Lesson Plans

International Space Station: Veggie Electronic Badge


This digital badge will introduce you to Veggie, a project taking place at the Space Station Processing Facility, at Kennedy Space Center.  The badge provides educators with the background information they need to incorporate this project into the classroom.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the basic differences between growing plants on Earth vs. growing plants in space.

  • Explain why scientists are studying space plant growth.

  • Explain how scientists and engineers are solving challenges they face when growing plants in a microgravity environment.

  • Describe the basic components of a vegetable growth chamber (i.e., hardware) needs to have to support plant growth in space.

  • Design a Veggie prototype that could simulate space plant growth in a classroom.

  • Describe the Tomatosphere project.

  • Create a data collection sheet to track plant growth.

  • Create math activities related to plant growth tracking that are suitable for their classroom.

  • Create a relevant and integrated lesson plan about Veggie, which will connect science to math and health science, art or language studies and drama.

Essential Questions

  • What are the differences between growing plants on Earth vs in space?

  • Why do scientists study plant growth in space?  Why is this important?

  • What challenges do scientists and engineers have when growing plants in space?


  1. Visit the Veggies in Space Educator Digital Badge for more information.

  2. Choose one way of signing in.  Note: You will need to create an account through one of the following software: Google, Facebook, or Twitter.  (You will need to select one way of signing in and be consistent.)

  1. Create your Profile.

    1. YOU MUST leave your profile Public in order for your work to be assessed by NASA professional.

    2. Confirm that you will be signing in with one software (Google, Facebook, or Twitter).  Add an email address to profile.

    3. Select to add a picture (not required)

    4. Add social media accounts (not required)

  2. Visit the Dashboard.dashboard

    1. This is the main page of the of your page. You will be able to see:

      1. Badges in progress

      2. Missions

      3. Groups

      4. Activity

      5. My Badges

  3. Go to Explore.

    1. Here you can explore all the badges, missions, groups, and more. 

    2. Find Veggie and complete the work.explore

Teacher Background Information

Watch the SCIENCE@NASA video “Lettuce Orbit Earth: A New Form of Life Takes Root on the ISS”

Why Does NASA Study This Phenomenon?

After earning this badge, you will be equipped to connect plant science taking place at Kennedy Space Center to your own classroom. Check out the badge system and articles on how students can help our scientist grown plants in space. Be part of the mission and help us feed future astronaut heading into deeper space, join the mission Growing Beyond Earth.

Your participation in Veggie may bring many rewards to your school including (but not limited to):

  • Space Seeds (flown on NASA missions to International Space Station, while supplies last)

  • Tomato seeds

  • Basil seeds

  • School visits by NASA representatives

  • NASA Scientists

  • NASA Education Specialist

  • Downlink to speak with ISS NASA Astronauts

  • Live Connection to NASA center

  • An invitation to visit NASA Kennedy Space Center during Robotic Mining Competitions

STEM Career Connections

Interested in learning more about careers related to this research?  Visit MND's SCIENCE: Botanists and Plant Scientists page for information about science jobs that are engaged in cool research like this.