It’s rocket science for Vittoria Primary School pupils

A Vittoria Primary student with the rocket seeds

A Vittoria Primary student with the rocket seeds - Credit: Archant

Year 5 students at Vittoria Primary School in Islington have embarked on a journey to become space biologists by growing rocket seeds that have been to the International Space Station.

A student from Vittoria Primary waters the seeds

A student from Vittoria Primary waters the seeds - Credit: Archant

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the ISS on Soyuz 44S, where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March.

The school, one of 8,000 across the country to take part in the programme, then planted the seeds alongside a packet of regular seeds without knowing which was which.

Vittoria’s blossoming space biologists will document their progress for six weeks, at the end of which British astronaut Tim Peake will reveal which packet contains the space seeds.

“The children are very excited about it,” teacher Joanne Moore told the Gazette. “They don’t think the space seeds will grow as well as the others, but can’t wait to find out the results.”

The programme is being run by the UK Space Agency and the Royal Horticultural Society.

It is one of several to encourage young people to look into careers in science, technology, engineering and maths – a move headteacher Sue Hamer feels is a positive one.

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Speaking about the launch of the programme, she said: “We are very excited to be taking part.

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

What’s more, it’s all timed to coincide with British astronaut Tim Peake’s maiden voyage to the International Space Station.

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