Primary challenges (ages 5-11)

Typically completed by 5-11 year olds, CREST Star and SuperStar challenges relate to everyday experiences. Children complete eight activities to gain a CREST Award, with each activity taking between 45 minutes and one hour to complete.

The activities are designed to be easy-to-run and low-cost. You don’t need to be a teacher, have a science background or have access to specialist equipment to run them. The packs contain helpful hints and tips for you to use, explaining the scientific themes and offering guidance on conversation topics for your children.

There are more CREST approved resources that have been developed by our partners and providers specific to your region.

To browse the packs, click the buttons below or scroll down.

5 years ago

All Star challenges

  • Text
  • Cosmic
  • Materials
  • Association
  • Registered
  • Stella
  • Plants
  • Encourage
  • Astro
  • Timers
  • Rainbow


PEGGY PROBLEM Peggy Problem PEGGY PROBLEM Organiser’s Card PEGGY PROBLEM About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about grip and strength. It’s washing day at Aunt Stella’s house. She cleans her clothes and then hangs them on the line to dry. The wet clothes keep falling off the line. Cosmic and Gem decide to try to find out which are the best clothes pegs for her to use. Will some clothes pegs be grippier than others? PEGGY PROBLEM Through this activity you will support your group to: • Think about what makes a peg work well • Test different types of pegs and observe how strong they are • Record their results and share them with the group. Kit list • Different types of clothes pegs (use pegs that children have brought in from home if possible) • Long socks • Lots of sand • Small cups for filling the socks • Dustpan and brush • Bowls and floor covering to catch the sand What to do 1. Follow the instructions on the ACTIVITY CARD. Give the children time to talk about their ideas. 2. Read the story. Get the children to talk to a buddy about the questions and the opinions of Gem, Cosmic and Aunt Stella. 3. Talk through the idea of testing the pegs by adding sand to a sock on a washing line. 4. You could let them think of other ways of testing the clothes pegs. 5. Discuss safety issues. See safety notes overleaf for more details. 6. Talk together about what they have found out. Were some pegs better than others? Did everyone get the same result? 7. Let the children show their findings by drawing a picture or poster or using the winners’ podium. If painting, encourage them to add as much detail as possible. They could use the winners’ podium to share their results. 8. There are follow up activities for children who have finished or who want to do more at home and earn a bonus sticker.

Things to think about Make sure that the children empty the sock as much as they can each time to try to keep the test fair. Otherwise get a collection of socks and use a new one each time. Test the socks to check that the sand does not leak out! The first pegs were probably sticks with a slit in one end used by fishermen hanging their washing on the rigging while out at sea. It wasn’t until the ‘spring-clamp’ was invented in 1853 that pegs started to resemble those we use today. It is important that the children are able to feel like ‘real scientists’ during this activity and know that their own ideas are important too. If children do come up with their own tests, try to let them have a go provided you have the equipment and the test is safe. Take it further Pegs can be tested in many other ways. For example, measuring the clamping pressure of sprung pegs. You can do this by attaching the pegs to plasticine and measuring the depth of the indentation. Keywords PEGGY PROBLEM • Grip PEGGY PROBLEM • Weight • Spring • Pegs Watch out! Put a bowl underneath the washing line for the sand-filled socks to fall into. Be careful where you hang the line so that children cannot run into it. Keep the line low so that the socks do not have too far to fall and the children can reach it easily. Children should be careful when handling pegs, particularly those with spring hinges, to avoid getting fingers and skin trapped. Children should be reminded not to rub their eyes when they are handling the sand and to wash their hands afterwards. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236

Star level

Collections of one hour challenges recommended for children aged 5-7 years that relate to children’s everyday experiences. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the CREST Star page.

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SuperStar level

Collections of one hour challenges recommended for children aged 7-11 years that realate to broader situations that children are likely to have come across. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the CREST SuperStar page.

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