquiry skills and develop understandings of the nature of science and the concept of a fair test.

Project Description 

In the Tomatosphere™ Seed Investigation, students will plant the two sets of seeds sent to the educator and compare the number of seeds that germinate from each. One set of seeds has been sent into space, and the other set of seeds, the “control” seeds, have not been to space. 

Completing the Seed Investigation

Description

Does exposure to space affect the germination rate of tomato seeds? In the Seed Investigation, students examine the effects of the space environment on the germination of tomato seeds.
Find out how to launch the project by watching our “Completing the Seed Investigation” video on YouTube.

Extending the Seed Investigation

Suggested Inquiry Questions
  • Are there any differences in growth and vigour between the plants from the two seed treatments?
  • How does the quantity of water affect plant growth?
  • How does the application of fertilizer affect plant growth?
  • How does the duration of light affect the time for tomato fruit to reach maturity?
  • How do different types of light (e.g., natural light, fluorescent light bulbs, black light, etc.) affect plant growth?
     
Reinforcing Key Concepts