Abbots Farm pupils join the space race

Pictured: Class Teacher Karl Robinson, together with year 3 pupils NNL-160419-205350009
Pictured: Class Teacher Karl Robinson, together with year 3 pupils NNL-160419-205350009

Pupils at Abbots Farm Junior School have taken on a project that’s truly out of this world – growing seeds that have been into space.

The school successfully applied to receive packets of seeds that spent months in microgravity at the International Space Station before they were returned to earth.

And excitement filled the air as the Abbots Farm youngsters were finally able to plant the seeds on Tuesday after months of anticipation.

The space seeds are being grown alongside seeds that remained on earth so the children can observe any growth differences over seven weeks.

The educational experiment has been organised by the UK Space Agency and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) campaign for school gardening. It celebrates British astronaut Tim Peake’s space mission and will give pupils the chance to think about how we could preserve human life on another planet and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Mark Issitt, the school’s Kidzone Co-ordinator, said “Seeds have never been brought back from space before so this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the kids.

“The children had done a lot about Tim Peake’s mission and many of them had seen about it on Blue Peter, so there was a really good buzz in the school on the day. The whole school got involved.”

The following months will see the children carry out rigorous measurements and scientific readings and fill out reports, before sending their findings to the RHS.

Mark added: “They’ve now got all sorts of theories about what the seeds are going to grow into – rocket ships and all sorts! We’ve definitely got some wonderful imaginations here.”

The school will post photos of their seeds’ progress on Twitter. Follow: @abbotsfarm