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 (

Start using CREST

Start using CREST 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. Awarded to of on Katherine Mathieson Chief Executive of the British Science Association Managed by: Supported by: British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236 Preparation 1. Start by signing up for a CREST account: 2. Select SuperStar Award and download a SuperStar Passport. Use the Organiser Cards in this pack to prepare for each challenge Run the challenges in this pack 1. Each challenge will take 45 minutes to an hour and involves hands-on investigation, decision making and group discussion. Children can use the Passport to keep track of the challenges they have completed. 2. Once you’ve completed all eight activities, log back into your CREST account at: 3. Tell us about the children and the challenges they completed. Unless stated, no external links have been checked by CLEAPSS. Safety checked but not trialled by CLEAPSS. What next? 4. Finally, complete the delivery and payment details to order your certificates and badges. 5. Congratulations on completing CREST SuperStar! 6. If you want to use your own activities, that’s fine! Find out more about what a SuperStar activity should look like here: Why not challenge children further and try a full day project next? A CREST Discovery Day is a one day facilitated project, ideal for ages 10+. You can find out more and download all the resources you need here: Encourage others to take part in CREST projects. To get more ideas on how to get started visit:

Contents Activity About Page Ancient animals Children investigate extinct animals and think about how DNA could be used to revive them. 4 Contamination detectives Fascinating faces Forensic footprints Freckle finders Peas in a pod Plant parents Sneeze zone Using glitter and hand lotion, children will investigate the effectiveness of handwashing techniques. Introduce children to the ways in which DNA can be used to investigate the past. Children are introduced to forensics and its applications in solving crimes. Get children thinking about why some people look alike and some people look different. Get children thinking about plant features and how these are influenced by genetics and the environment. Introduce children to selective breeding and genetic engineering in farming. Get children thinking about airborne infections. 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 The Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge is one of the world’s largest DNA research centres. It is home to world famous institutes such as the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI. The campus was the UK base for the Human Genome Project, a huge international project that decoded the complete DNA code of humans for the first time. Research at the campus now covers a broad range of science from how changes to DNA has an impact on our health to determining the genetic code of all 66,000 species found in the UK. But what is DNA and why is it so important to understand and study it? DNA is an amazing molecule that contains the biological instructions to make all living things including us! Everyone’s DNA is slightly different – this is what makes us unique. That is why we can use it to understand how all living things work, including us, as well as finding out about people and creatures from the past and solving crimes. The study of DNA and genomes is playing an increasing important role in everyone’s lives, all around the world, from fighting diseases and finding new medicines to growing better crops and protecting endangered species. This CREST Super Star pack supported by Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement helps to bring together 8 different activities that allow children to explore the impact of DNA, genes and genomes on us, our family and our everyday lives.

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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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