We were honoured to be been given the opportunity to meet astronaut Tim Peake at the Schools STEM Conference in Portsmouth. Pupils from year 6 at Chisenhale Primary School, got through to present our Rocket Science project to other schools from around the country and we heard Tim Peake speak all about his adventures on the ISS. We were then introduced to him personally and he was so interested in all we had found out- such an incredibly inspirational person.
The Rocket Science Project was organised by European Space Education and the Royal Horticultural Society. We grew two packets of rocket seeds (blue and red) one of which had been in space on the International Space Station for 6 months with Tim Peake. We recorded how these seeds grew over 5 weeks in the classrooms. Please watch our time-lapse video kindly filmed by a parent at Chisenhale Primary School.
Pupils also learnt about the ideal conditions seeds need to germinate successfully such as heat, light, humidity and temperature so that we can have a better understanding of how we may need to grow food in space or on another planet in the future. We analysed our data collected and sent it into ESERO and found out that it was the blue packet that had been into space!! We were thrilled to be part of such an amazing project.
Chisenhale Primary School Year 5 pupils watching the launch of Tim Peake and recording the questions that they would like to ask him. We are part of the Cosmic Classroom and we are preparing for Rocket Science in the summer.
All my schools are taking part in this incredible experiment run by the RHS and the UK Space Agency. We will be growing seeds that have spent around 6 months in space on the International Space Station.
The project, Rocket Science, will give around half a million UK children the chance to learn how science in space contributes to our knowledge of life on earth, using the invaluable expertise of the European Space Agency (ESA) and RHS Science team.
Two kilograms of rocket (Eruca sativa) seeds were launched on Soyuz 44S on 02 September 2015 with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen and his crew, arriving on the International Space Station (ISS) two days later. British ESA astronaut Tim Peake will take charge of the seeds while on the ISS for his Principia mission starting in December. After being held for about six months in microgravity, the seeds will be returned to Earth with astronaut Scott Kelly, currently planned for March 2016.
Once the seeds have returned they will then be distributed to schools signed up to the project. Each participating school will receive 100 seeds that have been on the ISS and 100 seeds that have remained on Earth. The seed packets will be colour coded, however schools will not be told which packet contains which seeds until national results have been published. Online resources to expand student learning will be available on the website of the UK Space Education Office (ESERO) before, during and after the Rocket Science experiment.
Royal Visit to Southwold’s Grow Your Own Playground
Our school garden at Southwold Primary School in Hackney, had the honor of a visit from HRH Countess of Wessex, patron of the London Children’s Flower Society. The pupils talked about all of the gardening projects we do throughout the year and gave her a tour of the rooftop garden.
I gave HRH a copy of ‘Homegrown Tea’ and talked about growing tea at my schools. She was really interested to see the jumper made from flax grown at Southwold, my other schools and other community organisations across London with the help of Cordwainer’s community garden.
Photos copyright Grant Smith www.grant-smith.com