Why it’s just ‘Rocket Science’ in Tetford!

Edward Richardson School pupils who have signed up for the space seed project EMN-151221-090756001
Edward Richardson School pupils who have signed up for the space seed project EMN-151221-090756001
  • Edward Richardson pupils could help development in space

Pupils at The Edward Richardson Primary School in Tetford have joined the space race.

They are taking part in an ambitious project...growing seeds that have recently spent time in space.

In September, 2kgs of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S.

The seeds 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.

The Edward Richardson Primary School will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space.

The pupils will grow the seeds alongside ones 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 - 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

Andrew Hyde, headteacher at The Edward Richardson School, 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 community.”

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.

The project is designed to inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

Other local schools could still sign up. Applications to take part in Rocket Science are still open and will close in March next year - or until all packs have been allocated. Schools and educational groups can apply at rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening. Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience