Space seeds for Crathie kids

International Space Station
International Space Station

Seeds that have been aboard the International Space Station for months will feature in the experiments of children at Crathie Primary.

The 12 pupils taking part at Crathie School will receive 100 of the rocket seeds, currently still on the space station in microgravity, to grow alongside regular seeds over seven weeks.

The young scientists won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The science experiment hopes to encourage the pupils to think about how human life can be preserved on another planet, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space, and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

The seeds are part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign for school gardening alongside the UK Space Agency.

Head teacher Lilian Field said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our children to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community.”

The children will be supported by the gardeners on the nearby Balmoral Estate, and head gardener Allan Beedie said: “I think this will be a wonderful project for the children of Crathie School to be involved with.”

The school also plans to involve their toddlers group who visit school twice weekly.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the space station on Soyuz 44S where they spent several months in microgravity. They return to Earth next month.

Rocket Science is an educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS to inspire young people to look into careers in cience, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Follow the project on the Twitter handle: @RHSSchools.