Borrow the Moon


Moon borrowers’ stories

Video credit: STFC
On-screen captions and an auto generated transcript is available on YouTube.

Mrs Ainscough, Year 4 teacher, Burbage Junior School

Burbage Junior School was lucky enough to take part in the pilot scheme linked to the Borrow the Moon loan box. This box was trialled with both Years 3 and 5.

It is very difficult at times, as a class teacher, to engage younger pupils with ‘rocks and fossils’ as a science topic, as they do not really understand the time scale involved. This box however allowed this to happen.

My class and those of my Year 3 colleagues were totally engaged by the resources. Being able to hold something so real and from ‘the Moon’ held their attention and allowed a vast amount of questions to be asked (not all we could answer!).

You know as a teacher when it is a good lesson when the pupils go home, tell their parents, and then come back in the next day with information and questions linked to the lesson.

My Year 5 colleagues were in the middle of ‘earth and space’ and therefore the box was welcomed with open arms. This made everything real to the pupils and allowed them to see using the USB microscopes the layers and depth of rocks, something that would not have been possible before.

Again, it allowed a more in-depth discussion to take part with teachers and pupils. The resources also provided teachers with ready-made lesson plans and PowerPoints which were insightful. Feedback was welcomed and we would be very happy to use this resource again, as the outcome ensured a more in-depth knowledge and understanding.

Miss Walsh, Head of Canterbury House, Archbishop Temple School

Pupils had an out of world experience this week. Thanks to a loan from NASA and the Science and Technology Facilities Council they had the opportunity to view and handle a selection of rocks from the moon and space.

Between 1969 and 1972, six manned Apollo missions successfully landed on the Moon, allowing the astronauts to collect samples and bring them back to Earth for study. Some of these samples have been preserved in acrylic disks and along with a range of meteorites, tektites and fossils are available for a week-long loan to schools.

Pupils and staff were fascinated by the rocks which included amongst other samples:

  • orange soil collected by Apollo 17 (you can find the exact site on Google Moon)
  • a large iron meteorite from Argentina with a recorded history dating back to 1576
  • an ammonite fossil 65 million years old and a 14.7 million year old ‘Moldavite impactite’, glass formed when a meteorite landed in Germany.

Jayden in Year 7 said “My favourite was the large iron meteorite, it was really heavy and the original must have been huge as this was only a small part that broke off, knowing it came from somewhere in space is amazing”.

Finlay in Year 7 enjoyed looking at the samples because “not many people go to space, so it’s great to see what things from space look and feel like”.

Mr Boe was very keen to handle the samples because he remembered watching the moon landings when he was at school and it’s a big part of history.

The pupils had an opportunity to view the rocks in lessons or the library at lunchtime, encouraged by Mrs Dearden who was delighted that such an exciting event was taking place as it showed the library is the hub of the school, changing pupils’ views and encouraging pupils who do not usually go to visit. “It reminds us all we are a small part of space.”

Miss Walsh, who, along with Mrs Taylor, organised the visit, was thrilled that pupils took such an interest, and hopes that they will take a greater interest in July when the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings is celebrated.

Last updated: 12 September 2023

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