Students taking part in the Rocket Science activities could work towards a CREST Award and there’s still time to register!

Working towards a CREST Award will provide valued additional recognition for the students’ achievements, with the CREST Awards providing a framework for open-ended enquiry based projects, so they fit well with the exciting Rocket Science project that’s currently running as part of the Principia mission.

What is the Rocket Science project?

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening has partnered with the UK Space Agency to embark on an ‘out of this world’ educational project.

The project, Rocket Science, will give around half a million UK children the chance to learn how science in space contributes to our knowledge of life on earth, using the invaluable expertise of the European Space Agency (ESA) and RHS Science team.

Two kilograms of rocket seeds will shortly take off from Florida bound for the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month Principia mission.

After several months on board, the seeds will be sent back and will land in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2016. After they return to the UK, they will be packaged up with identical seeds that have stayed on earth. Participating schools will each receive two packets of 100 seeds to grow and compare, and a collection of fun and inspiring curriculum linked teaching resources and posters, tailored according to the age of your pupils (Key Stages 1 and 2 or Key Stages 3,4 and 5).

Using these resources, we want pupils of all ages across the UK to embark on a voyage of discovery to see what growing plants in space can teach us about life on Earth and whether we can sustain human life in space through the production of our own food. Schools will be invited to input their results into a national online database so that results can be compared across all schools in the UK. The project is aimed at inspiring pupils to think scientifically and helping them to see the potential of future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and Horticulture.

What so students need to do to qualify for a CREST Award?

  • Decide on the CREST level to work towards – we would suggest secondary aged students would aim for a CREST Bronze Award (but Discovery or Silver may be possible options, depending on how the school is running the experiment) and for primary aged students Rocket Science is a MegaStar project.
  • Make sure students come up with their own hypothesis regarding the seed growth before planting their seeds, explaining how the experiment was approached in their school
  • Register for CREST with the CREST Local Coordinator to receive the CREST profile form that needs to be completed alongside taking part in the Rocket Science experiment
  • Record how the experiment is being done on the CREST profile form and keep a record of observations and results
  • Share and celebrate the outcomes and your findings
  • At the end of experiment finalise the CREST profile form and check with the teacher to have it assessed

If you have started the Rocket Science experiment already, then you can still register for CREST and record what you’ve done so far – it’s not too late. Also, if you are doing a schools assembly or visual display of the Rocket Science experiment, then the students could achieve a CREST Award based around how they are communicating their findings.