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