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Inspiring ideas to grow out of this world

Inspiring ideas to grow out of this world

Monday, May 9, 2016

YEAR 10 pupils at Taunton School have embarked upon 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.

Taunton School is one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they are growing alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks.

The pupils don’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 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.

Caro Wedgwood, Head of Biology at Taunton School says: “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 contribute to a large scale project where the data gathered will be instrumental in our understanding about the effects of microgravity”

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.

You can follow the the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience.