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Grades 7-9 (Secondary I, II, III) Resources

  • Use Tomatosphere™ to develop key cross-curricular concepts and skills of inquiry
  • Extend student learning beyond the Seed Investigation

Conducting the Seed Investigation

Seed Investigation - Step-by-step Guide

Example Scenario

One way to kick off the Tomatosphere™ Seed Investigation is by presenting students with a fictional scenario that provides an explanation as to why some tomato seeds might have been exposed to space or space-like conditions.

Tomato Trouble

Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score = 75.1, reading level = grade 6

An Orion spacecraft is heading to Mars. Attached to the outside of the spacecraft are several containers. In the containers are supplies and equipment. The temperature and pressure in the containers is similar those in the spacecraft.

The astronauts suddenly hear an alarm...

Full Scenario:

pdf doc
Students with seedlings


The Tomatosphere™ Seed Investigation provides many opportunities for students to develop inquiry skills. Below are some quick links to ready-to-use templates that students can use when they participate in the Seed Investigation. More templates, as well as Learning Strategies and Skill Look Fors can be found in the Inquiry Section.

Skill: Planning

Skill: Predicting

Skill: Observing

Skill: Using Appropriate Vocabulary

Skill: Displaying Data

Students with Tomato Plant

Extending the Seed Investigation

Inquiry Guide

Suggested Questions for Investigation with Tomatosphere™ Plants

  • 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


Grade 7
(Sec. I)

Grade 8
(Sec. II)

Grade 9
(Sec. III)

Cycling of Energy and Matter in Ecosystems

Grade 7, Sec. I Sec. II

Introduction to Photosynthesis

Grade 7, Sec. I Sec. II

Needs of Plants and Plant Growth

Grade 7, Sec. I Sec. II

Seed Germination

Grade 7, Sec. I Sec. II

Human Uses of Plants in Space

Grade 7, Sec. I Sec. II Grade 9, Sec. III

Physical Characteristics of Mars

Grade 9, Sec. III

Space Plant Research

Grade 9, Sec. III

Teacher Resources

External Resources