Students take part in voyage of discovery

Pupils at Benton Dene School start growing their seeds which have been in space.
Pupils at Benton Dene School start growing their seeds which have been in space.

A group of students have become space biologists as they go on a voyage of discovery.

Pupils at Benton Dene School, in Longbenton, are growing seeds that have been in space.

They are among 10,000 schools to have received 100 seeds that were flown to the International Space Station (ISS), returning to Earth in March as part of Rocket Science; an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

The pupils are growing the space seeds alongside normal seeds and measuring the differences over seven weeks.

Hannah Flint, class teacher, said: “We are very excited to be part of Rocket Science.

“This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our pupils to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole school. The children have been learning all about space and the Principia mission.

“The excitement and enthusiasm in taking part in this nationwide experiment has really engaged them in scientific thinking and working.

“This experiment allows our children to access important parts of literacy, numeracy and science in an engaging way, allowing them to expand their learning and feel like an important part in an exciting scientific experiment.”

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