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.

4 years ago

DNA and the world around you

  • Text
  • Activities
  • Genome
  • Wellcome
  • Freckles
  • Features
  • Extinct
  • Breeding
  • Glitter
  • Selective
  • Plants
  • Cosmic
  • Registered
  • Association
This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (

Fascinating faces

Fascinating faces Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to introduce children to the ways in which DNA can be used to investigate the past. Class 5 at Startown Primary School are visiting the local history museum. They see some models of people from different periods in the past. Gem wants to know how archaeologists can know what the people looked like when we only have their skeletons and no photos. Using DNA decoder cards, children will explore what physical characteristics can and cannot be identified from ancient skeletons. Through this activity you will support your group to: •●Learn about the chemical letters that make up DNA, and how these can influence appearance •●Decode DNA sequences from ancient skeletons •●Draw or make a mask of their decoded DNA person Kit list • Profile cards (one set per table) • Paper and colouring pens or pencils If making masks: • Papier-mâché mask (one per pupil) • Wool for hair • Sticky tape or glue • Scissors • Ping pong balls or newspaper rolled into a ball for eyes What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story from the Activity Card. Ask the children if they have heard of DNA or genes. Discuss why some people look alike and some people look different. 2. Explain that they will be decoding DNA from real skeletons, using this to recreate the faces of Anglo-Saxon and Iron Age people 3. Demonstrate to the pupils how to use the DNA decoder card. Explain to the class that they first need to write down the identifying number of their chosen skeleton and the era it is from. Then they need to work through the list of genes in their profile and decode each one. They will need to refer to this when recreating their face! 4. Ask pupils to look at the profile cards on their table and to each choose one profile to decode. Support the pupils to decode their chosen skeleton DNA. 5. Once the children have finished their decoding, encourage them to discuss what DNA might affect and what the environment might affect instead. They could think about height, weight and health or even personality.

Things to think about There are some online resources that you may wish to use to support these activities: ● ● ● ● ● • What is DNA? • What is a gene? • What is a genome? • What is genetic variation? • See how DNA is decoded: Keywords • DNA • Genome • Gene • Generation • Archaeology Watch out! ! If you are making masks it will probably get messy! Extra things to do Once children have decoded all their information they could use the details to draw their face on the worksheet or make their mask (they might like to sketch out their design first). 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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