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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What to do 1. Read the ACTIVITY CARD to familiarise yourself with the activity. 2. Check the Kit list to ensure you have the correct resources. 3. Set the scene by discussing Mayor Quandary’s problem. Talk a little about Murphy’s Law to make sure that the children understand it. 4. Give children time to discuss what they know about Murphy’s Law and their experience of dropping toast. 5. Give children time to work out their plan. Tell them that they have limited resources so they need to plan carefully. 6. Remind children about being careful if they make the toast themselves. 7. Get them investigating. Start them off with comparing toast with and without butter. Then let them test other factors such as the height, the size of the bread, other spreads, how they drop it, etc. 8. They may find it helpful to mark the unbuttered toast each side with a marker pen so that they know which side is which. 9. Some children may need a bit of support but let them try things out first. 10. Remind them to keep notes of what is happening. 11. Give children about 20 minutes for their testing. 12. Give them a few minutes when they have cleared up to check their ideas before sharing their findings with the rest of the group. 13. They could make a display of all their toast samples and the outcomes. 14. They could write to Mayor Quandary suggesting what she might do. Encourage them to finish the letter with creative ideas. 15. There are extra challenges on the ACTIVITY CARD. These can be used if there is any spare time or if the children want to try out more ideas at home and earn a bonus sticker. Things to think about In this activity fair testing is important. If children are looking at the size of toast slices, they need to keep the way they drop it the same. If they are looking at the height of the drop, they need to keep the toast slices the same. To get reliable results each test needs to be repeated several times (20 is often recommended) to avoid the outcome being just chance. Watch out for fire detectors if you are making toast. 40
Take it further TUMBLING TOAST The way toast lands has long been of interest. An internet search reveals many investigations looking into this question. It seems that there is a scientific explanation for why it does land on the buttered-side. It is all to do with how much a piece of bread can rotate as it falls. If the distance is increased, then it can do a complete rotation and land buttered-side up! It has been suggested that if the slice of toast is very small (less than 3 cm) it is able to complete the rotation before landing. Encourage the children to come up with some creative ideas to help the Mayor, such as attaching the toast to the back of a cat as they always land right side up! ST Keywords • Murphy’s Law • Probability. Watch out! Remind children not to eat the toast. Only use toasters under very close supervision otherwise provide pre-made toast. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236 41