• Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

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Friends of Stewart Park join up with Macmillan Academy

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.02.49STUDENTS at Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough and the Friends of Stewart Park 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 will spend several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in this month.

The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School gardening and the UK Space Agency.

Macmillan Academy is one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the difference over seven weeks. The students won’t know which 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-the-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the students 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.

Ms Miriam Fawcett, Sustainability Co-ordinator at Macmillan Academy, said: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science.

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

The Friends of Stewart Park work closely with Stewart park staff to discover exciting opportunities and educational projects that our local communities can get involved with.

Stewart Park Horticultural Advisor Nicky Morgan added: “Through our WildXscapes project we have developed many relationships with local schools across Middlesbrough, and are excited to further our project working with Macmillan Academy highlighting horticulture as a career pathway through this ground breaking experiment.”

Friends of Stewart Park Chairman Councillor Tom Mawston said the group was thrilled at the opportunity to be involved in the project.

He said: “Captain James Cook made many voyages of discovery and here at Stewart Park we are we are proud to call him one of our own.

“Now as part of this voyage of discovery we are giving local children the opportunity to be part of history.”

Rocket Science is just one educational project from the programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principa mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

  • Applications to take part in Rocket Science are still open and will close when all packs have been allocated. Schools and education groups can apply at rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening.

Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSchools #Rocket science

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