St Martin's Academy

St Martin’s pupils have close encounter with astronaut Tim Peake!

Six star struck pupils from St Martin’s Academy enjoyed an out of world experience when they met British astronaut Tim Peake.
The lucky group were among the youngest budding scientists invited to the Principia Schools Conference at The University of York on Saturday, November 5, and were thrilled to get to the chance to speak to their hero Tim, the first Briton to ever visit the International Space Station.

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The inspirational trip was the result of a national experiment called Rocket Science organised by The RHS Campaign for School Gardening in partnership with the UK Space Agency, designed to explore the impact of space travel on future plant growth.
Two kilograms of ‘rocket seeds’ were sent into orbit with Tim on his historic six-month Principia mission before landing back in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2016. The ‘rocket seeds’ were returned to the UK and sent out to participating schools with a packet of seeds that had remained on earth.

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St Martin’s Academy received two packets of 100 seeds to grow and compare. Pupils in all classes sorted, planted and monitored the seedlings and eagerly awaited Tim to reveal exactly which packet, red or blue, had been to the International Space Station with him.
Fascinated pupils shared their findings with Tim on Twitter, as well as sending news of their space inspired learning, regularly gaining likes and comments from the astronaut himself.


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Stuart Roberts, Assistant Headteacher at St Martin’s, applied to present the pupils’ work to Tim at the conference and was thrilled to be selected as one of the youngest groups to attend. Not only did the children get to listen to Tim speak about his epic journey, they were delighted that he came and spoke to each of them individually, answering their questions and asking questions of his own about the work they had brought to exhibit.

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Mr Roberts said: “His genuine interest in the children’s learning was obvious and made the experience even more special. The whole day was inspirational. To be able to take children so young to something as enormous as this was a brilliant experience. We are certain that they have had their eyes opened to a universe of opportunity.
“Every child who took part in the experiment did so with a level of maturity and understanding beyond their years. They will be considering the possibility of off earth colonisation further with an exciting science workshop in school with Molecular Marty from Fun Science. Who knows, there may be future astronauts amongst them!”