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Science lesson that was out of this world

PUBLISHED: 19:30 26 January 2019

The samples were collected by NASA during the moon landings of the 1960s and 1970s.

The samples were collected by NASA during the moon landings of the 1960s and 1970s.

Archant

Pupils from Hadleigh Community Primary School in Hadleigh reached for stars when they got their hands on rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites.

The youngsters got to handle the rocks as part of a project studying the universe.The youngsters got to handle the rocks as part of a project studying the universe.

The youngsters were learning about the Universe during a week-long interactive experience of astronomy and were able to handle samples.

They were provided by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which gives out educational packs in a bid to inspire young people to get involved in science and complement classroom studies.

The samples provided by STFC included a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite.

The lunar samples were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon.

The samples are millions of years old.The samples are millions of years old.

During these missions 382kg of material was brought back to Earth – mostly for use by scientists, but small quantities are used to develop educational packs like the one used at Hadleigh school.

STFC’s executive chair Mark Thomson said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer this unique opportunity to young people.

“It is not often they will be able to see close-up, and actually touch, such important fragments of science history.

“Samples like these are vital in teaching us more about our solar system, allowing us to turning theories into fact. We hope this experience will encourage the students to take up a career in science.”

STFC is the only authorised source to loan lunar samples to educational and scientific organisations in the UK.

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