SCIENCE students at the University Technical College in Didcot are preparing to become space biologists and discover how seeds have been affected by their time in space.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station where they will remain before returning to Earth next month.

The UTC, in Great Western Park, which opened last year, is one of a number of schools selected to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space.

Over seven weeks, students will grow the seeds alongside ones that have not been to space and measure the differences.

Among students who will be taking part are Jenna Washington, 15, and Joe Bodsworth, 14.

Jenna said: “We are looking forward to studying and measuring the seeds. I think this is a really interesting experiment.”

Joe added: “The findings could show us how biology is affected in space.”

The experiment – dubbed Rocket Science – is designed to help students think about how human life could in future be preserved on another planet.

Glen Young, director of science at the UTC, said: “We are very excited to be taking part.

“This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our students to think more scientifically and to share their findings with the whole scientific community.”

UTC Oxfordshire is one of a number of selected schools to receive the seeds.

The students will not know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

Rocket Science is just one educational project from the UK Space Agency to celebrate astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the international space station.

The programme aims to inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

Applications to take part in Rocket Science are still open and will close in March next year or until all packs have been allocated.

Schools and educational groups can apply at