Egg astronauts land safely at UCC Science Day. A record number of egg astronauts landed safely at Ullswater Community College (UCC) in Penrith this month – thanks to the careful preparation of parachutes and space capsules by primary school pupils from across Eden. The activity was part of the UCC Science Day Taster sessions which help primary school pupils get to know more about secondary school. Key ingredients for the experiments include eggs and parachutes which were provided by The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) and the Penrith Sainsbury’s store.
Around 370 Year 5 pupils from primary schools around Eden took part in the Science Taster days which give the youngsters chance to discover more about science and the school labs. Whilst the school hopes to encourage future applications for secondary school places, one of the key aims is to ignite a passion for science and exploring new ideas.
Science sessions included identifying ‘DNA’ in strawberries and creating a prototype shuttle that lands a scientist back to earth. The experiments use eggs to replicate an astronaut who is travelling home using a shuttle. Teams built their shuttles and used the parachutes in a test landing from the school balcony.
Head of Key Stage 3 Science and UCC Science Teacher Alex Ford, who organises the event, said “The egg astronaut topic is always a firm favourite with staff and pupils. This is the third time we have worked with The Lakes Free Range Egg Company and Sainsbury’s. They are very enthusiastic, coming along, getting involved with the project and making their own space capsule. We really appreciate their support and are grateful to The Lakes for providing us with a regular supply of free range eggs. Each year we assess the merits of the experiments and egg astronaut feedback is always fantastic so we’ve no plans to change it.”
Helen Brass from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We love to see young people inspired to learn new things and have chance to talk to them about eggs. This year we took part in the Science Taster on the same day as pupils from North Lakes Primary School, they were very passionate about their experiment and came up with some creative team names relating to eggs including The Yolkers and Team Chicken.
“Opportunities to spend time with local primary and secondary schools are important to ensure youngsters understand where their food comes from and this is the second time we’ve collaborated with Sainsbury’s on activity with North Lakes School.
“Last month a survey by the British Nutritional Foundation revealed some alarming answers from children aged 14 – 16 where 6% thought dairy cows produced eggs. Fortunately, living in a rural area, most children we speak to do know chickens lay eggs!”
Joining Helen Brass to take part at the Science Taster Day were Sarah Swan and Sue Sharman from Sainsbury’s. Together the trio formed ‘Team Lakesbury’s’ building an astronaut capsule which successfully landed intact. Sarah and Sue said “It was great to see the children really connect with the experiment. They had a wide choice of materials to work with, aiming to use as little as little as possible but still being able to successfully land their capsule without breaking their astronaut. Most eggs landed without a crack. This Taster Day is excellent as it gives children chance to build confidence about secondary school, learn about eggs and a key recycling message too.”
In an action packed week-long event, a total of 27 primary schools took part in the Science Taster Days.