The RHS Campaign for School Gardening has partnered with the UK Space Agency to embark on an ‘out of this world’ educational project.
The project, Rocket Science, will give around half a million UK children the chance to learn how science in space contributes to our knowledge of life on earth, using the invaluable expertise of the European Space agency(ESA) and RHS Science team.
After several months on board, the seeds will be sent back and will land in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2016. After they return to the UK, they will be packaged up with identical seeds that have stayed on earth. Participating schools will each receive two packets of 100 seeds to grow and compare,.
We want pupils of all ages across the UK to embark on a voyage of discovery to see what growing plants in space can teach us about life on Earth and whether we can sustain human life in space through the production of our own food. Schools will be invited to input their results into a national online database so that results can be compared across all schools in the UK. The project is aimed at inspiring pupils to think scientifically and helping them to see the potential of future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and Horticulture.
Each class will be growing and measuring their seeds.
(18 April) British astronaut Tim Peake sent a special message from space to the hundreds of thousands of children who will be beginning our Rocket Science project in partnership with the UK Space Agency experiment this week.
Tim, who delivered the message from the International Space Station where he’s been since December, wished the 600,000 young people signed up to the experiment good luck with their investigations into the impact of micro-gravity and space travel on seed germination and growth. The results will help to form a clearer picture of the potential for astronauts to grow their own food to sustain them on long-term missions.
Speaking while 400km above the surface of the Earth, Tim said: “This is a really exciting week for the hundreds of thousands of young people across the country who will begin their Rocket Science experiments. I’d like to wish everyone taking part the best of luck with their investigations and I look forward to seeing some of the results.
“It’s possible that among those pupils taking part in the project are the young people who will help mankind reach the next big milestones in space exploration for the benefit of people on Earth. I hope the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s Rocket Science experiment will spark curiosity and wonder amongst young people who may become the next generation of horticultural scientists.”
With more than 8,600 schools and educational groups poised to begin their Rocket Science experiment this week, the project is now among the biggest mass science experiments conducted in UK schools.
Rocket Science will see school pupils across the country spend 35 days analysing the growth and development of two batches of seemingly identical rocket seeds. However, one batch of seeds has spent time in space with Tim on the International Space Station, orbiting the Earth at 17,000mph. The aim of the experiment is to enthuse young people about science and horticulture and provide the European Space Agency with key insights into some of the challenges of growing food in space.