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


USELESS UMBRELLA Useless Umbrella Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about materials and their water resistance. Aunt Stella is going to a party at Buckingham Palace. She is going to take a beautiful, big, rainbow umbrella with her in case it rains. Gem has rushed into the garden with the umbrella to try it out. It’s raining. Oh no! The umbrella is leaking. Gem is getting very wet. How can they fix USELESS UMBRELLA the umbrella for Aunt Stella? Through this activity you will support your group to: • Design an experiment to test how waterproof different materials are • Carry out their experiment and observe what happens • Decide on the best material for an umbrella and share their ideas. Kit list • Selection of fabrics and other materials e.g. plastic, sponge, foil, card and wood. Try to make sure some of the fabrics are waterproof. (Pieces from a broken umbrella or raincoat would be good) • Droppers or pipettes • Water coloured with food dye • Beakers or jars • Paper towels • Picture–making materials, podium sheets, Useless umbrella sheets. See website - What to do 1. Read the story on the Activity Card. Get the children to talk to a buddy about the ideas in the questions and the opinions of Cosmic, Gem and Aunt Stella. 2. Provide the children with a selection of different pieces of fabric and other materials to test, some examples are in the Kit list. 3. Talk through how they might find out if the fabrics are waterproof. Encourage them to explore their own ideas and think about fair testing e.g. use the same amount of water, use the same size pieces of fabric, leave the water on the fabric for the same amount of time, decide when and whether to touch the fabrics. 4. When they have finished they can put the best materials on the winners’ podium and talk about why these were waterproof. The children could design an umbrella and evaluate which designs will work and why. They can make a picture showing Cosmic and Gem under an umbrella made out of the most appropriate materials. They could also put the materials on the winners’ podium? 5. 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

Things to think about There may be more than one property to consider when designing and making objects such as umbrellas, e.g. what it looks like, if the material is flexible, as well as if it is waterproof. An umbrella needs to be waterproof but a waterproof material that does not fold will not be any use at all. If no-one likes how the umbrella looks, or the material is too heavy, then it will not be used. It is helpful to provide materials such as plastic, foil and wood so that children can explore and discuss their suitability. Water will sometimes sit on top of some fabrics but when they are touched the water goes through. Thick, soft materials, such as wool and sponge, can get waterlogged even if very little water drips through. In science, the word material is used to describe the substance from which anything is made. Fabric is one type of material. Metal, plastic and glass are also materials. Take it further USELESS UMBRELLA Dripping coloured water onto the material, placed on top of a paper towel, can make it easier to judge how much water has come through. Children can measure the width of the watermark. USELESS UMBRELLA You could put the fabric over a container and see how much drips through in a certain amount of time and/or when touched. Keywords • Materials • Waterproof • Liquids. Watch out! Mop up spills to avoid slippery floor. Warn children not to squirt coloured water at each other. 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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