Stedham Primary School grows space biologists with astronaut Tim Peake

British astronaut Tim Peake poses beside spacesuits as he talks to UK media at the Science Museum, London, before being launched into space Picture by Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
British astronaut Tim Peake poses beside spacesuits as he talks to UK media at the Science Museum, London, before being launched into space Picture by Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Pupils at Stedham Primary School 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) 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.

Headteacher Sally Dreckmann said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our children to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community.

“Stedham Primary School will be one of 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 children 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 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.”

Rocket Science was developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate European Space Agency 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.

On December 15, Tim Peake, who grew up in Westbourne and studied at Chichester High School for Boys, will launch in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan.

He will be conducting some 265 experiments aboard the ISS, including experiments on his own body which will help to investigate cures for various illnesses and diseases.

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