Alvarado Junior High School

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Lunar samples visit Alvarado ISD schools

Students in Alvarado recently had the rare opportunity to learn about the history of our Moon's exploration and to actually examine and make observations of Lunar samples brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts.

Third graders at Lillian Elementary have been learning how soil is formed on Earth and were able to compare earth soil samples with lunar regolith (soil). Other students throughout the district learned about these national treasures by participating in Readers Theater or viewing historical videos and having group discussions about the historical significance of having samples of the Moon brought back to Earth.

“Students have a lot of misconceptions about our nation’s Moon exploration,” said Janie Henderson, AISD instructional technology facilitator. “Exploring these lunar samples gives students a rare opportunity to experience one of the most important historical events ever accomplished by the United States, and to touch artifacts that enabled new scientific discovery.”

This opportunity was made available by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Laboratory at NASA - Johnson Space Center, in Houston. ARES scientists and engineers perform research in earth, planetary, and space sciences and are responsible for the curating and security of all NASA-held extraterrestrial samples.

The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program is designed for K-12 classroom educators who work in K-12 schools, museums, libraries, or planetariums. Educators have to be certified to borrow the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disks by attending a NASA Certification Workshop provided by a NASA Authorized Sample Disk Certifier.

Each Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk encapsulates six authentic Astromaterials samples in a six-inch diameter clear Lucite disk. Each Meteorite Sample Disk contains six different types of meteorite samples. Each Lunar Sample Disk contains three lunar rock and three lunar soil (regolith) samples collected by Apollo astronauts.