Kilchrenan voyage of discovery
KILCHRENAN Primary School pupils are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.
In September, 2kgs of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44S where they will spend several months in microgravity before returning to earth in March 2016.
The seeds were sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.
Kilchrenan 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 students 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 human life could be preserved 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.
Head teacher Graham Dickie said: ‘ We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our students to think more scientifically, and builds on our success in achieving a merit award in the Rolls Royce Science prize.
‘It is an example of the way in which small schools can offer and deliver an innovative and engaging curriculum, whilst giving us the experience with working with other students across the UK.’ 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.