Seeds from space

Young scientists at a Walthamstow primary school are preparing to become space biologists by growing seeds that have orbited the Earth.

The International Space Station

The International Space Station

Two kilos of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Soyuz 44S rocket last year, and have since spent several months in microgravity. They returned to Earth this month.

The Winns Primary School in Fleeming Road is receiving a packet of 100 of these special seeds, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been into space, to measure and compare the differences over seven weeks.

The children won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the Royal Horticultural Society 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.

Brennan Millen, Winns Primary School’s science teacher, said: “We are very excited to be taking part.

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

The Rocket Science project is a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.