METEORITE samples from outer space had students at Robert Smyth Academy fascinated during a talk about our solar system.
Dr Jenny Claydon visited the academy to give a talk about the early solar system and also took along some meteorite samples.
Pupils were able to get their hands on the samples, some of which were older than the Earth.
Many of them were solid iron, so were extremely heavy, and one had come from the planet Mars.
Dr Claydon is a former Robert Smyth student who studied geology and planetary science at Manchester University before studying meteorites for her PhD.
She was awarded her doctorate just a couple of weeks before visiting Robert Smyth.
The feat earned her a spontaneous round of applause from the students when it was announced.
Dr Claydon explained to pupils how asteroids and meteorites are often unchanged since the solar system first formed, meaning they can tell us a lot about what the conditions were like when the Earth and other planets formed.
The talk prompted lots of questions from the enthralled pupils, who were all eager to examine the meteorites.
Steve Althorpe, head of science at the academy, said: “This sort of visit really brings the subject alive, and it’s even better if the scientist visiting is an ex-student because our students can see what they themselves could achieve.
“Robert Smyth Academy has an excellent reputation for science education and our affiliation with the National Space Academy enables us to show students the vast array of options open to them if they have science qualifications.”