Let's sprout beans!
Our initial project proposal was about Vigna Angularis, commonly known as Adzuki beans. We started growing Adzuki beans ever since the project was selected.
Our first attempts at growing Adzuki beans didn't go so well, but after following our advisor's method, we were able to sprout beans, and we learned a lot during this process! However...still no luck sprouting them in the simulated mixstix.
I feel a disturbance in the Force!
While they are highly nutritious, Adzuki beans proved to be too large and very difficult to sprout in a tube. After much consideration and many attempts, the team decided to pursue sprouting another bean of the same family and decided to change the project to sprout Vigna Radiata, commonly known as Mung Beans. These beans are smaller and easier to sprout, and still have many of the great benefits and nutritional value as Adzuki beans.
Let's grow beans again!
While Mung beans seem to be easier to grow, growing them in the constraints of a mixstix is still no easy task. It is a 10 mL tube with up to three segments or "compartments" that an astronaut aboard the Space Station can open during scheduled interactions.
Experiment optimization is about finding the optimal conditions for the experiment. All team members were sent a kit containing a simulated mixtix (the real thing is too expensive to use), beans, and different substrates.
Changing only one parameter at the time, and learning to document our findings, the team tested multiple configurations (number of beans and spacing), fluid measurments and substrates.
The launch has been delayed from March to June 2021. This delay gives us more time to complete the fundraising and keep working on the experiment optimization. Working together as a team during COVID-19 hasn't been easy because we have to all work remotely instead of getting together. But overall we have worked well together and the team has done a great job!