Sir Isaac Newton was famously sitting under an apple tree, when a falling apple inspired his revolutionary theories about gravity.
Now seeds from that very same apple tree have been collected and are being sent to specially selected Science Centres and Science Museums all across the UK including Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Cheshire, the home of the world-famous, Grade 1 listed Lovell Telescope.
Science centres and museums like at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, which is one of The University of Manchester’s Cultural Institutions, will now be able to grow their very own Newton’s Apple Tree, 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.
Julia Riley, Head of Education at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre has said: “This is a simply wonderful project and we’re delighted to be part of it. It connects perfectly with our mission to inspire the scientists of the future and it builds on our work here in the Centre’s gardens and community orchards, as well as on our major Heritage Lottery funded project First Light at Jodrell Bank. Planting seeds from Newton’s apple tree is especially significant for us as apples are another thread in the unique heritage of the Jodrell Bank site, now connecting Sir Isaac Newton to Sir Bernard Lovell, the founder of Jodrell Bank Observatory who first initiated the planting of the site’s extensive arboretum.”
The project has been made possible through a partnership with 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’s Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, the birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton.
Julia, who is leading the activity plan for Jodrell Bank’s Heritage Lottery Funded project First Light at Jodrell Bank, continues: “Being a part of this initiative is also a great way for us to build on our links with the National Trust and our unique partnerships with ASDC and other Science Centres and Museums. We are taking great care of the seeds and are looking forward to planting them out in our arboretum where they will engage even more young people with our fascinating story.”
The apple pips have been donated by National Trust’s Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, the birthplace and family home of Sir Isaac Newton. Newton’s tree still flourishes in the orchard there and continues to inspire visitors from all across the world.
Jannette Warrener, Operations Manager for Woolsthorpe Manor said: “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.”