Moon samples ‘rock’ Streatham primary school pupils for a week

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Moon samples 'rock' Streatham primary school pupils for a week - South West Londoner

Pupils from a Streatham primary school spent a week this month analysing samples of Moon rock.

Streatham Wells Primary School received the samples between Monday and Friday last week through the Borrow the Moon loan scheme run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Each class had the chance to experiment with the samples and learnt about classifying different rocks and soils, and parents came in to see what the children had been learning.

Rosie O’Brien, school science lead, said: “I stumbled across the website on the internet and at first I just didn’t think it was real.

“I applied and then didn’t hear anything from them for about six months and then I got this mysterious email asking if they could do a security check at our school.”

OUT OF THIS WORLD: Some of the samples sent to the school

Due to the expensive nature of the rocks meaning there was a risk they could be stolen, the school had to show they could keep the five boxes of samples protected in a secure safe, in a locked room, and that they had adequate CCTV.

The children used a USB microscope to inspect the samples up close and also learnt how the rocks were transported from the Moon to Earth.

Before the rocks came to the school, O’Brien said: “[The kids] are all really excited and they just can’t believe it.

“I think it’ll be a really exciting week, one of those things that they’ll remember forever.”

A HANDY SAMPLE: A large sample everyone could hold

Highlights of the week included a nursery school girl’s shock to find the Moon was not actually made of cheese and a Year 6 girl’s excitement to learn meteorites smell of metal because they contain iron.

A parent who attended the parents’ meeting event said: “I’ve always loved the Moon – I can’t believe I got to touch it!”

The Borrow the Moon scheme began in the mid 1980s with samples loaned from NASA.

STFC provides learning and teaching resources for the groups who borrow their samples.

Images Credit: Rosie O’Brien