Year-five pupils were able to handle meteorites and see rare samples of Moon rocks during an exciting week of science lessons.
There was high security at Chesswood Junior School, in Chesswood Road, Worthing, last week, as teachers received one of only six boxes of samples available from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Miss Emily Varley, a year-five teacher who organised the Borrow the Moon loan, said: “It was a bit nerve-racking because we had to have a security visit beforehand but it all went smoothly.
“We booked them at the end of last year and we were quite surprised that we actually got them. We were lucky.
“It’s the first time the school has done it. I think the children understood this was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. They found it very exciting.”
Each of the five year-five classes had a turn with the box during a week focused on the topic of space.
The children pretended they were planetary scientists and carried out experiments on some of the provided objects in the hope of finding meteorites, with the help of magnetic probes.
During the week, they were encouraged to reach for the stars and learn more about the universe, with interactive experiences of astronomy.
The rare samples of space rock were provided free of charge, as the council wants to inspire young people to get involved in science and complement classroom studies.
The box included a 1.2billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3billion-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. During these missions, 382kg of material was brought back to Earth, mostly for use by scientists.