The children of Bilton C of E Junior School have been reaching for the stars this week, as became meteorite hunters, create moon footprints and recreate their own moon rocks, in edible form!
The children have also had a truly out of this world experience viewing space through a planetarium that came on site. Though the truly intergalactic phenomenon, was that the children were able to get their hands on the moon!
The children were given the incredible opportunity to be able to touch a piece of moon rock and handle meteorites, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These rare samples were provided by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council and included a 1.2-billion-year-old piece of moon rock and a 4.3-billion-year-old meteorite. The lunar samples were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during the Apollo missions and some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon. During these missions a staggering 382kg of material was brought back to Earth. Mrs Sarah Stevens, the lead organiser for the Space Week, has been incredibly excited by the arrival of these unique objects and overwhelmed by the children’s response, she explained “These rock samples have been used extensively by scientists throughout the world, the children have been in awe of the fact they have held a piece of space in their hands, something very few people have been able to do. This has given the pupils at Bilton C of E Junior School a golden opportunity to hold a piece of science history. They have been able to evaluate the rock samples and explore their features, then recreate them using a variety of materials, they have been incredibly creative”
Headteacher Mrs Alexandra Norton was amazed by the enthusiasm of the children, who have been walking, talking and exploring space with real vigour. “We have seen some stunning work completed by the children across all the year groups, there has been vast array of meteorite exploring and evaluation, with some remarkable artwork produced which has been inspired by Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, the children recreated their own dreamy views of the scene and the crater footprints truly brought the experience of moonwalking to life. We have seen first-hand how the children have spent a week living in awe and wonder of our world. Realising we are not the biggest thing around!”
The children have been able to study an array of meteorites, from the Campo De Cielo Iron sample, records exist as far back as 1576 for this meteorite. They were also able to touch the Udei Station Iron meteorite, which was witnessed falling to the Earth in 1927. Mrs Norton added “we encourage all our children to aspire to be ambitious for their future, one of this week’s activities has been to plan items that they would need to take to the moon, what an exciting prospect. This experience has opened their eyes to the truly endless opportunities that their future holds.”
Mrs Stevens added “The children’s eyes have been truly starry all week, they have brought items from home, carried out their own research and been truly creative with their ideas across all of the activities, their enthusiasm has known no bounds.” The children enjoyed so many aspects of this week’s space exploration. “Space week has been very good, Mrs Stevens has managed to get us lots of different things to see that a lot of other schools will not have” Connie M
“The planetarium was great, I loved how we were able to see how all the stars connect and makes stories and pictures together.” Martha K
“Touching the moon rocks was amazing, as that is something that I would never have thought I would do in a million years.” Daisy M
Mrs Stevens also wanted to thank everyone for their involvement in making this week a success “ The staff at school have really embraced this cosmic experience and their passion throughout the week has been out of this world , we have also had incredible support from the local community including Coventry Museum who supplied figures and backdrops for the school, Rugby High school have loaned telescopes for the children to use, parents and carers have also helped with a variety of resources. This week has brought together so many people from all walks of life it has been great to see, another incredible highlight has been the messages of encouragement that the children received from Major Tim Peake, who from an early age would look out to space and wonder what stars and planets were made of, our children have had the opportunity to see that for themselves”
The week culminated in a community evening with parents and children coming along to school for a Stargazing spectacular, this event was hosted by The Rugby and District Astronomical Society who were able to give everyone a real insight into outer space. Mrs Norton said “It has been a truly intergalactic week with everyone involved being truly inspired to reach for the stars”