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 SuperStar challenges

  • Text
  • Handson
  • Stem
  • Challenges
  • Discussion
  • Explore
  • Create
  • Experiment
  • Investigate
  • Toothpaste
  • Materials
  • Glue
  • Tomato
  • Yoghurt
  • Superstar
The activities in this pack have been selected from our library of CREST SuperStar challenges. Children need to complete eight challenges to achieve a CREST SuperStar Award. If you want, you can mix and match challenges from different packs, as long as children complete eight SuperStar challenges. This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (

Polymer Problem

Polymer Problem Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about polymers and their different properties. Dr Polly Murs from Horners has reached out for help to come up with a new polymer product for a competition. Through this activity you will support your group to: • Learn about how polymers are made • Explore different types of polymers and their properties • Record and present their findings to the group Kit list • A small selection of polymers. Choose from: - Pieces of polythene - Plastic from bottles or other containers - Nylon from tights - Magic snow - Water-absorbing crystals - Potty putty - Slime - Expanded polystyrene (trays, packaging) - Cling film - Lycra fabric - Polycarbonate (CDs) - Hair mousse - PVC (pipes, floor covering) - Silicone bakeware - Artificial sponge - Bouncy balls, etc • Drawing materials • Sticky post-it notes, enough for each group to have five What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the email from Dr Polly Murs 2. Give out activity cards and equipment to the children. 3. Show the children examples of objects made from polymers. Focus on things obviously made from plastic. Tell them some simple information about polymers mentioned in the Things to think about section. 4. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Give the children time to talk and identify other items they think are made out of polymers using post-

its. Share what they have chosen. Emphasise that this is an awareness-raising activity, not a test to see who is right. 5. Remind them about Polly’s email. Then give a small selection of polymers to each group. Encourage the children to explore the properties of the materials using words from the activity card to help them. Choose ones that have different properties so they experience a wide range. such as nylon to make an expanding toy store, or expanded polystyrene to make a whacky warm hat. Once groups of children have decided on their favourite new use, allow them time to create their designs. 7. Give each group one minute to share their designs and explain their ideas. Then let the whole group discuss which to send to Dr Polly Murs. 6. Encourage the children to think of new uses for the materials. You might want to suggest some creative possibilities to get them started, Things to think about Children may need some guidance to explore the properties of the polymers. If so, explore one material together using the word bank. Encourage children to include as much detail as possible on their designs, such as what the new product is made from, what it does and who might use it. Children only need to know that polymers are substances made up of groups of atoms (or tiny particles) that are joined together in very long chains. The more these chains are tangled up, the stronger the polymer becomes. Many polymers, such as those used in this activity, are manufactured. Polymers also occur naturally in materials like rubber, starch, silk, protein and DNA. All plastics are polymers, but not all polymers are plastic. Polymers have a wider range of properties than those commonly associated with plastics. Keywords • Polymers • Plastic • Chains • Molecules Watch out! Read all labels and avoid any potential hazards. Ensure that all samples are clean and free from sharp edges. Substances must not be put into mouths, noses or ears. In case of accident, flush with running water. Ensure children wash their hands after exploring the polymers. Find out more See for more information on polymers. The Worshipful Company of Horners promotes the development, interests and image of polymers and the polymer industry. They foster links with industry and education bodies, and support a range of charitable activities - 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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