Banburyshire pupils to become space biologists

Children at the Dassett CoE Primary School in Fenny Compton get to work on their 'rocket garden'. NNL-150511-160951001
Children at the Dassett CoE Primary School in Fenny Compton get to work on their 'rocket garden'. NNL-150511-160951001

Children at The Dassett CoE Primary School in Fenny Compton have had a double blast of excitement in recent weeks.

The school’s gardening club have just achieved Level 3 of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Awards and as a reward have received an amazing Rocket Gardens ‘Constant Garden’, which is already growing very well.

They are now preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space after 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S.

There 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.

Ali Hine, headteacher, said: “We 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 children 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 children 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.”

You can follow the project on Twitter @RHSSchools #RocketScience