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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Contamination detectives Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about how microbes spread. The nurse at Startown Primary says it’s important to wash your hands to stop the spread of illness and diseases, is she right? Using glitter mixed with hand lotion, children will investigate the role of hand hygiene in preventing contamination. Through this activity you will support your group to: • Learn about microbes and their role in the spread of disease • Design and conduct a contamination experiment to find out if handwashing has an impact on the spread of microbes, testing different techniques • Record, evaluate and share their results Kit list • Different colours of biodegradable glitter and hand lotion • Handwashing facilities • Pens and paper • Stopwatches (optional) What to do 1. Introduce the activity using the story from the Activity Card. Ask the children if they think washing their hands is important and why? Discuss how harmful microbes (bacteria) can be easily spread through families and communities due to poor hygiene. 2. Give out the Activity Cards and equipment from the kit list. 3. Explain that they will be designing and conducting an experiment to find out how effective different methods of handwashing are. 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 styles of handwashing could they test? How will they test them? • How will they record their results? (There is a suggestion on the Activity Card) • How will they make sure their test is fair? For example, if using a bowl of water to ‘ wash their hands, will they need to change the water frequently? 5. Support children to conduct their tests and record their own results. They could also take photographs or make drawings. 6. Ask the children to present their findings to the rest of the group.
Things to think about The glitter mixed with hand lotion provides a good (and fun) representation of microbes, however it does not respond to soap or temperature of the water in the same way that microbes such as bacteria do. Make sure to emphasise this to the children and explain that it can only be used to test different styles of handwashing (e.g. rinsing vs. scrubbing, length of time etc.). Consider whether using bowls of water or a tap would be more effective for children to test their hand washing. Keywords • Microbes • Contamination • Hygiene • Prevention Watch out! ! Some children may be concerned at the idea of putting ‘germs’ on their hands, make sure to emphasise that the glitter is not real microbes, and is completely safe to use. Glitter is non-toxic and non-staining. However, please ensure: • glitter is applied to hands only • students do not to touch their or anyone else’s face whilst the glitter is on their hands •all students wash their hands thoroughly at the end of the activity. Supervision may be required to ensure all glitter is removed. Ensure water is below 41 o C to avoid scalding. • Please check that the glitter you use is suitable. Children may be allergic to ingredients in the hand lotion, baby oil could be used instead Extra things to do You could encourage students to investigate how the ‘germs’ on their hands can spread onto different objects, such as door knobs or table tops. Encourage children to discuss why scientists may study bacteria. Use this link as an introduction: yourgenome.org/video/life-in-the-lab-workingwith-human-gut-microbiota Have a discussion around the differences between good and bad bacteria. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236