Schools urged to put hand up for wattle seeds space project

South Windsor's One Giant Leap Australia Foundation has urged Hawkesbury schools to put their hand up to be part of an exciting project studying the effect space has on plant seeds.

The Foundation, supported by the Australian Space Agency, has worked with the Japanese Space Agency to send Australian native wattle seeds into space for six months so scientists can study what happens to them.

Wattle happen?: One Giant Leap Australia Foundation Founder Jackie Carpenter and Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman pictured standing on a giant map of Mars are encouraging local schools to register their interest in taking part in a new space experiment. Picture: Supplied

Wattle happen?: One Giant Leap Australia Foundation Founder Jackie Carpenter and Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman pictured standing on a giant map of Mars are encouraging local schools to register their interest in taking part in a new space experiment. Picture: Supplied

When the seeds come home, after half a year in space, schools across Australia will grow them to see what effects space has had on them.

One Giant Leap Australia Foundation Founder, Jackie Carpenter, said the seeds would be on board the SpaceX CRS-21 resupply mission bound for the International Space Station later this year.

"We chose the wattle because it's Australia's national flower and it's bush tucker as well," Ms Carpenter said.

"We are looking to see if germination and growth of the seeds is going to be affected by going into space for six months.

"We're hoping about 200 schools from around Australia can help in the experiment."

Those chosen will be given six seeds from space and six from the same seed lot here on Earth, and they will grow them over the next two-to-three years

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, urged local schools to get involved and register their interest in the project.

"This is one of the many inspiring space programs One Giant Leap organises, and I'd encourage Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury schools to take part in this real 'home grown' experiment," she said.

One Giant Leap is best known for organising for Australian students to attend Space Camp in the United States.

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