Students at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School heard last week in a special school assembly that they will be taking part in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Rocket Science Experiment.
The RHS Rocket Science project, in partnership with the UK Space Agency, is a UK-wide experiment and a fun, interactive way to encourage students to think about how plants might grow in space. It will help them understand the difficulties of living, growing and eating in space.
In September 2015, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44S. The seeds will be held in microgravity for 6 months with British ESA astronaut, Tim Peake, taking charge of them while on the ISS for his Principia mission starting in December.
The seeds will return to earth in April 2016 and Clitheroe Royal Grammar will be one of the chosen schools to receive 100 seeds from space. These will be grown alongside seeds that have not been to space to see if there are any differences in growth. No one at CRGS will know which seeds have been to space and which have remained on Earth.
Students will care for the seedlings, record their growth and observations over 7 weeks and enter data 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.
Mr P Smith