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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5. Now give each group five sheets of paper and a small amount of tape. Tell them they have 10 minutes to try out ideas for how they might make their bridge. This will not be the final bridge. Let each group test their bridge with weights as they go along. You will need to decide together where to put the weights on the bridges to test them. 6.Encourage children to evaluate the design. What do they need to change to make the bridge stronger? Now they will make their final bridge. They will need more paper. Warn them that they are not allowed to use any of the old paper but can use their earlier ideas to help them. 7. Support children to conduct their tests and make their own records of their results. They could also take photographs or make drawings. After children have tested their bridges, provide time for them to talk through what was successful and what didn’t work. 8. Ask the children to present their bridge to the rest of the group and test it. Things to think about Make sure the weights are placed, not dropped, on the bridges. You can decide to spread weights evenly across the bridge (like the children in the story) or focus them in the centre. To make fair comparisons between the bridges the same test should be carried out on each one. Do not fasten the ends of the bridge to the supports. This does strengthen the bridge but if well fastened it can require large weights to make even a single piece of paper collapse. There are many solutions to this problem. The shape is all important. The weakest bridge is often a flat sheet of paper. It can be made stronger by flat folding, creating a triangular prism shape or rolling the paper along its length. Walls can add strength as can pillars or arches. Suspending the bridge can also help. We have used the term ‘weights’, rather than the more scientifically accurate ‘masses’, since this is the term that young children are more likely to know. Keywords • Construction • Weights • Masses • Suspension • Support 10 100 Take it further Children could act out a design award to showcase the bridge or bridges that were the strongest. Children could sketch their bridge and make notes about how it worked. Watch out! ! Avoid weights falling from a height. If bridges are high, you will need a bucket of sand or cardboard box filled with crumpled paper underneath to catch falling weights. British Science Association Registered Charity No. 212479 and SC039236 6
Bridge Blunder Activity Card A sparkling new footbridge has been built in Startown. Class 4 of Startown Primary School were invited to the grand opening. All the children stood on the bridge as their classmate Anil (aged 8) cut the official tape. Even before the cheers had died down the bridge began to sway and bend. All the children were hastily rushed to one end and the bridge was closed. Star Spans, the designers of the bridge, looked very red faced. “We’re not sure what went wrong. The bridge was such a beautiful shape. What do we do now? Can anyone help us?” Your challenge Can you help Star Spans design a bridge that can be used safely? When people design bridges they build models. This is what you will need to do. Discuss • How many different kinds of bridge do you know? • Are some shapes stronger than others? Getting started Your bridge needs to span 20 cm. Think about which shapes are the strongest. Try exploring bridge shapes with single pieces of paper. You can cut the paper if you wish. Why not try rolling, curving and folding the paper. 7