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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Space rocks thrill Ulverston pupils

MOON rocks and meteorites have spent a week on display at an Ulverston school – to the awe and fascination of pupils.

Alaric Thompson, 42, the head of physics at Ulverston Victoria High School, arranged for the cosmic material to be on loan from NASA and the National History Museum.

Pupils from the school, along with students from St Bernard’s, Barrow Sixth Form College and Chetwynde School, have had the opportunity to see the ancient rocks over the past week.

The moon rocks were gathered during the Apollo moon landings in the early 1970s.

They were taken to answer questions about the moon, but some were placed aside for educational purposes.

The meteorites from the National History Museum have an altogether very different story. One is dated as 150 million years older than the earth.

Mr Thompson, of Walney, got the other schools involved through his role as Ogden Trust Teacher Fellow.

He said: “Everyone’s really shown an interest. Not just in the things themselves but the moon rocks have really revived an interest in the Apollo moon landings.

“Some of the younger students didn’t really appreciate that but it’s really helped to bring it back.”

The materials have been on display at the school before, 10 years ago in 2004.

Mr Thompson thought that after a decade it was worth arranging their return.

They are under tight security due to their rarity, and Mr Thompson and staff have had to keep a close eye on them.

The rocks arrived on Monday, and they left yesterday.

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