It definitely IS rocket science at Trafalgar Community Infant School in Horsham where the children of the Eco Council are working as space biologists.
An experiment is underway to discover whether it is possible to grow our own food in space, with the UK Space Agency and the Royal Horticultural Society teaming up to provide two sets of rocket seeds - one of which contains seeds that have travelled to space and the other seeds that have remained on Earth.
British astronaut Tim Peake stored the space seeds in microgravity before their return to Earth in spring 2016.
Children are unaware which of the red or blue sets are space rocket seeds and which are Earth seeds, and will measure and record similarities or differences between the two sets of seeds as they grow for a period of 35 days. At the end of the experiment the findings will be entered into the national database where they will be analysed. Tim Peake will reveal the true identity of the space seeds before the end of the summer term in July.
One of the Eco monitors for Cherry Red class in Year 2 is seven year old Archie.
“We are learning how to grow seeds and what they need to grow. It’s fun and interesting because some have been to space and we don’t know which ones. We want to see how the seeds grow differently...if people go to space they will know how plants are going to grow,” he said.
Deputy Headteacher Rachel Amos said: “Never in their wildest dreams did the children think that they would become space biologists this term, but they have had great fun whilst planting both the red and blue packet seeds, wondering which ones have been to space and using the seedlings to improve their maths and science.
“Many thanks to Mrs Joan Morris, our Gardening Club leader, who has been supporting the children in this venture.”