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 (

Brilliant Birds

Brilliant Birds Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about birds, habitats, designing and making. The children have been given a story about Mrs Twitcher, a local bird expert. She thinks it is only birds who can build nests. Through this activity you will support your group to: • Design and build their own nest. • Test the strength and stability of their nest under windy and wet conditions. • Present their findings to the rest of the group. Kit list • An outside environment – playground, school field, shrubby area etc. • Nest building materials e.g. wool, twigs, grass, leaves, feathers, shredded paper, pipe cleaners etc • Pot of clay or modelling material per team to act as ‘glue’ • ‘Beaks’ (chopsticks, pegs or folded card) • A watering can • Strong fan What to do 1. Introduce the activity using story. Ask the children if they think Mrs Twitcher is right, or do they think they can build a good nest? 2. Give out activity cards and equipment to the children. 3. Explain that they will be using the equipment provided to build a nest and then test it in the ‘rain’ and ‘wind’. You could show pictures or videos of birds building nests. 4. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Prompt questions: • What materials will they use? • How will they fix their nest together? • How will they record their results? 5. Give each child a pretend beak to use. Remind them not to put the beaks in their mouths. Let them practice using their beaks. 6. In an outdoor area, ask the children to gather materials for their nest. If necessary set up extra materials in the outdoor environment beforehand. 7. Once all the nests are built, the children can test them. What happens if you pour water over them? Do they fall apart or get waterlogged? Support children to conduct their tests and make their own records of their results. They could also take photographs or make drawings. 8. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group, they can be as creative in their presentation as they want - the activity card suggests they could re-write the words to the song, using their findings.

Things to think about Birds often work with each other to build their nests. Children will find it is helpful to collaborate in this activity using their varied skills to construct the nest. Some children will find this activity challenging. Give them time to try using a beak, but let them use their hands if they are not making progress. Make sure children do not disturb natural birds’ nests. Keywords • Habitat • Nests • Shelter • Structure Take it further Birds use a range of materials to build their nests. The availability of materials and the need to protect their offspring influences the type of nest the birds build. As an extension activity, you can help children to think about this by providing a limited range of different materials to different groups and asking them to also think about what they would do to give the baby birds the best chance of survival. Watch out! Follow the organisation’s policy for outdoor work. Check that the area is free of unsuitable materials e.g. animal faeces, broken glass or tin cans and hazardous plants such as stinging nettles. Wash hands after working outdoors and handling nest building materials. Find out more Not all birds construct nests. The star no-nest builders are probably Emperor Penguins and Fairy Terns. 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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