Barrington Public School is among 150 Australian groups to be part of the Giant Leap Australia Foundation's Seeds in Space program.
The foundation, in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), are sending golden wattle seeds to the International Space Station and BPS students have been tasked with seeing how they grow upon their return.
It's a very exciting project for these science loving students and is right up the alley of BPS teacher, Dave Keen who has a passion for the all things scientific.
When he came across the invitation to apply for the 'What'll Happen to the Wattle?' program, which was offered to schools, preschools, scout groups and Australian Air Force Cadets nationwide, he thought his year five and six students might be interested.
"When I asked them why they should be chosen for the project, they answered, 'because we're awesome and love science; that should be a good enough reason'," Dave said.
Using his students' response, he began writing the 200 word application. He talked about the students' passion for learning and how this would be a great opportunity for this small regional school. They also included a video. According to the students, it was a humorous video mocking their knowledge of space, making jokes like, pointing to a poster of Jupiter and saying it was Russia.
It took the judging panel five days to watch all the entry videos from all over Australia.
"From a single teacher in a face mask in a school in Victoria to a small school in remote Northern Territory, it has been an amazing opportunity to laugh and cry our way through them," one panel member said.
The school got the good news about being accepted into the program on Monday, November 9 and the students are very chuffed with their accomplishment.
"We're pretty lucky to be chosen out of thousands of applicants," Rory Gambrill said.
"It's good to be recognised as a small school in such a big program," Irelyn Want said.
It's good to be recognised as a small school in such a big program.Irelyn Want
The seeds will be sent to the space station in early December and spend six months in zero gravity before returning to earth in time for Science Week 2021. The space seeds plus a batch of non-space seeds from the same seed lot will be sent out to each chosen group to be sown and grown. It's then up to the students to record the data.
Throughout the program, the One Giant Leap Australia Foundation will run teleconferences and provide educational support for all participating groups.
According to the foundation, the 12 month to two year project will result in the creation of a nationwide map identifying the location of Australia's 'space wattle' trees.
Being a part of the historic opportunity is a unique educational experience for the BPS students.
"It's good to be a part of it so we can learn more about science and the plants' DNA," Louis Want said.
"I'm curious to know what affect no gravity has on the plants," Tom Coombe said.