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 (

Spinning Solutions

Spinning Solutions Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about centrifugal force. Richie from URENCO has been to the Startown History Museum and is fascinated by the mangle. Can the children help to find out how it works and what else spinning can be used for? Through this activity you will support your group to: • Design and make their own model washing machine drum and mangle • Test different drum and mangle designs and record their results • Present their findings to the group. Kit list • Different-size containers with lids, so the smaller fits inside the larger container (polystyrene or paper cups work well) • Plastic or canvas bags • Absorbent fabric – e.g. dishcloths or flannels • Rolling pins • Flat boards • Plastic trays • Measuring jugs or cylinders What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story of Richie. Ask the children if they have helped to wash clothes before. Have they ever tried washing clothes by hand? Children may not know what a mangle is. Show them a picture or video. Can they explain how it works? 2. Give out activity cards and equipment to the children. 3. Explain that they will be using the equipment provided to make a model mangle and a model washing machine. 4. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Prompt questions: • How does a washing machine work? What does the drum do? • Does the spin speed make a difference to how dry the clothes are? • How will they make sure their test is fair? • How will they record their results? 5. Support children to conduct their tests and make their own records of their results, groups may decide to vary size, number, distribution or even type of hole. When testing the washing machine drums children should spin the bags at their side in a big circle up past their ears and down past their knees. Ask children to compare the water measurements by pouring the water from each model into a measuring jug. 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.

Things to think about This is a great activity to do outside. Otherwise a large room (e.g. a hall) allows plenty of space for spinning. The simplest way to make a centrifuge is with two lidded polystyrene or paper cups. Use a sharp pencil or compass, supervised if necessary, to make holes in the side of the smaller cup and place it inside the bigger one. Put wet fabric inside the smaller cup and put both lids on. One needs to fit inside the other. When spun round in a bag the water will gather in the bigger cup. The washing machine drums do not need to be spun very quickly for the investigation to be effective. Spinning in a larger, slower circle also works well. The simplest way to make a model mangle is to lean a flat board in a plastic tray so it is propped up on one end. Then use a rolling pin to roll the fabric. The water collects in the tray. Mangles work by compressing fabric and squeezing the water out. Washing machines use centrifugal force as they spin to move the water to the outer container away from the fabric. Centrifugal force causes the thing being spun to move away from the centre of the circle. A centrifuge spins rapidly so that heavier liquids or objects separate out from lighter ones. Lots of things can be separated in this way. They are used to analyse blood and to create nuclear fuel to make electricity. Keywords • Centrifuge • Mangle • Spinning • Machines • Liquids • Volume Watch out! This activity should be done in an area where children have lots of space around them to spin their models safely. Spilt water should be mopped up quickly to avoid accidents. Children should wear aprons or suitable clothing to avoid splashes. Carefully consider group size due to physical nature of activity. Find out more Children can learn more about how centrifugal force can help to generate nuclear fuel for electricity by visiting Richie is a character who helps children learn about where electricity comes from. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236

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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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