Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

Rocket Science

Rocket Science

Science club students in Year 7 have been involved in a national science project recently with an outer-space experience thrown in.

In conjunction with the UK Space Agency and the Royal Horticultural Society, students took on a research project that looked at the germination and growth of two sets of seeds in two very different environments. One set of seeds remained on earth and in a number of schools across the country (including RGS), whilst the other went up into space to the International Space Station with Tim Peake, Britain's first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, before returning to earth.

The extra-terrestrial botanists worked together and carried out a series of tests in a blind and randomised research trial to see what affect microgravity has on seed growth and whether exposure to radiation causes mutations.

Dr Christine Murgatroyd, Assistant Head of Year 7 and leader of the project said,

'It's a fantastic opportunity for our students to be involved in a project of this magnitude. 

'All of the students involved thoroughly enjoyed the research elements associated with a project of this kind, seeing the results of their tests once the seeds had arrived back from the International Space Station and generally having the opportunity to engage with astronauts.'

All of the 'rocket plants' are now growing successfully in the biology lab.