SEVENTY from high schools across the North West gathered at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park to become rocket scientists for the day.

Pupils from Whitby High School in Ellesmere Port where joined by children from Winsford Academy, Sandymoor School in Runcorn, and St Margaret’s Liverpool.

The University of Chester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering teamed up with Starchaser Industries to provide the unique one-day science workshop for the years eight and nine pupils.

They travelled to Thornton Science Park to design, build and launch their own model rocket, powered by real rocket fuel.

A series of spectacular experiments demonstrated how forces and basic physical laws apply to the challenge of space flight, as well as the importance of chemistry for rocket propellants. Skybolt, a flight test rocket for Starchaser, was also on campus to provide the children with a close-up view of a real flight experience.

Starchaser’s Rocket Propulsion Lab also provided interactive demonstrations, videos and activities to show the company’s development of rocket engines. This all helped students to understand the complexities and challenges of reaching space.

Angela Lupton, HE STEM co-ordinator at the University of Chester, said: “Students always enjoy the day’s activities. They get to put some of the science and engineering that they learn in school into practice by designing and building their own rocket. When the students launched their rockets, they all worked and went to an incredible height!”