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seed project

A group of Year 7 students are taking part in a horticultural experiment which will see them growing seeds which have been to space.

The seeds are among 2kg of rocket seeds flown to the International Space Station (ISS) in September on Soyuz 44S.

The seeds are spending several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016.

It's all part of Rocket Science an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

The students will be given a packet of seeds from space and will grow them alongside ones which haven’t and measure the differences over seven weeks.

"The students won't know which packets contain which seeds until all the results have been collected and analysed," said Mrs Jarvis, learning support teacher who is co-ordinating the project at the College.

"We are very proud to be part of Rocket Science - it is such an exciting project. The students are so keen to receive their seeds and begin the exciting task of planting and monitoring them."

Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake's Principia mission to the ISS and to inspire young people to look into careers in STEM subjects including horticulture.

rocket sign

"The group is already responsible for an area of the school garden where they grow a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers," said Mrs Jarvis.

"This project will really enhance their learning and understanding of how food of the future may be grown."

The students are already fascinated by Tim Peake and are counting down to his launch on 15 December 2015 and following him on Twitter.

The group are also preparing for their own mission by following the movements of the ISS and noting when it passes over Plymouth.

“We are really enjoying learning about Tim Peake," said Kai, who is in Year 7.

"The project is getting on really well."

rocket science


Olivia says she "really likes" learning about space.

"What's so good about it is you can talk to other people about it and share what you learn with each other," she said.

 Ryan says the "most interesting thing" will be discovering if the seeds will still be able to grow on earth "once they have been in a different atmosphere".

"We are part of finding out whether food can be grown up there - it's exciting."

The College has been an enthusiastic participant in RHS initiatives in recent years - last year David Cavey, who is now in Year 11, was named Key Stage 3 School Gardener of the Year.

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