Children at St Francis Primary School are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.
In September, two kilograms of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March this year.
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.
St Francis Primary 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 children 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.
Matthew Snow, science coordinator at St Francis Primary School, 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 and nation.”
Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British 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.