Pupils from Sidmouth school to experiment with ‘rocket seeds’ returned from space

International Space Station

International Space Station - Credit: Archant

Green-fingered youngsters at St John’s International School are joining an out-of-this-world experiment into the effect of microgravity on seeds.

The 2kg payload of ‘rocket seeds’ was flown to the International Space Station (ISS) in September and it is set to return to earth next month.

The Sidmouth school is one of 10,000 being sent 100 seeds in the joint project by the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

It is aimed at getting the youngsters to think about how human life could be preserved on another planet, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Over seven weeks, the pupils will grow the seeds alongside others that have not been to space and measure the differences between them.

They will not know which are which until the results have been collected by professional biostatisticians.

Year six teacher Kat Underwood said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science.

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“This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our pupils to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community.”

Rocket Science is one of many projects to celebrate British astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS.