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 (

Band Rollers

Band Rollers Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about design, energy, forces and motion. Children are shown a ‘news story’ from StarTown news ‘Designers say clockwork technology could help to slow down climate change. Inventors of wind up radios, torches and children’s toys that don’t need batteries, or fuel, are invited to enter them in the CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE at the Startown Technology Show.’ Through this activity you will support your group to: • Create their own wind-up band roller. • Compare the speed and duration of their different band rollers. • Log and share their results, reflecting on how they could improve their design. Kit list • Selection of clockwork or wind up items e.g. clockwork radio, wind-up torch or watch etc. • Cotton reels • Candles (cut into 1 cm pieces) • Matchsticks • Elastic bands of different lengths and thicknesses • Measuring tapes or sticks • Timers • Materials to stick on the roller (optional)

What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the ‘news article’. Show the children some clockwork or wind up items. Ask them if they know how they work. 2. Give out activity cards and equipment to the children. 3. Explain that they will be using the equipment provided to build and compare wind-up band rollers. 4. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Prompt questions: • How will they build their band roller? • What will they compare? Speed or distance? How will they test these? • How will they make sure their test is fair? • How will they record their results? 5. Support children to build their band roller following the instructions provided on the activity cards. 6. Help children to conduct experiments with their band rollers to investigate which factors make a difference to speed and duration. They need to change one factor at a time to try to find out what improves the toy e.g. size of the band, number of winds, size of the roller, the surface. 7. Encourage children to make their own records of their results. They could draw pictures of the best designs or make a bar chart of the results. 8. Let the children race the band rollers. Let them decide what makes it the winner – is it the one that travels fastest or furthest, or a bit of both? 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 The band roller moves because energy is stored in the stretched elastic band. As the band unwinds the energy is released. This energy can move the roller. Clockwork toys work in a similar way by storing energy in a spring. Clockwork toys are designed to release the energy steadily. This can be more difficult to achieve with elastic bands. Several things will affect the movement – different surfaces around the roller or on the ground (due to friction), slope, length and thickness of the elastic band and friction in parts of the roller. The number of twists on the elastic band is generally a key factor in how the band roller travels. If the roller is not moving smoothly try rubbing the candle on the side of the cotton reel. Very long elastic bands may be too long to hold the roller together. Once the rollers are working, it is possible to count the number of winds and to look at the relationship between winds and distance. It is possible to change the surface of the roller (add foam strips etc.) to look at the effects of friction. Keywords • Elastic • Energy • Motion • Distance • Friction Watch out! ! Take care when winding up the elastic bands to not over-tighten them so that they snap. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236

Copied successfully!

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

Managed by:

Supported by:

British Science Association

Wellcome Wolfson Building,
165 Queen's Gate

© 2018 British Science Association