8 Mar 2021

Science challenges students and visitors at Grow Ōtautahi


Stranded on a space flight to Jupiter, Grow Ōtautahi will challenge Christchurch high school students to create solutions to water, energy, food and waste problems in a sparse environment.

The launch of Project Jupiter 2022 is just one of the ways Grow Ōtautahi is using science to highlight environmental issues and get young people excited about sustainability and our planet’s future. Grow Ōtautahi Science Ambassador Dr Trevor Stuthridge will introduce the 2022 project to around 50 students on Friday morning (12 March 2021) and invite people to take part in the project next year. He will be joined by Dr Sarah Kessans, a scientist from University of Canterbury, who will talk about her cutting-edge science on space colonisation.

This is just one example of how Grow Ōtautahi is more than a garden festival: it celebrates our environment, brings together our community and champions education. The festival has a significant science and research focus, with experts sharing their love of science and education in the Horticultural Futures Hub over the three days of the free festival.

Come along and hear how science and research is transforming the future of food right here in Canterbury when Trevor talks about “geeks going gourmet”. You can also hear Ruud Kleinpaste – aka “The Bugman” – talk about connecting young people to nature and the garden; listen to Lincoln University experts on how to create biodiversity in your garden and what makes great soil; and learn about Environment Canterbury working with people help them understanding how to protect and enhance mahinga kai – traditional Ngāi Tahu food resources and their ecosystems.

Following a hugely popular flowering of the “corpse flower” in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens last year, visitors to Grow will also be able to learn more about this curious and stinky plant at Grow.

Whether you’re into science, or you’re simply looking for a great day out in the Garden City – Grow Ōtautahi has something for everyone.

It’s free to attend Grow over three days in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens – Friday to Sunday, 9am-5pm. We can’t wait to see you there!

Background – Project Jupiter 2022

Under Project Jupiter 2022, students will take part in a challenge that asks them to imagine themselves on a troubled space mission to Jupiter. To save themselves and their crew, they’ll need Kiwi ingenuity and a bit of Number 8 wire mentality to fix a range of problems with only limited space and materials. Their ideas and creations will be showcased at next year’s Grow Ōtautahi festival. More information on how schools can take part in 2022 will be available on the Grow website later this year.