Students in Year 7 at Applemore College are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.
The Launch of our Rocket Science Project took place just before half term when Mr Hearmon and Mrs Williams announced to 7e1 in a Science lesson that they were the lucky students who would be involved in the out-of-this-world national science experiment.
Science teacher, Mr Hearmon explained about the project and how the students will be involved with planting rocket seeds that have been in space, looking after them and recording aspects of their growth. The students became even more excited about the project when a real live British ESA astronaut Tim Peake asked them to be involved via a RHS School Gardening video
The Rocket Science students learnt that these were not the first rocket seeds to be sent into space for this experiment. The original seeds were lost when the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Space X 7 cargo spacecraft exploded shortly after launch on 28 June 2015. Our caring students immediately asked whether anyone was killed in this explosion, and were relieved to hear it was an unmanned mission.
There were lots of questions raised by the students including what is rocket and will they be able to taste it once the seeds have grown? Mrs Williams explained that the GardenMore Team will be growing rocket in the raised vegetable beds within the school grounds, so everyone can taste rocket without disturbing the seeds for the nationwide experiment.
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. Many of the Year 7 students said they felt privileged to be the science set involved and understood their responsibility to be ambassadors for the project. They are keen to share rocket science news across the school in assemblies, newsletters, on the school website and screens and get everyone thinking 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.
The students received Rocket Science stickers to celebrate their participation in the project and enjoyed reading all about it on the new noticeboard in the Science corridor, which they will keep updated with all the latest news. Lots of interesting discussions followed the launch lesson including comments such as “It feels odd not to know which of the seeds have been into space. They might not be like a normal seed affected by gravity on earth. They might even grow upside down!”
Even the wildest suggestions such as “an alien could put something in the seed” were brought back down to earth with information and discussion about microorganisms in space!
Applemore College’s Rocket Scientists can’t wait until the seeds arrive in the Summer Term, and will be following Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and all the news about the Rocket Science project using the following links:
- RHS Rocket Science Webpage https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Competitions/Rocket-Science-Experiment-Overview
- Track the ISS online http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/#.VgLAf8tVhBc
- Video of the rocket launch that delivered our seeds to the ISS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R7-gWKZZsg
- Follow on Twitter or Facebook
- com/rhsschools #RocketScience