Chickens grown on Mars?

With the research done by the NC State Nuggets on Mars program, we could one day be growing chickens on Mars.

After COVID–19 delayed the project, North Carolina State University is now taking applicants for its Nuggets on Mars program. The last program was held in 2019, and it is currently recruiting middle school and pre-service teachers from North Carolina to take part.

The purpose of the program is to equip teachers to be able to educate their students about the future of agriculture in space.

According to the website, “a fifth grader today will graduate from college in 2030. This is around the time that at least four private companies as well as NASA, Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration plan to land the first humans on Mars. Elementary and middle school students today will see some of the most profound changes in food production since the invention of agriculture.”

The multi–step, year–long program is as follows:

  • The teachers will spend four to five with members of their local county farm bureaus, including the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (NCFB).

  • They will learn about the STEM principles behind poultry production and the unique challenges of raising chickens on Mars.

  • They will travel to Washington D.C. for three days to visit the American Farm Bureau headquarters to learn about poultry policy development and implementation.

  • And they will visit program staff at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and NASA.

At the end of the program, the participants will be tasked with putting together a unit for their class focused on developing ideas on ways to raise chickens on mars. The program ends with a showcase event at NC State hosted by the Prestage Department of Poultry Science and the NCFB in which the classes can present their ideas.

Par : Emma Cottrell (11/03/2022)

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