Kingussie High School to grow seeds from space!

Rocket Science


Pupils from Kingussie High School’s Science Club are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they will spend several months in microgravity and have landed back on Earth on the 4th of March.  The seeds will be arriving in Kingussie on the 18th of April ready to start the experiment on the 19th. The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

Kingussie will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks. The students won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the students to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Miss Seymour, Science Teacher at Kingussie High School, says:

“We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our students to think more scientifically and share their findings with the global scientific community”.

Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience

Project Based Approaches: Learning about plastic


Our S3 pupils are working on a STEM challenge for the next term thinking about the global impact of plastics. The project is based on work from the charity Practical Action whose goal is to promote the use of technology to combat poverty; to use real science to produce sustainable and practical solutions.

The group been involved in a variety of tasks, from the identification of different plastics to the creation of sustainable bio-plastics. The end goal is to use the skills developed to create something useful from the waste plastic of Kingussie High School, taking inspiration from the workers of Nepal who, with the help of Practical Action are making bags and coasters from the waste of the city of Kathmandu.

Higher Chemistry!!

A couple of nice snaps here from Higher Chemistry last week. The class were lining glass beakers with silver in the same way that mirrors are made.

KHS Chemists experience Chemistry at St. Andrews University

We are continuing to build on partnerships with Higher Education.

Last week Mr Kendall took his S5 and S6 Chemistry Students to the St Andrews University Chemistry Department for the day. In the University labs they extracted Eugenol from cloves by steam distillation followed by multiple solvent extractions. The students then established purity and structure using GC-MS, Infra-red spectroscopy and NMR.

Two chemistry professors, a lecturer and two PhD students hosted the day and we also had input from their NMR technician. Students from KHS were just amazing. They were organised, safe, focused and professional and better than some undergraduates according to our hosts!

The students will use the data for their higher valued added write up. They are going to assay the purified Eugenol for anti-microbial bioactivity at different concentrations using a bacterial lawn.

Well done to everyone involved – especially Mr Kendall for organising the day and St. Andrews University for hosting us.

S1 learn about forensic science: who killed Mr Adamson?

Last Thursday Miss Seymour asked her S1 class to play detectives to find out who killed Mr Adamson.

Pupils learned about forensic science and managed to rule out each of the teacher suspects until they could prove it was Miss Seymour herself that was guilty. She will have to be watched closely from now on!

(In case you were worried Mr Adamson was not harmed in the making of this lesson).

S1 Geography Experiment with Convection Currents (@SpanglerScience)

S1 Geography - Weather

In Geography S1 pupils are currently learning about weather and 1Y tried a crazy experiment to help them understand convection currents!

Warm (red) water did not mix with cold (blue) water when sitting on top – plenty of evidence for this in the photo above!

Thanks for the inspiration Steve Spangler. Lots more  great weather experiments for you to try over at

Plant and Animal Cells – with a twist [Science]

Biology Cells 1

After learning about the differences between plant and animal cells in class the Miss Seymour’s 1 Feshie Class were set a homework task to ‘imagine that a Science Museum has asked you to make a model cell for a display’.

They could choose whether they wanted to make a plant or an animal cell but they had to be able to describe the different features of their model either verbally, by using labels or a key.

The whole class made an excellent effort but the overall winners of the task were voted for by their classmates- Dylan scored an outstanding 42 stars for his cake animal cell, Karolina scored 26 and Robyn 24 stars for their model plant cells!

Biology Cells 2