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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Tea Bag Trouble Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about materials. Uncle Astro wants to make a nice cup of tea but he’s run out of tea bags. The shop is only selling packets of loose tea leaves. Uncle Astro doesn’t like tea leaves floating around in his drink, so Cosmic and Gem wonder if they can make him some tea bags. Through this activity you will support your group to: • Think about what makes a good tea bag • Test different materials and observe how they behave when used as a tea bag • Record TEABAG their TROUBLE results and share them with the group. BLE Kit list TEABAG TROUBLE • Loose tea leaves and tea bags • Water from the hot tap (see Safety). • Clothes pegs • Selection of different materials e.g. tissues, newspaper, kitchen roll, silk, cotton, tissue paper, crepe paper • Teaspoons, clear containers, measuring jug, minute timer. • Scissors and thermometers • Coloured pencils, including brown What to do 1. Give out the activity cards and introduce the activity by reading the story together. 2. Get the children to talk to a buddy about the questions and the opinions of Aunt Stella, Gem and Cosmic. 3. Look at some tea bags together. Talk about making tea. 4. If possible let them choose their own materials. 5. Check that they understand how to make tea bags using the pegs. Let them talk about what makes a good tea bag (lets colour and flavour out and keeps tea in). 6. Discuss safety issues when using hot water. 7. Ask the children to draw cups of tea to show what happened. Encourage the children to use lighter or darker browns to show the tea colour and to draw in tea leaves.
UBLE Things to think about They need to fix the peg so that the tea leaves cannot escape through the top. Children may need to practice. Thin or soft materials are easier to use. Some materials will absorb a lot of water and some will tear easily. Encourage children to notice this. Children should be encouraged to use the same amount of tea in each bag, the same sized piece of material, the same volume and temperature of water, and to dunk for the same amount of time. Encourage children to observe differences in tea colour and the number of escaping tea leaves. To show off their research, children can draw pictures of cups of tea. They can stick a piece of the appropriate tea bag material next to each picture. They can also use the winners’ podium. Take it further The first tea bags were made from silk muslin in 1903 in the USA. Tea bags weren’t popular in the UK until the 1950’s. Now 96% of all tea sold in the UK is contained in tea bags. Modern tea bags are usually made of paper fibre and heat sealed. They come in square, rectangular, circular and pyramidal shapes. The quality of the tea in the bags varies. Some can have a high quantity of tea dust in them. Bags with whole leaves tend to take longer to brew. Keywords TEABAG TROUBLE • Hot Water • Tea • Absorption • Filtration • Materials Watch out! Water from the hot tap will work. Check its temperature before use to make sure it is not too hot for children to use. Try to prevent over vigorous dunking and splashing. Children should not drink the tea. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236
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