Harleston Girl Guides set for space project

Astronaut Tim Peak launched the Rocket Sciene project. Picture: PA.

Astronaut Tim Peak launched the Rocket Sciene project. Picture: PA. - Credit: PA

In September, 2kg of seeds were flown to the International Space Station to spend several months in microgravity.

And in March a packet of these seeds will land in south Norfolk for the Harleston 1st Girl Guides to grow and study.

As part of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening, the Guides will be one of up to 10,000 schools and educational groups across the country to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space.

They will grow the space seeds alongside seeds that haven't been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks.

They won't know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by and analysed by biostatisticians.

Guide leader, Fiona McGregor, said: 'We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our Guides to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community.'

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

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Mr Peake launched the project in a video message which was beamed to thousands of schools from the Columbus module, a laboratory on the space station which is orbiting the Earth at 17,000mph.

Members of the Harleston Guides, who are aged between 10 and 14, have a plot in the town's allotment and many of them are becoming keen gardeners.

It is hoped the experiment will develop new ideas among the Guides and will make them think more about how to preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Applications to take part in Rocket Science are open until March for schools and educational groups.

You can apply by visiting, https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/home or follow the project on Twitter, @RHSSchools #RocketScience

For more information about the Girl Guides, visit http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/home.aspx

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