UCC Science Day blasted sky high with free-range eggs

It’s not every day that rockets blast off from Penrith, but there were dozens taking off from Ullswater Community College (UCC) during their Science Taster Days for primary school pupils from across Eden.

Pupils from 30 schools had the opportunity to create an egg astronaut with a parachute – which they could blast into ‘space’ aiming for a safe landing on the school playing field. It was all part of the ‘UCC Science Taster Day’ sessions which help primary school pupils get to know more about secondary school.

Over 500 Year 5 pupils from 30 pri mary schools around Eden took part in the Science Taster Days which gave youngsters chance to ignite a passion for science as well as encouraging applications for secondary school places. 

Science sessions included identifying ‘DNA’ in strawberries and creating a prototype shuttle that lands an astronaut scientist back to earth.  The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) provided the eggs which represented the astronaut blasting off and returning to earth in a shuttle and Sainsbury’s provided the strawberries which were used to extract DNA from ‘alien’ samples collected.

UCC Science Teacher Alex Ford, who organises the event, said “The egg astronaut topic is always a firm favourite, and we know that the staff and pupils who come along, remember it for a long time.

“With budgets getting tighter we are very grateful for the support we’ve received from Sainsbury’s and from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company who have supported us for several years. Not only do they continue to supply us with cases of eggs and strawberries, they also come along and get involved with the event too.”

Helen Brass from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “it is great to see primary school pupils from across Eden district at the science taster days. From past experience we know they love the eggsperiment which are great fun, and we have some great conversations with the kids about eggs and sustainable food production. We are always extremely impressed by how much pupils know about taking care of our planet and producing food in the most sustainable way possible.

“It was good to see our egg boxes featured in some of the team’s shuttles this year. They are made of recycled cardboard and our egg packing centre has a very low carbon footprint, so for a company so focused on sustainability it is really encouraging to see how much it matters to the next generation.”

Representing The Lakes at one of the Science Taster Days was Rebekkah Minchin-Hepburn who was joined by Cameron Stewart, a past-pupil from UCC who now works at Sainsbury’s. Together they chatted to pupils and helped them prepare their egg astronauts for take-off.

Rebekkah said “It was my first year taking part, so it was great to see how enthusiastic the kids were and how many questions they asked about recycling and also about how eggs are produced. We watched the astronauts take off and I’m glad to report lots of safe landings, with only one or two crashed and smashed shuttles!”.

Taking part in the Science Taster Day gave pupils chance to build confidence about secondary school, learn about eggs and more about recycling.







Eden schools taking part were: Kirkoswold, Calthwaite, Lazonby, Plumpton, Tebay, Shap, Orton, Penruddock, Greystoke, Beaconside, North Lakes, Lowther, Yanwath, High Hesket, Patterdale, Langwathby,Crosby Ravensworth, Asby, Bolton, Long Marton, Culgaith, Temple Sowerby, Kirkby Thore,Ivegill, Wreay, Stainton, St Catherines, Skelton, Morland, Armathwaite.