Kilchre­nan voy­age of dis­cov­ery

The Oban Times - - Community News -

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.

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