Sawtry students get hands on with meteorites

Sawtry College

Sawtry College - Credit: Archant

Students at Sawtry Community College were over the moon to be able to study and hold a collection of extra terrestrial rocks and meteorites – one of which was more than four billion years-old.

Sawtry College

Sawtry College - Credit: Archant

The lunar samples were loaned to the college by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council and included a 1.2 billion-year-old sample from Mars and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite.

Students were literally able to get hands-on with these pieces of Mars, the Moon and hand-sized meteorites form the dawn of time, in a unique interactive insight into astronomy.

The lunar samples were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon. An impressive 382kg of lunar material was brought back to Earth – mostly for scientific analysis, but small quantities have since been used for educational purposes and educational packs can be borrowed from the council.

Teacher Zia Ullah said: “It was a fantastic experience for the students. Many didn’t believe that they were holding real meteorites. Having been observing the Moon getting fuller in the evening sky over the last couple of weeks made it an even more surreal experience when they got to hold the sealed disc of moon dust in their hands and investigate using the resources provided by the council.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter