Issued: March 9, 2016
Pupils to grow seeds from space
Pupils at Thomas Willingale School and Nursery are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.
In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they will spend several months in microgravity before returning to Earth later this month.
The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.
Thomas Willingale School and Nursery is one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that have not been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks.
The children will not know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.
The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the children to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.
Thomas Willingale Head Teacher Teresa Phillips said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our children to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole school."
Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.
You can follow the project on Twitter - @RHSSchools #RocketScience