ExoLab Growth Lab - Magnitude.io

ExoLab Growth Lab


ExoLab is an experimental platform that brings together classrooms and the International Space Station in a collaborative investigation of the effects of microgravity on living things.

ExoLab Growth Lab

District license is available, please email hello@magnitude.io for details.



SKU: exolab-growth-lab Category:


Join the complete mission to the International Space Station in February 2021. Collaborate with teachers around the world! Program includes summer professional development, ground trials, realtime connection to the ISS during the mission, and post flight participation in epigenetic research via RNA sequencing.

The Experiment: ExoLab

Motivation: Microgravity environments enabled by the International Space Station provide a unique opportunity to study the symbiotic relationship between the roots of leguminous plants and nitrogen fixing bacteria. The nodulation that occurs on Earth is a necessary component to healthy soils and the process will need to be replicated in microgravity to support the future of space travel.

Research goals: Identify the optimal combination of legume, bacteria, and soil to produce nodulation in the harsh environment of the Space Tango lockers on the ISS; seek to identify an novel gene expressions that may have changed due to the stresses of microgravity.

Process: We begin by selecting in advance the type of bacteria we wish to use for the experiment: Rhizobium. We then conduct multiple experiments (outlined below) to determine the legume and the growth medium that will be used in microgravity.

In addition, teachers will

  • Be prepared to use ExoLab-8 to supplement their curriculum throughout the 2020-21 school year.
  • Gain comfort with the Magnitude platform, the lesson content, the ExoLab device, the experiment, the science, and conditions of microgravity on the International Space Station.
  • Gain confidence in their ability to modify, create, assign, and deliver impactful experiment-based lessons about the ExoLab-8 experiment.
  • Gain proficiency in pedagogical practices and science practices such as science protocols, experimental design, data collection, data analysis.
  • Be empowered to design and participate in holistic science experiments.
  • Acquire skills to evaluate student science experiments.


ExoLab Curriculum

Our extensive NGSS-aligned Curriculum Library within the Magnitude Classroom follows the 5E instructional framework, and is intended to support your students throughout the year as they progress through the ExoLab mission.

Pre-flight Trials

Our ExoLab curriculum will offer extensive opportunities for your students to participate in grade-appropriate plant growth experiments. Whether they are in the classroom or at home, your students will choose between nine different legume plants, learn what critical elements are needed for life, and explore the biology, chemistry, and environmental science often buried inside soil: the symbiotic relationship between legume plant roots and the nitrogen-fixing bacteria, Rhizobium. In a successful experiment, this relationship will produce visible nodules attached to the roots which play a critical role in the nitrogen cycle.

On Orbit Experience

In February 2021, one of the nine possible legume seeds will be sent to grow for 30 days in microgravity, caught in the Earth’s orbit aboard the International Space Station. Through the Magnitude Classroom, students will have near real-time imagery of the growing seedlings and can observe how microgravity impedes or improves plant growth, and if the nodulation that occurs on Earth through the symbiotic legume-rhizobium relationship can be replicated in space.


Additional information

Weight9 lbs
Dimensions12 × 12 × 6 in
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