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St Swithuns CE Primary School

Moon Rocks

Last week, a high security, secret delivery was received by children in Year 5 – Moon Rocks!

Between 1969 and 1972, six manned Apollo missions successfully landed on the Moon, allowing the astronauts to collect samples and bring 382kg of moon rock back to Earth for study; some of these are available for educational purposes and arrived at our school for Year 5 as part of their learning of Space.

Children were able to handle these rocks and others, such as the famous and rare Nakhla martian meteorite fragment were mounted.  As well as rocks and meteorites, the delivery included fossils and tektites – glass-like objects created when meteorites crash into Earth. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for children to get their hands on minerals and orange soil collected by Apollo 17. Children had the chance to investigate actual lunar samples, taken by NASA on some of the first Apollo missions, by looking at their different properties. They were surprised by the density and magnetism of the rocks and as ‘meteor hunters’ enjoyed identifying meteors amongst a range of earth rocks and fossils. This made everything real to the children and allowed them to see, using the USB microscopes, the layers and depth of rocks, something that would not have been possible – a unique experience for children and staff alike.

To complete this ‘out of the world experience’ children were immersed in Oxford Science’s Planetarium, learning more about the  solar system, how day and night occur and how to spot Ursa Major. The experience was breath taking and fully complimented the children’s day at ‘Astronaut Academy’.