Pupils at Cople Lower School are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.
The school will receive the special delivery next year after the seeds make a safe landing back on earth, and use them in a gardening experiment.
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 in March.
The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.
Cople Lower School will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks.
The pupils won’t 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.
Vicki Davy, science co-ordinator, says: “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 community. All of our pupils will be involved in this experiment, along with other space related projects that are taking place throughout the year.”
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.
Applications to take part in Rocket Science are still open and will close in March next year or until all packs have been allocated. Schools and educational groups can apply at rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening.
Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience
The RHS Campaign for School Gardening works with over 21,000 schools and groups, representing more than 4.5 million children across the UK, to inspire a love of plants and horticulture. Through their resources, unique competitions and hands-on projects, the organisation supports teachers to enhance children’s skills and development to meet the needs of the future.
An extensive bank of online resources and national programme of school gardening training courses enthuse teachers and give them skills and confidence to create outdoor learning experiences that impact on children’s achievement, health and well-being, whilst supporting the National Curriculum. Visit rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening.