Our IB pupils are working as ‘space biologists’ and have embarked 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 spent 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.
Warminster School is one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which are being grown alongside seeds that haven’t been to space. Pupils are measuring 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 pupils 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.
Catherine Wilson, Science teacher, said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our pupils to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole school. Special thanks goes to Helen Brown, Technician, who has been responsible for ensuring that the seedlings are protected and kept in the correct conditions during the project.'“
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.
The IB pupils, who are also developing this as part of their IB CAS Project, will be presenting their findings through a range of media, presenting to lower years to encourage them to think about pursuing science as a career.
Pupils taking part in the project are all in their first year of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme; Ayden-Ege Ali, James Caldwell, Christian Folkesson, Merlin Hudetz, Frederik Langner and Sophie Lindsay.
You can follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience