Rocket Science2017-12-17T15:02:47+00:00

Rocket Science

PRESS RELEASE

18th April 2016

rocket-science-logoPupils at North Road Primary School to grow seeds from space!

Pupils at North Road Primary School are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they have spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March. The seeds were sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

North Road Primary School have now received a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that have not been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks. The pupils will not know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the children to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Sarah Stillie, headteacher at North Road Primary School says: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching all of our pupils to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community. This week, children in Reception and Key Stage One have been given the important job of planting the seeds. Then it is over to our pupils in Key Stage Two to begin watering, measuring and recording the growth of the plants. This is a whole school project and we will be having regular weekly updates from the pupils that we will also be sharing with parents and the local community, through our school website.  The children and staff are very excited to be chosen to take part in this project.  We launched our recent ‘Science Week’ by sharing the exciting news with the children.  We are all very enthusiastic to become space scientists!  This is a great way of making learning in science relevant to the pupils and give them the chance to be part of a much bigger experiment. You can follow our progress with the experiment on our school website www.northroadprimaryschool.co.uk.”

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 inspire young people to look into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Seed diary

20th April 2016:  Four trays of ‘Blue packet’ seeds and four trays of ‘Red packet’ seeds have been planted by Mars Class and Pluto Class. This is a total of 100 ‘red packet’ seeds and 100 ‘blue packet’ seeds.  They have each been labelled with a number.

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25th April 2016:  The seeds have germinated after 5 days.  The ‘Red packet’ seeds are in the lead at the moment with 40 out of the 100 seeds

growing.  We have counted only 27 ‘Blue packet’ seedlings at the moment.

Number of seedlings germinated and showing their first pair of seed leaves on day 5 – Monday 25th April:
Red Tray  1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
10 12 12 6 7 9 5 6

 

Percentage of seeds that have germinated by Day 10 – 30th April 2016
Red Tray 1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
17

68%

16

64%

18

72%

16

64%

14

56%

18

72%

11

44%

10

40%

 

The number of days it has taken the first seedling in each tray to grow two ‘true’ leaves:
Red Tray  1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
14 days 12 days 13 days 11 days 14 days 13 days 12 days 12 days

 

The percentage of seedlings that are alive on Day 17: 6th May 2016
Red Tray  1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
68% 60% 72% 68% 56% 68% 44% 40%

 

The height of the tallest plant in each tray on day 21: 10th May 2016
Red Tray  1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
90mm 84mm 80mm 60mm 71mm 105mm 75mm 72mm

 

The average number of leaves per tray  on day 28: 17th May 2016
Red Tray  1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
7 7.6 6.2 6.4 6.4 6.8 6.8 6.6

 

Final Update…

The number of plants that are still alive on day 35: 24th May 2016
Red Tray  1 Red Tray 2 Red Tray 3 Red Tray 4 Blue Tray 1 Blue Tray 2 Blue Tray 3 Blue Tray 4
6 6 8 14 11 10 8 9