How can astronauts grow nutritious fresh food to eat while orbiting in the International Space Station?

Mackay High School sophomore Chase Green suggests a solution. Green, reporter for the school’s FFA chapter, produced an award-winning video describing how vegetables can be grown in space using a hydroponic system. His video shows how students developed a hydroponic system using nutrient-rich water and lightweight perlite to grow vegetables in the school’s greenhouse.

The Mackay program is partially funded by the Idaho Career and Technical Education program, which oversees technical curricula at Idaho high schools.

“Hydroponics in space is an example of how CTE and NASA can take a small idea to expand space exploration in a big way,” said Green, who filmed, edited and narrated his video.

Last month the video was chosen as the top entry in the national CTE Month-NASA HUNCH Student Video Challenge. Green received a plaque and $500 for the Mackay FFA program. The $500 will help Mackay students attend the FFA state leadership conference this month in Twin Falls.

NASA established HUNCH, an acronym for High schools United with NASA to Create Hardware, to encourage high school students to develop products that can be used to explore space.

Green, 16, has produced videos of ag students’ work for Mackay ag science teacher and FFA adviser Trent Van Leuven, who encouraged him to enter the challenge.

“He’s a brilliant young man who understands how to tell a story through film and editing,” Van Leuven said. “He knows how to get great shots. His work is remarkable because he’s self taught. His videos are of such a professional quality that when you watch them it’s hard to believe a teenager did them.”

When Green thought of entering the national challenge, he said he had “a pretty clear-cut vision of what the finished video would look like.” He filmed the school’s hydroponic system and edited it with video clips of what Earth looks like from the space station and NASA employees in a simulated space capsule. Green estimates he spent about seven hours writing the script, filming, narrating, and editing his production.

“Whatever I produce, I want to make a genuine connection with viewers, so I choose my words carefully,” he said. “I’ve loved video production since I was 13 and started creating YouTube videos. I started with gaming projects and personality type content and kept learning how to improve my editing techniques and commentaries.” At age 15 he joined an international gaming organization and began editing games.

“Then a friend and I began shooting real estate and company infomercial videos and started a company called Kobe Skye LLC,” he said. “With all those experiences, I’ll definitely have a career in video production. It’s a passion for me.”

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