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Andi Twiss

Built and maintained an outdoor raised bed laboratory to learn about soil, sediment, germination rates and more

2021 STEM Scholar
Brooklyn Center, MN New Millennium Academy

Andi’s Big Idea:

Andi’s students designed and built raised garden beds on campus to serve as an outdoor laboratory to design investigations around soil and sediment. Specifically, they compared Mars simulated soil vs. Earth soil and tested germination rates of tomato seeds that have traveled to the ISS and experienced solar radiation vs. seeds that have resided only on Earth. They gathered data on temperature, soil moisture and UV exposure to eventually automate this through Arduino sensors.

Interesting Facts:

Andi is a lover of music, travel, movies, sewing and trying new foods. A few months before quarantine, she adopted a cat named Tater Tot, now a frequent “zoom-bomber” during her online classes. Tater Tot apparently loves musicals as much as Andi does – she often sings during science lessons!

In her own words: “This project is a priority to guarantee specific, purposeful, and standards-driven science education. After a year of sitting in front of screens, I want to ensure our in-person learning is as dynamic as our learners are! ”