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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Sneeze zone Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about airborne infections. Cosmic has a cold. Gem thinks that he should cover his nose and mouth when he sneezes to stop other people catching it. Using water spray bottles, children will investigate the role of covering mouths and noses when sneezing and coughing to prevent the spread of airborne infections. Through this activity you will support your group to: •●Learn about airborne infections •●Design and conduct a contamination experiment to find out if covering up a sneeze can reduce the spread of infections, testing different methods •●Record, evaluate and share their results Kit list • 10 sheets of flip chart (A1) paper stuck together to make the sneeze zone • An empty and clean spray bottle • Sticky tape • Sugar paper cut into squares (7cm x 7cm) • Tape measure (approx. 4 metres long) • Three different coloured pens (red, blue and black) • Tissues • Water What to do 1. (Pre-activity) Set up the ‘Sneeze Zone’: a 4m x 1.5m surface area, either on the floor or on a set of tables pushed together, by sticking together 10 pieces of A1 flip chart paper. Place a tape measure along one side of the mat and secure with sticky tape. 2. Introduce the activity using the story from the Activity Card. Ask the children if they think covering their face when they sneeze is important and why? Discuss how many diseases are airborne and can spread in tiny droplets of water or aerosols that people cough or sneeze into the air. Aerosols in a sneeze can travel at more than 100 kilometres per hour and cover a distance of more than four metres. Each droplet represents thousands of potentially harmful microbes that could cause infection.
3. Give out the Activity Cards and equipment from the kit list. 4. Explain that they will be designing and conducting an experiment to find out if covering a sneeze really reduces the spread of airborne infections, and which technique is most effective. 5. Everyone should draw a round face or a stick person on a sugar paper square. This represents a person. You will need between 10 and 30 of these. Place the “people” anywhere in the ‘sneeze zone’. 6. First, complete an example scenario. Stand at one end of the sneeze zone and use the “nose” (water sprayer) to sneeze twice (spray the water). Measure how far the water droplets travelled using the ruler on the sneeze zone start mat. Count how many people on the mat were affected by the sneeze. Check each piece of sugar paper for any water marks. If there are any marks, draw a red circle around them. 7. Support the children to design their experiments. Encourage children to discuss their ideas and how to carry out their investigations. Prompt questions: ○ • What different styles of sneeze covering could they test? How will they test them? ○ • 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? 8. Support children to conduct their tests and make their own records of their results. (They could also take photographs or make drawings). 9. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group. Things to think about Additional sources of information on the web for teachers and students to increase their knowledge of pathogens: • Wellcome Trust Big Picture: Influenza special issue bigpictureeducation.com/influenza-special-issue • Wellcome Trust Big Picture: Epidemics bigpictureeducation.com/epidemics • What are infectious diseases? yourgenome.org/facts/what-are-infectious-diseases’ Keywords • Pathogens • Aerosols • Airborne • Contamination • Hygiene • Prevention British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236