Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

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Meteorites land at The Bay CE School

2 min read

Students from The Bay CE School got their hands on rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites, during British Science Week (March 7-11).

Science lessons were truly out of this world, as students learnt more about the universe around us during a week-long interactive experience of astronomy. They were given the unique opportunity to touch a piece of space rock and handle some genuine meteorites.

The rare samples were provided free of charge by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), as part of a bid to inspire young people to get involved in science and complement classroom studies.

The pack included 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 hold an object older than this, as Earth itself was formed 4.6 billion years ago.

The lunar samples were collected in the late ’60s and early ’70s, during some of the first manned space missions to the Moon. A staggering 382 kg (842 lbs) of material was brought back to Earth – mostly for use by scientists, but small quantities are used to develop educational packs like this one.

STFC hopes the packs will encourage students to become the next generation of astronomers. Executive chairman, Professor Mark Thompson, said: “It is not often young people will be able to see close-up, and actually touch, such important fragments of science history. Samples like these teach us more about our solar system, allowing us to confront theory with fact. We hope this experience will encourage the students to take up a career in science.”

Year 7 student Cordell Maunders said: “It was so exciting to see the moon rocks; I have always been fascinated by space so I found the lesson really interesting.”

Dr Clare King, lead of science and computing at The Bay, said: “I am so delighted that our students had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get their hands on moon rocks and bring science to life. There was so much excitement about the rocks and it was a fantastic addition to the other activities for British Science Week.”