Potential Funding Opportunity

CTSGC is seeking Team Leaders from schools, libraries or youth organizations around the state who want to participate in a Plant the Moon/Plant Mars Challenge offered through the Institute of Competition Sciences.

This is a chance for students of all ages to be part of a global science experiment and research challenge to examine how vegetable crops can grow in lunar or Martian soil. Participating teams will each receive real soil simulant from the University of Central Florida’s CLASS Exolith Lab. Teams will design and conduct a set of experiments using this simulant to grow crops for a future long-duration mission.

Funded teams must contribute a $100 registration fee payable to NASA CT Space Grant. The remaining costs will be paid by CT Space Grant. The cost for any additional experiment supplies (seeds, pots, soil or additives) will be the team’s responsibility, and can be through in-kind donations.  

Important dates for the Fall 2024 Challenge:

  • June 5, 2024: Information Webinar
  • July 15, 2024: Applications due to CTSGC Office
  • August 21, 2024: Awardees notified,
  • August 23, 2024: Commitment Forms due to ICS from funded teams
  • August30, 2024: $100/kit payment to CT Space Grant Consortium due from funded teams
  • September 3, 2024: Shipping begins
  • September 16, 2024: Opening Symposium
  • September 22, 2024: Task #1 Due (Demographic Survey)
  • September 29, 2024: Task #2 Due (Initial Experimental Design)
  • September 30, 2024: Grow Period Begins
  • October 13, 2024: Task #3 Due (Intro Video)
  • October 16, 2024: Optional Live Office Hours
  • November 3, 2024: Task #4 Due (Midpoint Grow Update)
  • November 6, 2024: Live Q&A with Science Advisory Board experts
  • November 24, 2024: Grow Period Ends
  • December 15, 2024: Task #5 Due (Project Report)
  • December 22, 2024: Task #6 Due (Final Video)
  • January 15, 2025: Closing Awards Ceremony

Before you complete your application, consider the following questions:

Do you have a letter of support from your organization or school?

Your application requires that a letter of support be provided with your application. This may be a letter from your school administration (principal, district administrator, etc.) or organization leadership to indicate their awareness of the program, especially as it relates to the space or facility to conduct the experiments and staff/faculty time to run this program. When applying, you will be asked to upload a letter of support.

How will your organization supply the 1:1 Match required for this grant?

For all CTSGC funds provided, we require 1:1 match, which can be staff time, or in-kind (non-Federal) donations. This information needs to be documented in the budget worksheet section of this application. For your planning purposes, program costs are $424.75 (which includes the $399 kit and $25.75 for shipping) per kit/team before any additives, equipment or seeds. Acknowledgement of the 1:1 match must be included in your letter of support.

Ready to apply?

Interested Team Leaders should submit their Application before July 15, 2024. Notification of awards will take place in August.

Have questions or need additional intomation?

For additional information on this program from the Institute of Competition Sciences, click on the following link:

If you have questions, please contact CTSGC Program Coordinator April Michaud.