Rocket Science at The Mount!

Posted on 20 Apr 2016

 

The Mount's pupils are taking part in a national experiment to see how human life could survive on another planet by growing seeds that have been into space.

Our green-fingered scientists are contributing to Rocket Science, an educational initiative run by the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

This project involved two kilos of rocket seeds being flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44S where they spent several months in microgravity before being returned to earth.

The Mount is one of a number of schools across the country to receive a packet of 100 of these seeds from space, which they will plant alongside earthbound seeds also supplied by the project to compare their growing rates.

As an extra twist, pupils won’t learn which seeds were which until all the results have been returned to the RHS and analysed by biostatisicians.

A Rocket Science spokesman said the experiment will encourage the children to think about what might be needed to preserve human life on another planet in the future.

It will also put the spotlight on the difficulties that surround growing fresh produce in challenging climates.

Headmaster, Michael Collins, commented:  “We are delighted to be involved in Rocket Science with other schools throughout the UK. It’s a great way to get pupils to think more scientifically and focus on the importance of collecting good data.

“The response from the children has been very enthusiastic, especially as this project is part of a wider programme organised to celebrate British astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station.

“From a staff point of view, we hope that it might also inspire pupils to consider careers in science and technology - including horticulture - in the future,” added Mr Collins.