YOUNG Einsteins enjoyed lessons which were truly out of this world.

Moss Park Junior School pupils managed to get their hands on rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites as part of their learning of the universe.

And they were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to touch a piece of space rock not of this Earth as they were allowed to handle some genuine meteorites.

The rare samples were provided free of charge by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which provides educational packs in a bid to inspire young people to get involved in science and complement classroom studies.

The pack provided by STFC includes a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite. It is unlikely that students will ever get the chance to hold an object older than this, as Earth itself was formed 4.6 billion years ago.

The packs include a meteorite hunter’s kit, a teacher planning pack and exciting web-based resources and online support videos for all age groups, primary to secondary.

The lunar samples were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon. During these missions, a staggering 382kg of material was brought back to Earth ­— mostly for use by scientists, but small quantities are used to develop educational packs like this one.

Samples such as these reveal a great deal about the planets, from which they originate, but there is still much to learn ­— and the packs help encourage students to become the next generation of astronomers.