Our Manor Road, Felcott Road and Haslemere Toad Hall Nurseries are absolutely delighted to have been chosen to take part in an exciting nationwide experiment called Rocket Science. Children from these nurseries are preparing to become space experts and grow seeds that have been into space.
Out of this world education
This ground-breaking educational project was launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency and is a fun and interactive way for young children to learn about how plants grow in space. This project will help to inspire the next generation of space biologists and British astronaut Tim Peake has been encouraging schools and pre-schools to get involved. The selected Toad Hall Nurseries are thrilled and excited to have been chosen to take part and can’t wait to embark on their voyage of discovery.
In September 2015, 2 kg of rocket seeds flew to the International Space Station (ISS) and have spent the last few months in microgravity orbiting the Earth where Tim Peake has been monitoring their growth. The seeds will come back down to Earth in March 2016 with NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly; they will then be distributed to 10,000 schools and pre-schools who have been lucky enough to be chosen to take part in this fantastic project.
Each nursery will receive a packet of 100 seeds from space along with another packet of seeds that haven’t been into space; they won’t know which one is which. The children will then plant the seeds and monitor their growth over a period of seven weeks. Each nursery will need to enter data about the seeds and their growth into a national database which will then be collated by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by biostatisticians. Once the results have been analysed, they will be made public in September 2016 so that the children can find out the differences between how plants grow on Earth and in Space.
The RHS have plenty of resources available to help prepare the children for this fantastic experience and each nursery will receive a step by step guide, a wallchart where they can record the results and stickers for all the children who take part.
This exciting science experiment is a valuable way for young children to think about the challenges of growing plants or food in space and will help to bring this thrilling subject to life. It’s also perfect for engaging young children about plant science, horticulture and the space industry.
Keep up to date
Parents can follow the seeds’ journey on Twitter #RocketScience and participating schools and pre-schools are encouraged to blog or post about their journeys of discovery as the seeds start to grow. Our nurseries at Manor Road and Felcott Road will of course be keeping us fully updated with the seeds’ progress.
Toad Hall’s budding rocket scientists are so excited to be taking part in this wonderful project and can’t wait to get started!