A SPACE rocket crash-landed in the allotment of a Sheffield school – sparking a major investigation.
The unexplained, smoking, craft was found at St Patrick’s Catholic School in Shiregreen in the early hours of the morning and brought shocked residents from the nearby estate to the scene.
Police, forensic officers and even NASA scientists were soon working with curious youngsters to find out what had flown the silver rocket, and to where the mysterious pilots had quietly disappeared...
But there was no need for alarm as the landing was a stunt, organised by the school and part of a topic on space.
The school is developing its creative curriculum and aims to get pupils’ imaginations going with the drama.
Headteacher Finnola Neilis said: “We set up the situation of a rocket landing at St Patrick’s really to spark the imagination and excitement – which it did.
“But it also raised the excitement of people around us, we had people coming in from the estate to ask if everything was OK!
“Some of the children weren’t quite sure when they saw the rocket but when steam starting coming out of it, as we had a smoke machine hidden behind it, there were massive screams.”
A school press conference, where scientists showed youngsters slime found on the cordoned-off rocket, led to dozens of questions being asked by excited youngsters.
During the coming week, year five and six pupils will find more and more clues – such as handprints on windows – about the mystery.
And scientists will also bring the rocket back to explain the results of tests that have been undertaken.
Teachers, their friends and family, chairman of governors Gill Brown and even parents took part in the experiment.
Mrs Neilis added: “The children asked an enormous amount of questions.
“It really has been to spark their questioning, investigation and imagination processes but also to aid creative writing with first hand experiences.
“We are trying to do this sort of thing for more of the projects in school.”