Pupils at Battle Abbey Prep School in Bexhill 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 spent several months in microgravity, under the watchful eye of astronaut Tim Peake, 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.
Battle Abbey Prep School received a packet of one hundred seeds from space, which pupils will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure 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 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.
Rachel Wilks, Battle Abbey Prep School science teacher 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 share their findings with the other scientists.
“We are particularly delighted to be taking part in this nationwide project during the time that Tim Peake is representing the United Kingdom on the International Space Station.”
It is not the only out of this world experience Tim Peake has shared with Bexhill’s schoolchildren.
Last month, pupils at St Richards Catholic College were over the moon to talk to Tim via radio link up as the ISS passed overhead.
Fourteen students from St Richard’s Amateur Radio Club got to ask the astronaut from Chichester, West Sussex, a question, with queries ranging from what experiments he was doing in space to what it was like to watch humanity.
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