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Middlewich High School

Achievement for all

Middlewich High School to grow seeds from space!

Pupils at Middlewich High school are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

PRESS RELEASE

09/11/15

Middlewich High School to grow seeds from space!

Pupils at Middlewich High 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) on Soyuz 44S 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.

Middlewich High school will be one of up to 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 students 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 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.

Mr Wilson Head of Science, at MHS, says: “We are delighted to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment will be an exciting way for our young scientists to contribute to a National experiment and share their learning with the whole community. Hopefully their experience with Rocket Science will encourage them to be involved in growing plants and also inspire them to find out more about careers in STEM subjects including horticulture, plant science and the space industry as a whole.”

The GCSE Astronomy class will be collaborating with the school gardening club who will be looking after the seeds once they are planted. Students will care for the seedlings and  record their growth and observations. The data will then be entered  into 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 interpret the results and draw possible conclusions, publishing their results on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website.

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

Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience