Out-of-this-world experience for Ormiston Sudbury students working with Tim Peake

Students from Ormiston Sudbury Academy (OSA) have had the opportunity to sow ‘space’ seeds as part of a nationwide experiment.

Sudbury seeds

OSA was among more than 8,000 schools which applied for a seed pack to grow for ‘Project Rocket Science’, an experiment launched by the Royal Horticultural Society in partnership with the UK Space Agency. OSA Science Faculty was successful, winning the chance to take part in this exciting nationwide science experiment.

Students from the science club will now compare growth between seeds that have been stored on earth and some which have been in outer space for six months.

Last September this exciting initiative started when two kilograms of rocket seeds were successfully launched into space on Soyuz 44S with European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen and his crew.

British astronaut Tim Peake then took charge of the seeds when he arrived at the space station in December and they were brought back to earth in March. The seeds were taken to NASA in Houston, America, and returned to the UK ready to be packed up and sent out to schools, including OSA, in April.

Each seedling has a letter and number code to enable tracking by the Royal Horticultural Society and the UK Space Agency. Students will be watering and checking the seedlings daily and they will take nine measurements over 35 days, ensuring they record the data carefully throughout the experiment.

After all the data has been collected and submitted by the schools participating in the research, the results will be analysed by professional statisticians. Leading scientists from the Royal Horticultural Society and the European Space Agency will then interpret the results and draw possible conclusions.

OSA principal Caroline Wilson said: "It is not often there is a chance to participate in events we hear about in the news, and to think students will have the opportunity to work with seeds Tim Peake has looked after is an out-of-this-world experience for them."