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.

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3 years ago

Star Home Learning

  • Text
  • Challenges
  • Encourage
  • Hankie
  • Materials
  • Stella
  • Registered
  • Pegs
  • Cans
  • Association
  • Bubbles
  • Cosmic
This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (

Sniffly Sneezes

Sniffly Sneezes Organiser’s Card About the activity This activity is designed to get children thinking about the strength and absorbency of materials. SNIFFLY SNEEZE Achoo!! Gem has a cold and her hankie isn’t working very well. Can you help her find a better one? Through this activity you will support your group to: • Think about what makes a good hankie • Test different materials and observe how they behave when used to absorb water • Record their results and share them with the group. Kit list SNIFFLY SNEEZE • A selection of different materials that could be used as hankies e.g. tissue paper, cotton, newspaper, crepe paper, cotton wool, paper (different makes), tissues, greaseproof paper • Plastic trays • Water and food colourings • Plastic pipettes What to do 1. Follow the structure on the ACTIVITY CARD. Make sure that you give children time to talk about their ideas. 2. Read the story. Get the children to talk to a buddy about the questions and the opinions of Gem, Cosmic and Aunt Stella. 3. Then give the children a set of materials to test as hankies. Let them talk about which they think might be best and how they will find out, before they start investigating 4. You could list the different tests they might want to do e.g. absorbency, strength or smoothness. Make sure that they test all the different materials. Encourage them to use their own ideas too. 5. When they have finished, choose the best materials talk about why these were the best hankies. You might get them to think why we have disposable tissues. 6.There are follow up activities for children who want to do more finding out and earn a bonus sticker. To present their work the children could: Make a collage, using bits from the different hankies. Produce a poster, using smiley faces and sad faces to indicate how good the hankies are.

SNIFFLY SNEEZE Things to think about Encourage children to think of all aspects of what makes a good hankie. Get them to think carefully about the amount of water used in the absorbency test. You may need to cut up cotton hankies to get sensible sized pieces, so buy cheap ones from a market or make your own from a large piece of cloth. There is no easy way to measure for roughness. The children can estimate how the hankies feel, perhaps using a simple 3-point scale e.g. smooth, rough and in-between. Take it further The hankie’s absorbency depends on a number of factors, including the thickness of the fibres and size of the spaces between them. The hankie’s strength is important. Cheap tissues can be absorbent but they may fall apart easily when wet. How rough the hankie feels is essential, especially when you have a cold. Some tissues have added lubricants, such as Aloe Vera, so that they feel softer. Greaseproof paper feels smooth but is not very absorbent. Disposable tissues are more hygienic. Germs can multiply quite rapidly in a hankie that is kept in a warm pocket. If you use a hankie over the course of a day then it can get pretty unpleasant and unhygienic. However, disposable tissues might be wasteful. This is a good opportunity to remind children to wash their hands regularly if they have a cold. SNIFFLY SNEEZE Keywords • Germs • Absorbency • Strength • Durability Watch out! Test hankies on hands, not noses and make sure to wash hands regularly. Remind children not to share hankies. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236

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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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