Bobin Public School selected for What'll Happen to the Wattle??! space seeds project

Australian Ambassador HE Mr Richard Court AC handing over golden wattle seeds to JAXA vice president Mr Hiroshi Sasaki at the Australian Embassy Tokyo (left) and Bobin Public School captains Sarah Dowling and Arthur Lee. Photos supplied
Australian Ambassador HE Mr Richard Court AC handing over golden wattle seeds to JAXA vice president Mr Hiroshi Sasaki at the Australian Embassy Tokyo (left) and Bobin Public School captains Sarah Dowling and Arthur Lee. Photos supplied

Bobin Public School has been selected to take part in the What'll happen with the wattle??! space seeds program.

OneGiant Leap Australia Foundation is sending native golden wattle seeds to the International Space Station in early December, 2020.

In collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and supported by the Australian Space Agency, the seeds will live in space for six months, returning to Australia in time for Science Week 2021.

The seeds will then be distributed to more than 150 schools, scout groups and Australian Air Force Cadets across Australia that were selected to take part in the program.

As well as receiving the seeds that have returned from space, the school will also receive seeds that were not sent to the International Space Station. The seeds are from the same seed lot.

Students are asked to germinate and grow their seeds, recording data about the germination and seed growth. Data will be uploaded to the What'll happen to the wattle??! app.

Relieving principal of Bobin Public School, Sarah Parker said that as soon as the students heard about the program they were very keen to be involved.

"Our students were immediately inspired by the idea of growing 'space seeds' and being part of a project as big as this one," Sarah said.

"So we made a video and wrote our application together. Last week we were thrilled to discover we'd been selected to be part of the program."

School captains Arthur Lee and Sarah Dowling explained why the students were so excited by by the program.

we lost a lot of trees in the fire, too, so it will be good to grow golden wattle trees here.

Sarah Doiwling

"We love science, especially collecting data about nature. Plus we love learning about space, so it's perfect for us," Arthur said.

"We lost a lot of trees in the fire, too, so it will be good to grow golden wattle trees here," Sarah Dowling said.

"They'll help to restore the area for our birds and for the bees. And it will be interesting to see if the space seeds grow as well as regular Earth seeds."

Throughout the program, One Giant Leap Australia Foundation will run teleconferences and provide educational support to participating groups.

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.

The One Giant Leap Australia Foundation is a not for profit organisation whose purpose is to advance STEM education and careers.

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