Children at a school in Brent have embarked on a voyage of discovery and are growing seeds that have been sent into space and tended to by world-famous astronaut - Major Tim Peake.
In September 2015, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016. Byron Court Primary School in North Wembley was one of a group of lucky schools across the country to receive a packet of these seeds, which they are growing alongside seeds that haven't been to space and measuring the differences between the two over several weeks.
This out-of-this-world, nationwide experiment is part of Rocket Science - an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency. It aims to enable children across the country to think more about how we could 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.
All of Byron Court's data has been sent to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the UK Space Agency. In June, they will join a live video link with Major Tim Peake from the ISS, and he will reveal which seeds went to space.
Fiona Khalfi, who is co-ordinating the project at the school, said:
"We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our children to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community.
"The seed packets we received were colour coded red and blue. The children won't know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.
"Before we started the experiment, the children predicted which seeds they thought had been to space but some of them have changed their predictions since then. We are really excited to join Major Tim Peake via video link in June and learn which of the seeds came from space."