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 1 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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Peas in a pod Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about plant features and how these are influenced by genetics and the environment. Cosmic and Gem planted some seeds last week, and now the plants have started to grow. Even though they both planted the same seeds at the same time, the plants all look slightly different. Gem thinks the differences are genetic, but Cosmic thinks they are because of differences in the environment. Through this activity you will support your group to: •●Design a test to grow seeds under different conditions •●Observe and record their results •●Present and compare their findings, discussing which differences were influenced by genetics and which by the environment Kit list • Fast growing seeds (peas are ideal) • Seed trays • Soil • Water • Labels • Pens and paper What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story from the Activity Card. Ask the children if they have planted things before. 2. Give out the Activity Cards and poster making materials to the group. 3. Explain that they will be designing and conducting an experiment to find out if differences in plants can are genetic, environmental, or both. Discuss what types of differences they think they will see in their plants. 4. Support the children to design their experiments. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Prompt questions: ○ ○ ○ ○ • What different environments can they put their plants in? • How many seeds will they plant in each set? • How will they measure and record their results? (There is a suggestion on the Activity Card) • How will they make sure their test is fair?
5. Support children to look after their plants consistently over the week. 7. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group. 6. After a week, support the children to record the different results, comparing the plants from the same environment and different environments. Things to think about It’s a good idea to write down the instructions for each set of plants so the children can remember how they decided to look after them during the week. Keywords • Genome • DNA • Variation Extra things to do Encourage children to investigate variation within species, by looking at plants that are from the same species, but have different characteristics. Try the below links: • BBC: Artificial selection bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02mtd91 • AOL: Genetic variation bsa.sc/common-vegetables Watch out! ! Ensure children wash their hands after planting and handling seeds. Consult CLEAPSS guidance on working outdoors at cleapss.org.uk British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236