Rocket Science

The Press Release:

RHS to turn half a million children into space biologists

Leading gardening charity has partnered with UK Space Agency to launch exciting educational science project

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening has partnered with the UK Space Agency to embark on an ‘out of this world’ educational project.

The project, aptly named Rocket Science, will give around half a million UK children the chance to learn how science in space contributes to our knowledge of life on earth, using the invaluable expertise of the European Space Agency (ESA) and RHS Science team.

2kg of rocket seeds (Eruca sativa) will be flown to the International Space Station (ISS) later in the year as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month Principia mission. After several months on board, the seeds will return to Earth and be sent to thousands of UK schools, alongside non-flown seeds of the same variety. Over the following months pupils will be invited to grow and compare the seeds as they embark on a voyage of discovery to see what growing plants in space can teach us about life on Earth and whether we can sustain human life in space through the production of our own food.

BioSS perspective:

This was an excellent opportunity for BioSS to partner with the Royal Horticultural Society, the UK and European Space Agencies and thousands of schools in a high profile project engaging children in biological experimentation and introducing them to statistical principles. As one primary school pupil from Belfast said: “I have learnt how important randomisation is for a fair scientific test”.