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


SNEAKY SHADOW SNEAKY SHADOW Sneaky Shadow Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about shadows. Cosmic has lost his shadow. He knows that it was with him all day but now it is missing. Gem and Aunt Stella try to help him to find it. Gem finds it under the street lamp and Aunt Stella finds it on the wall. Where has the sneaky shadow been hiding? Through this activity you will support your group to: • Think about how shadows are made • Experiment with making shadows indoors and outside • Record their results and create a shadow play to share Kit list • Torches or other light sources • Card or thick paper – coloured translucent material can add interest • Shadow theatre – light source (projector or bright lamp), screen (made of translucent material) e.g. a white sheet • Sticks to attach to the shadow puppets • Musical instruments (optional) What to do 1. Follow the instructions on the ACTIVITY CARD. Make sure you give 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 Cosmic, Gem and Aunt Stella. 3. If it is sunny you could go out first to look at shadows. 4. Children can explore shadows using torches or other light sources. 5. They can make shadow puppets and make up plays. 6. Children can cut out a variety of shapes e.g. people, animals or cars. They can use them to create a shadow play. 7. Some children may need help to think of a story for their play. 8. Let them share their plays with each other. 9. There are follow up activities for children who have finished or who want to do more finding out at home and earn a bonus sticker.

OW Things to think about Children may think that shadows are there all the time, even when it is dark. They may think that shadows have faces or coloured clothes. It is important that they are allowed to talk about and explore their own ideas, without being told that they are wrong. A shadow theatre is ideal to disseminate the information. Put a bright light source behind a screen. Children hold their cut-out characters on sticks in front of the light and behind the screen so that the shadows are cast on the screen. The plays can be shared with each other. A shadow is formed when something blocks light from the Sun or another light source. A shadow is dark, whatever the colour of the object. If light comes from more than one direction, or the object is translucent, shadows might look grey or coloured. Take it further As children explore they will find that the closer the object is to the light source, the bigger the shadow. The shadow is always on the opposite side of the object from the light source. You do not need complete darkness to explore shadows with torches or other light sources. Light coming through a window can form shadows. However, it is helpful to minimise light coming through windows to make the shadows formed by torches clearer. Keywords • Shadows • Light • Colour Watch out! Make sure children do not touch a hot light source. Observe the organisation’s policy for working outdoors. Do not look directly at the Sun. Beware of trip hazards if working in dark conditions Find out more (links to further info) For more information about how shadow theatres are used in other countries e.g. Wayang Kulit in Java (Indonesia), see 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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