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.
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Freckle finders Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about why some people look alike and some people look different. Cosmic and Gem are drawing self-portraits. Cosmic notices Gem drawing freckles on her face and wonders why he doesn’t have any. Gem wonders why some people have straight hair and others have curly hair. Aunt Stella says our DNA can influence our appearance, such as our eye colour, hair colour, skin tone and face shape. She says we inherit our DNA from our parents so some features are passed down from generation to generation. Are freckles and curly hair influenced by our DNA as well? Through this activity you will support your group to: • Learn about DNA and how it can influence our appearance • Design and conduct a class survey of different features • Discuss which characteristics they think are most determined by genes and which could be down to other factors, such as learning or environment Kit list • Pen • Paper What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story from the Activity Card. Ask the group if they have heard about DNA or genes before. Discuss why some people look alike and some people look different, introducing the idea of genetic variation. 2. Explain that they will be designing and conducting a class survey to find out how many people have different features, and whether or not members of their family share the same features. 3. Support the children to design their survey, conduct their research and record their findings. 4. Encourage the children to have a discussion around the ethics of undertaking the survey. 5. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group.
Things to think about There are some online resources that you may wish to use to support these activities: • What is DNA? yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-dna • What is a gene? yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-a-gene • What is a genome? yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-a-genome • What is genetic variation? yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-genetic-variation Keywords • DNA • Gene • Generation • Inherit • Variation Watch out! ! Be aware of ethical issues to children carrying out surveys with friends and family about genetic inheritance. Some childrens’ parents may be different to their biological parents. Discuss these issues with children before they carry out their survey and make sure individuals can’t be identified in the data they collect. Extra things to do Encourage your students to think about other characteristics that might be affected by DNA, such as taste, smell or even ear wax type. Visit yourgenome.org/activities/investigate British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236