AN Inverclyde school pupil is 'out of this world' after devising a science experiment which will be tested out in space.

Nairne Gillespie, who is in fourth year at Clydeview Academy, took part in the Mission Discovery programme run by the University of the West of Scotland in partnership with the International Space School Education Trust (ISSET).

It challenged 200 pupils, and Nairne and her teammates - who dubbed themselves the Interstellar Intellectuals - won the competition.

Their experiment, which explores whether artificially increasing root pressure will improve plant growth on the International Space Station, will now be put to the test.

Nairne, said: "It's unbelievable to win.

"Space has always been something which has interested me, ever since I have been young.

"My ambition is to be an astronaut or work for NASA.

"This has given me confidence to pursue this.

"It has made me realise that you can do anything if you put your mind to it."

The 14-year-old, who is studying chemistry, physics, biology, Spanish, English and maths, says the experiment has the potential to make a significant impact on future crop production in space.

She said: "The experiment looks at the relationship between increased plant root pressure in microgravity and plant growth.

"It could potentially be a food source in space and it would produce more oxygen which could be stored for deep space missions.

"The plants could also take in carbon dioxide."

As well as working on the experiments, Nairne also learned more about what life is like in outer space from former NASA astronaut, Dr Michael Foale, the most experienced British-born astronaut in the history of human spaceflight.

He had some tips for the students and Nairne has already taken his advice on board.

Nairne added: "It was really inspirational to meet Dr Foale.

"He said that one of the best ways things we could do is to join the local air cadets, so I've joined the Greenock Air Cadets."