About Us

The Institute of Competition Sciences (ICS) makes learning an exciting challenge for students of all ages. For ICS, it’s not only about creating a tool for students, educators and innovators. It’s about creating academic heroes, and building the structures and systems upon which they can be recognized and rewarded. We aim to do for educational competitions what ESPN has done for professional sports, and much more. The Plant the Moon Challenge is ICS’s signature competition to help engage, inspire, and motivate students to learn through real-world challenge-based programming.

In collaboration with

NASA SSERVI

Recognizing that science and human exploration are mutually enabling, NASA created the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) to address basic and applied scientific questions fundamental to understanding the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, and the near space environments of these target bodies. As a virtual institute, SSERVI funds investigators at a broad range of domestic institutions, bringing them together along with international partners via virtual technology to enable new scientific efforts.

NASA Partner

The Plant the Moon Challenge is partnering with six Space Grant Consortiums on a special NASA-funded regional project to expand the reach of the PTMC to underserved and underrepresented STEM students in the six partnering states: Virginia (lead), North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

The NASA Space Grant Regional Expansion Project builds on the Plant the Moon Challenge by providing additional state-based support to educators, free lunar regolith simulant kits, teacher stipends, enhancement activities, special experiential state/regional awards, and expanded educator professional development. The project is expected to engage more than 13,000 students over three years.

Science Advisory Board

The Plant the Moon Challenge is supported by volunteer scientists and business people in the space and agriculture industries, providing participants with expert perspectives and cutting edge information. If you are an expert in these industries or working a related profession, and would like to learn more about becoming a member of our Advisory Board, please contact: ptmc@competitionsciences.org.

Dr. Colleen
Doherty

Associate Professor of Biochemistry

North Carolina State University

Dr. Tim
Durham

Associate Professor of Crop Science

Ferum College

Dr. Isi
Ero-Tolliver

Dean, School of Science

Hampton University

Mahsa
Esfandabadi

Aerospace Architectural Engineer

SEArch+

Dr. Laura
Fackrell

Postdoctoral Fellow

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Ralph
Fritsche

Space Crop Production Manager

NASA Kennedy Space Center

Dr. Robert
Heinse

Associate Professor of Soil

University of Idaho

Michael
Lewis

Chief Innovation Officer

Nanoracks

Jared
Long-Fox

Planetary Exploration Research Scientist

University of Central Florida

Dr. Rafael
Loureiro

Assistant Professor of Botany

Winston-Salem State University

Dr. Scott
Lowman

Vice President, Applied Research

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

Dr. Kennda
Lynch

Staff Scientist

Lunar and Planetary Institute

Dr. Chris
McKay

Senior Scientist

NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Qingwu
Meng

Professor of Horticulture

University of Delaware

Dr. Joseph
Minafra

Lead for Innovation & Technical Partnerships

NASA SSERVI

Dr. Melanie
Mormile

Associate Dean of Research

Missouri University of Science & Technology

Dr. Andrew
Palmer

Associate Professor

Florida Institute of Technology

Dr. Shawana
Tabassum

Assistant Professor of Engineering

University of Texas at Tyler