Students get up close with pieces of space

Pieces of the moon were found by pupils at a Longbenton school last week.

Rare pieces of moon rocks and a collection of metorites landed at Longbenton Community College last Thursday.

Students were able to get up close with the space material brought back to Earth by NASA’s astronauts on Apollo 15, 16 and 16 missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

One of the highlights was touching a real bit of space – a 1.2 billion year piece of Mars and a 4.3-billion-year-old nickel meteorite.

The lunar samples were provided to the school by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Jim Cockburn, college principal, said: “The college’s students and those in our feeder primaries have had a magnificent week having such close access to these space materials and finding science come to life in such an exciting way. The students have been captivated by Moonrocks, and have talked about it so much.”

STFC’s chief executive Professor John Womersley said: “This was a great opportunity for young people to be able to see, touch and really experience such important and exciting messengers from space – turning science fiction into science fact.”