Pips from the Apple Tree that inspired Newton’s theory of gravity are soon to be planted in Wrexham as a result of an initiative supported by a Wrexham based science discovery centre.
The project has been made possible through a partnership between Techniquest Glyndŵr and The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC), the national charity that brings together the UK’s major science engagement organisations and the National Trust at Woolsthorpe Manor who look after Newton’s birthplace.
Together UK Science centres and museums involve 20 million children and adults every year with science through their hands-on science programmes, schools science programmes and community activities.
Techniquest Glyndŵr have also involved neighbouring primary schools in the unique project including Rhosddu School as well as Erddig, National Trust’s historic house and parkland to the south of Wrexham.
The small number of apple pips from the original Newton’s apple tree will be passed to Erddig to germinate and nurture them to seedlings which can then be looked after by the school ready for planting once grown large enough.
Sir Isaac Newton was famously sitting under an apple tree, when a falling apple inspired his revolutionary theories about gravity. Today, seeds from that very same apple tree have been collected and have been sent to specially selected Science Centres and Science Museums all across the UK, including Techniquest Glyndŵr.
From these pips it will be possible to grow our very own Newton’s Apple Trees sharing the science and stories with school children and the public. This unique and rare event is in celebration of the World’s first UNESCO-backed International Science Centre and Science Museum Day.
Operations Manager for Woolsthorpe Manor, Jannette Warrener said: “Pips from the tree are currently in space on the International Space Centre, originally sent up with Tim Peake as part of his ‘Principia’ mission. They have certainly travelled far and wide.
“I’m delighted to share apple pips with other amazing sites for science across the country and hope that the project will engage young people with the fascinating story of Newton. He truly shaped modern scientific thinking here at Woolsthorpe when he worked on his theory of gravity and also explored light and calculus.”
Scot Owen, Education Manager of Techniquest Glyndŵr added: “As a member of the ASDC we were pleased to join in with this imaginative project and also help strengthen our links with local schools and the National Trust at Erddig.
“The story of Newton’s Apple is well known we will be able to have the chance to grow a living apple tree connected with this famous scientist. It will be associated with the story of how it helped Newton develop his theory of gravity I am sure it will help to fire up the imagination of local children and kindle a greater interest in science.
“It is quite possible that in two or three years’ time we will be able to plant a viable apple tree from one of these germinated seeds in our Science Garden which we are shortly to be developing at our centre on the Wrexham Glyndŵr University Campus.
“This will be in addition the other baby trees grown from the seeds that will be planted in the grounds of the local organisations that we will be working with.”