Children at Morton Church of England Primary School in Lincolnshire, a member of the Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT), were over the moon when they got the chance to handle rare samples of moon rock and meteorites on loan from the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). During a series of special science lessons pupils got the unique opportunity to touch a piece of space rock and handle some genuine meteorites, supplied free of charge by STFC in a bid to inspire young people to get involved in science and complement classroom studies.
Offering pupils this exciting experience is an example of how Morton’s dedicated staff continually look for ways to make learning challenging, enriching and fun. Niki Durham, Science Lead, at the school, says she first heard about the space rock loan scheme when she was on a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) course, organised by LAAT as part of the Trust’s professional development training for member schools to inspire and develop outstanding school leaders.
“We actually applied to borrow lunar samples from STFC about two years ago, explains Niki, “but then Covid came along. However, it was well worth the wait. The children were extremely excited, especially about the meteorites. Some of the pupils even wanted to smell them! All year groups were able to look at the moon samples and Key Stage 2 students did an investigation about how moon craters are made and their size.”
The educational pack provided by STFC to schools like Morton includes a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite. STFC’s lunar samples were collected in the early 1970s during some of NASA’s manned space missions to the Moon.
Morton Church of England Primary School became a member of LAAT in September 2016. LAAT is a thriving multi-academy trust, set up by the Diocese of Lincoln in 2013, to build a mutually supportive family of academies in Greater Lincolnshire who support each other in providing the very best outcomes for their pupils. Currently, around 3,350 pupils across 18 schools are part of the LAAT.