Seeds into Space!
The Prep girls 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 in March 2016. 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. Mary’s 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 girls 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 girls 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.
Mrs Stone, Head of Prep Science, has always been fascinated by space and was delighted to be offered the chance to be a Space Ambassador for this year’s Tim Peake Primary Project. Mrs Stone works with teachers from four other primary schools delivering training, workshops, resources and support to enhance the teaching of space science in schools. Mrs Stone said “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our girls to think more scientifically. They are thrilled to know that their results from this investigation could have an impact on the future of space travel. It is helping them to gain a better understanding of the kinds of jobs scientists do and the importance of Science in their lives.”
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. St. Mary’s will be taking part in some of the other investigations linked to this project including completing Space Diaries that follow Tim Peake’s Principia mission month by month.