The $300 Minimum Viable Food Computer Food Computer has been built by quite a few individuals on these forums. In the effort of making the project more accessible to teachers, and students @drewthomas89 and I have formed a commercial venture which intends to manufacture and distribute kits and continue to develop the open-source software.
We want to make agriculture exciting, and we believe that by teaching ourselves/students to design for a closed-loop agricultural system (space) solutions to existing agricultural problems will be found as well. This is why we believe it is so important to keep as much of our work open-source as possible, so it can be “pulled” by those who need it, and not just “pushed” to those who can afford it.
A good example of an organization already teaching about both plants and space is Fairchild Botanical Gardens (see #3 below) who has been working with NASA, and its STEM network of schools to act as citizen scientists for several years. They are using citizen scientist students to help identify which crops would be the best to grow on Mars.
At MARSfarm, it’s our goal to work with organizations like Fairchild, as well as other large nonprofits in both the aerospace, STEM, and plant science communities. We want to manufacture kits and work with partners to develop a curriculum which can be used in conjunction with open-source software to create datasets which can be shared with many partners for analysis.
We are looking for beta testers in schools, as well as teachers to help us develop the curriculum. Please take a look at what we’ve put together so far, it’s quite rough, but the goal here is to get feedback on our direction and begin to involve the community in the development of this curriculum as well:
Edit - I wanted to include links to some of the other relevant conversations that led to the development of this outline: