Saturday, 21 May 2016

Rocket Science

Kings Copse Primary School is one of the lucky schools to have been chosen to help complete a very important space investigation!

Rocket Science gave 10,000 UK schools the opportunity to take part in a UK-wide live science experiment to contribute to our knowledge of growing plants in space. 

Two kilograms of rocket (Eruca sativa) seeds were launched on 02 September 2015 with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen and his crew, arriving on the International Space Station (ISS) two days later. British ESA astronaut Tim Peake took charge of the seeds while on the ISS for his Principia mission starting in December. After being held for about six months in microgravity, the seeds were returned to Earth with astronaut Scott Kelly, in March 2016.

Once the seeds were returned they were distributed to schools. We received 100 seeds that have been on the ISS and 100 seeds that remained on Earth. The seed packets were colour coded, however we were not told which packet contained which seeds.

Gardening Club have been busy looking after the seeds, helping them grow and collecting data for the investigation. This week Year 3 took charge of the seedlings and were asked to collect data about the number of leaves on a random selection of plants from each tray.

We had to make sure we chose plants at random, so we decided to pick numbers out of a pot. 

We then had to count the number of leaves on these plants and work out the average.

We decided to present some of this data in the form of bar charts.

We had a really interesting discussion making predictions about which set of seeds we thought had been into space. Red or blue?

"I think the red ones have been into space because they are a little bit smaller". Liam

"I think the red ones because some haven't grown at all". Pablo

"I think the red seeds have been in space because they look smaller and we learnt that if you don't exercise in space your heart starts to get smaller". Rio

"I think the blue ones have been in the rocket. Maybe space helped them grow better because they didn't have gravity pulling them down". Sam

" The blue ones look like they might have been in space because they are leaning over more". Nyah

"The blue seedlings haven't grown as much, so I think they have been in space. Although they have similar numbers of leaves, the red trays look more like a field". Lucy S

We had a class vote and 17 children thought the red seeds had been in space, whereas 11 thought it was the blue seeds.

What do you think?

Next week we have to count the number of seedlings that are still alive and then send all our data to the Rocket Science investigation team. We are hoping to find out the results in September!

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