We were lucky to have great weather for all of our planting events at MOSI, including the staff planting on the 9th of May and the two public planting days on the 13th and 20th May 2012.
At the first public event lots of people came and helped us plant seeds in a growbox. The seeds are just peeping thrugh now. We were lucky that this Manchester group of lads came down after hearing about the event via twitter and facebook as they helped to plant the middle of the growbox which is a bit tricky to reach.
The following Sunday MOSI's very own Turing Character joined us out by the grow boxes to give an insight into Turing's life as master codebreaker and how to look for spiral patterns in the sunflower seedheads. We were also helped out by two very enthusiastic STEM ambassadors, Diana (University of Manchester) and Stephen(Cooperative Group) and from MOSI's Visitor Experience team, Louise, who knows her stuff when it comes to gardening. We planted all of the sunflowers grown by the Visitor Experience team and a few that members of the public brought in to plant.
We were delighted to meet two master code makers, Rory and Calvin (in photo below) who loved hearing about Turing and codebreaking so much that they spent most of the afternoon dreaming up their own codes for us to crack.
If code breaking is something you'd like to try, come along to MOSI's half term Turing Centenary events in June and meet our Turing character too. Here's what Beren, one of the code-maker's mums had to say about the event:
"Thanks so much for the super day out on Sunday at MOSI: our 7 year olds were completely fixated by Alan Turing and the code breaking, they're still creating puzzles for us before and after school! It was a real inspiration and great for us to meet people so passionate about something (lovely website too-we've planted our sunflowers and waiting for them to sprout!)"
The experiment is capturing the interest of all generations - we were bowled over by a lovely lady who visited from Germany who came to plant sunflowers at MOSI and is delivering some seeds to a friend in Manchester before heading back to Germany. When Turing Sunflowers show up on the growers map in Germany - we'll know where they came from - so far there are over ten countries growing sunflowers for the experiment! Are you on the map yet?
One of our partners, Caroline, from BBC Outreach was on hand to film clips from the planting event as we are hoping to make a film about the project working with BBC staff volunteers. More on that very soon, including how you can get involved in the film...
We've got two final boxes to grow on the railway at MOSI - we'll be planting those up next week with staff who have kindly grown sunflowers. We'll be posting pictures in the sunflower gallery as they grow and we look forward to your photos too. And, don't forget you can come and visit our Turing sunflowers anytime. We've even got some outdoor events lined up, including the Retro Bicycle Picnic in June and the Manchester Mini-Maker Faire in July.
In the meantime - there are only a few days left to plant before the end of May - so... seeds at the ready and plant away, its perfect weather to plant outside.
Here's fifty people who have planted their sunflowers and are sharing their photos and growing tips on twitter. To join the list, tweet @turingsunflower. There are also lots of people sharing their photos and talking about Turing's Sunflowers on facebook.