Six lucky ‘Rocket Scientists’ from Allington with Sedgebrook Church of England Primary School met Tim Peake, the first British ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut to work on the ISS.
They had been invited to attend a Principia Schools Conference organised by the UK Space Agency and held at York University last week. Principia (named after one of Isaac Newton’s major works – first published in 1687) aims to inspire young students through a variety of space-related activities.
Earlier in 2016, these children had taken part in a UK Space Agency project called ‘Rocket Science’. As members of Class 3, they investigated whether rocket seeds kept in space (on the ISS) for 6 months germinated and grew any differently from seeds which stayed on earth.
The results, from over 8,600 groups, have recently been published in ‘Rocket Science: Our Voyage of Discovery’. Excitingly, they suggest that it will be possible to grow food on longer term missions into space.
Teacher Jane Cowley said: “Our school was very proud to have been part in such an important scientific test and then even prouder when we were selected to attend the conference based on all the work done in school.
“Amy, Lenny, Liam, Maria, Matilda and Morgan, who are all now in Year 5, attended a key note speech by Tim Peake, a science show and various exhibitions.
“The highlight of the day came when they met Tim Peake.
“He spent several minutes talking to the group about their Rocket Science results, as well as answering questions posed by the children. They asked him some great ones – from whether he thinks there is life on other planets to how it felt running a marathon in space.
“The teachers who accompanied the children, were really proud of them ... and also had a wonderful time – a day that they all won’t forget!”