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Arnewood School pupils handle rare moon rocks on loan from Nasa

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A SECRET delivery of rare moon rocks gave pupils the opportunity to get their hands on minerals collected during the Apollo missions.

Children at the Arnewood School in New Milton were treated to the consignment of lunar samples from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and National Space Academy.

Head of science Peter Grant said: the materials were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s.“It really was a wonderful experience for the students and staff to handle something from the moon – 238,855 miles away.

Arnewood pupils were over the moon with the selection
Arnewood pupils were over the moon with the selection

“They all came labelled and the batch included meteorites, one of which was a large and heavy piece of iron from Argentina – that proved very popular.

“The STFC has the moon rocks on loan from Nasa and it’s hard to think of a teaching aid that is more inspiring.”

As well as rocks and meteorites, the delivery included fossils and tektites – glass-like objects created when meteorites crash into Earth.

“The students were able to hold orange soil collected by Apollo 17 and an ammonite fossil 65-million years old,” continued Mr Grant.

“I’m sure the week will have inspired some of our students to take science as a subject, and we’re grateful for the loan of these highly-prized minerals.”

Head teacher Nigel Pressnell added: “This is a week that hundreds of our students will remember for a very long time.

“To handle a rock that has come from the moon is something most people will never be able to do.”

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