Year Two students at Buderim Mountain State School will next year be sowing wattle seeds that have spent six months in space, as part of the “What’ll happen to the wattle?!” educational space program. The seeds will be sent to the International Space Station in early December, and return to Australia in time for Science Week in August 2021.
Once returned to earth, the students will plant the space seeds, plus seeds from the same seed lot that did not go to space, and record and compare the results of their growth.
Justine Bell, the Year Two Buderim school teacher who secured this unique opportunity for students said, “I hope this experience will allow students to develop a love and appreciation for space, science and our environment. It’s a great chance to learn more about our national floral emblem and have our children participate in caring for our environment.”
The program organisers, the One Giant Leap Foundation, will work with Buderim students over one to two years, running teleconferences and providing educational support for this historic opportunity. All data from the 150 participating Australian schools will then be uploaded to the program’s app, and Australia’s ‘space wattle’ trees will be mapped for future identification.
Neil Jenkins, Buderim Mountain State School’s principal, said, “This is a fascinating and historic opportunity for our students, and we look forward to having space wattle grow on our school grounds over the coming years. It’s wonderful that Justine was able to secure this learning opportunity for her class.”