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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Things to think about The plants that are found during the hunt will vary depending on the time of year. You can repeat this activity in different seasons and find out how the plants change. Most children will think that plants need to be planted in soil to grow. They may not be aware that plants (including tree seedlings) can grow in many places where there is little or no soil – for example, between bricks and paving stones, on walls, in gutters, in cracks in the bark of trees and in water. Some plants are adapted to survive in difficult conditions. For example, rosebay willowherb and poppy are plants that grow readily in very sparse conditions. Plants get to these locations in various ways, including wind dispersal and being carried by birds or other animals. Some may spread from other areas by plants growing sideways stems (stolons and rhizomes). Take it further During the plant hunt the children may also find mosses, lichen and fungi. All of these are classified separately from the common plants (such as trees, flowers and grasses); lichens and fungi are not actually plants. Keywords • Plants • Seeds • Sampling • Nature Watch out! Follow the organisation’s guidelines for outdoor work. Children must not put any plants in their mouths. Ensure they wash their hands when they have finished. PLANT DETECTIVE British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236 18
PLANT DETECTIVE Plant Detectives Activity Card Cosmic is walking along the street to meet Gem at the shops. On the way he notices a plant sticking out of a crack in the pavement. How exciting! Plants usually grow in gardens, not in pavements. How did the plant get there? He thinks that perhaps someone dropped it as they walked along, but who? Cosmic runs to ask Gem to help him solve the mystery. She’s bound to know the answer. Cosmic explains what he has found, but Gem isn’t sure how the plant got there either. She wonders if the plant might have grown from a seed under the pavement, but who could have planted the seed? Cosmic and Gem know they have to look for clues to solve a mystery. They can’t wait to start searching. Aunt Stella loves plants, so she comes to help them. But where will they begin? Can you be plant detectives and help to find clues about plants that grow in unusual places? Where have you seen plants growing? Have you ever seen any plants growing in a pavement? PLANT DETECTIVE Your challenge Become a plant detective and help Cosmic and Gem solve the mystery of where plants grow. 19