Epsom Girls grow 'genius' apples
Pupils at Auckland school Epsom Girls Grammar have created a new breed of "genius" apple trees.
The teenagers, under the guidance of caretaker Colman Cloonan, saw an opportunity for growing trees from a clipping of the original Sir Isaac Newton apple tree, on school grounds.
The Newton Apple tree, which is believed to have dropped an apple on Sir Isaac Newton's head before he discovered the theory of gravity, is based at Woolsthorpe, England.
A number of clippings have been taken and successfully grafted from the tree.
One at the Industrial Research Institute in Lower Hutt has been traced back to the Newton Apple.
Last week Cloonan travelled to Lower Hutt to gather clippings from the tree for pupils to graft onto saplings.
Biology students grafted the clippings with Cloonan last Friday, with the hope that several will ''take''.
''They've got a tree down there outside their cafe and its really special to them - their pride and joy,'' he said.
''The theory, I thought, was in 12 months when it has grown up, the physics class can plant it outside their classroom.
''I think it's awesome because the tree itself is the most important tree in regards to science. Hopefully we see an apple fall, even.''
Cloonan hopes to bring more descendant trees onto the campus, which he believes will benefit both the school and students' learning.
School principal Madeline Gunn said the concept was fantastic.
''I'm absolutely delighted because we like to see the school as a learning community and this is a wonderful example of support staff, teaching staff and students all being really excited about something new they've discovered and working on this project together,'' she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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