Eleven-year-old guide has won UCLan’s badge design competition
Visitors to the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Alston Observatory will now be able to take away a memento of their trip after a Guide won a competition to design a space-themed badge.
Bethany Mayers, from the Second Congleton Guides, was chosen as the winner after her creative entry, featuring a selection of bright planets and an astronaut in the night sky, caught the eyes of the three judges.
The 11-year-old, who attends Mossley CE Primary School, will receive a £30 voucher and a book. She said: “I was so happy when I found out that I had won the competition. I really enjoyed designing the badge and colouring it in so I'm really pleased to have won.
“I mainly got inspiration from things I had learned about space in the past and then put it all together in one picture.”
"I really enjoyed designing the badge and colouring it in so I'm really pleased to have won"— Bethany Mayers
Dr Joanne Pledger, one of the judges from UCLan’s Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, said: “The criteria was style, originality, appropriate/relevant, memorability, feasibility and it was very tough to decide our winner as the standard of fantastic designs, which featured many arty representations of stars, planets and telescopes, was high.
“We chose Bethany’s design because it incorporated a variety of different aspects of observing and exploring space which is what visiting our Alston Observatory is all about.”
The competition, which was open to any space fan aged five to 16-years-old, took place after academics discovered Girlguiding groups did not offer an astronomy related activity badge.
Dr Megan Argo, who was a judge alongside colleague Dr Bill Swalwell, added: “We know children who attend Guides, Brownies, Rainbows, Rangers, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers love to achieve their badges but we recently found out that not all of them offer a space related badge.
"We chose Bethany’s design because it incorporated a variety of different aspects of observing and exploring space which is what visiting our Alston Observatory is all about"— Dr Joanne Pledger, one of the judges from UCLan’s Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy
“As we welcome around 2,000 visitors a year to our public observing nights, many of which are uniformed organisation groups, we didn’t want anyone to be excluded so we decided to run the competition to have our own embroidered badge. We can’t wait to give the new badge out.”
The two runners-up, nine-year-old Emily Frank and 12-year-old Phoebe Fox, each receive a book.
The Alston Observatory is home to the state-of-the art 70cm Moses Holden Telescope, named the after the astronomer who, in 1828, was one of the founders of the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, today known as UCLan.
Public observing nights are held on the first Wednesday of the months during October to April. Tickets are free but must be booked. For more information about visiting Alston Observatory, visit the webpage or email.