Pupils literally reached for the stars as a piece of Mars and a meteorite - almost as old as the solar system - landed at their village school.
Rougham Primary School was loaned rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites from the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) last week. Some of the items were found on earth but the lunar samples were collected in the late 60s and early 70s during NASA’s first manned space missions to the moon.
Highlights included a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite. The solar system is 4.6 billion-years-old.
Teacher and science co-ordinator Jane Saunderson, who worked with teaching assistant Sarah Nicholls on the project, said being able to handle a piece of outer space was ‘awe inspiring’.
“It’s been an amazing and really inspirational experience,” she said.
Pupils in Year 5 have been looking at space as part of the science curriculum and the school has been taking part in the Tim Peake Primary Project - a national initiative named after the British astronaut who is on a mission at the International Space Station. The project aims to increase pupil engagement in science, numeracy and literacy.
Professor John Womersley, STFC’s chief executive officer, said: “It’s an unforgettable experience to be able to hold such an important part of science history that has made such an incredible journey over millions of miles to reach us - and one we hope will inspire the scientists of the future.”