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.
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GEM COSMIC Animal Adventure Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about minibeasts and habitats. Cosmic and Gem are bored. Gem wants to go on an animal adventure. Uncle Astro said that they will find minibeasts if they look carefully. Gem looks high and low but she can’t find any little animals. Cosmic thinks they should ask Uncle Astro for help. Through this activity you will support children to: • Go on a minibeast hunt • Find out about the minibeasts they see and their habitats • Share their findings with the rest of the group Kit list • Collecting jar or pooter (special devices for catching minibeasts) • Magnifying glasses and/or digital microscope • Identification book (optional) • Outdoor environment, preferably with rocks, logs, large stones, pieces of old carpet (you could place some on the ground a few weeks earlier) What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story on the activity card. Ask the children where they think they will find minibeasts. 2. Give out activity cards and equipment to the children. 3. Explain that they will be going on a minibeast hunt. 4. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Prompt questions: • Where will you look for minibeasts? • Will we collect them? How will we make sure we don’t harm them? 5. Support children to conduct their investigation and make their own records of their results. They could also take photographs or make drawings. They might like to use a minibeast guide to identify what they find. 6. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group, they can be as creative in their presentation as they want. 7. Return any collected minibeasts to their habitat.
Things to talk about Teach the children to handle all animals with care. It is best to observe animals in their natural environment. However, they can be taken inside for short periods, as long as they are treated with respect and returned to where they were found. Take it further Many children believe the word ‘animal’ refers only to large furry animals and not humans, fish, birds, insects, etc. This hunt focuses on minibeasts but could also include other animals such as birds. The term ‘minibeast’ means a small animal. The scientific name for minibeasts is invertebrates. This means an animal without a backbone. Some invertebrates have no skeleton, like worms. Others, like insects and spiders, have a skeleton on the outside (exoskeleton). You can generally find plenty of minibeasts living in moist, damp, dark environments which help to keep them safe and stop them ‘drying out’. Keywords • Habitat • Minibeast • Invertebrate Watch out! Make sure that children wash their hands carefully after handling creatures. Follow the organisation’s guidelines for outdoor work. Make sure that stones are not too heavy and are lifted carefully. Do not bring wild birds or mammals into school as they may carry diseases. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236
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