Pupils at Nottingham High Infant and Junior School have just learnt they will become space biologists as they are taking part in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Rocket Science Experiment.
The RHS Rocket Science project, which is organised in partnership with the UK Space Agency, is a UK wide experiment and a fun, interactive way to get children thinking about how plants might grow in space. It will help them understand the difficulties of living, growing and eating in space.
In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they are being held in microgravity for six months with British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake taking charge of them during his Principia mission.
The seeds will return to earth in April 2016 and Nottingham High Infant and Junior School will be one of 10,000 schools chosen to receive 100 seeds from space. These will be grown alongside seeds that have not been to space to see if there are any differences in growth. The pupils will not know which seeds have been to space and which have remained on Earth.
Over a seven week period, students will care for the seedlings, record their growth and observations, and enter their findings onto a database. After all the data has been collected, the results will be analysed by professional statisticians. Leading scientists from the RHS and European Space Agency will then interpret the results and draw possible conclusions, publishing their results on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website.
Clare Bruce, Head Teacher at Nottingham High Junior and Infant School said: “We are delighted to have been selected to take part in the Rocket Science project and our pupils are really excited about getting involved in a national experiment. This is such a unique opportunity and we look forward to sharing what we are doing with the rest of the school.”