We were amazingly lucky to be able to “Borrow the Moon” in school at the start of December. We were able to handle rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites during a series of science lessons which were truly out of this world. All classes were given the unique opportunity to actually touch a piece of space rock not of this Earth as they were allowed to handle some genuine meteorites.
During the lessons we used the meteorite hunter kits to handle and identify different rock samples as well as conducting experiments to see how craters are formed on the moon and investigating the footprints left on the moon in 1969. Maple class investigated the conspiracy theory around the moon landing and examined the evidence for and against the different points as well as making their own edible meteorites.
These rare samples were provided free of charge by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which provides educational packs in a bid to inspire young people to get involved in science and complement classroom studies. The pack provided by STFC includes a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite. It is unlikely that students will ever get the chance to hold an object older than this, as Earth itself was formed 4.6 billion years ago.
The lunar samples were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon. During these missions, a staggering 382kg of material was brought back to Earth – mostly for use by scientists, but small quantities are used to develop educational packs like this one.