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If you’re looking for new, exciting ways to bring science to life in your classroom this summer term, CREST Awards, run by the British Science Association, could be just what you need.
CREST Awards is our education programme that inspires your students to think and behave like scientists and engineers.
The Awards include collections of student-led activities for Stars (ages 5-7) and SuperStars (ages 7-11) which fully align with the primary curriculum.
The activities allow children to roll up their sleeves and have fun getting their hands dirty with experiments and projects that show them the real world applications of science.
By inspiring them to design and develop their own STEM projects, CREST Awards activities also help them learn valuable transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, creativity and communications skills.
Stereotypes about what scientists do, and who can be a scientist, can influence children’s perceptions from a very young age, impacting decisions they make later on in their education, so it’s incredibly important to demonstrate now how diverse science is, and that it’s for everyone.
Star challenges for KS1 pupils are designed to take around 45 minutes to an hour, perfect for science lessons. Once the class have completed eight challenges, they can be rewarded with a Star certificate.
During the summer term when the sun is (hopefully) shining, taking the children outdoors for hands-on scientific experiments can be a really effective way to engage them with the science behind the nature all around us.
Why not try ‘Rainbow collectors’? from the Star Challenges collection?
This activity asks children to explore a nearby outdoor area, the school garden or playing field could be a great spot, or perhaps a trip to a local park, and find natural objects of all the colours of the rainbow.
They will stick them to a colour palette and share their findings with the class. They could even be displayed in the classroom.
This activity is a great way to cover the Plants section of the KS1 curriculum as it encourages children to learn to identify and name different parts of plants.
Other Star activities that can be used to teach plants are ‘Discovery bag’ and ‘Plant detectives’.
After children have earned their Star certificates, they can become SuperStars!
SuperStar Challenges, for KS2 pupils, are also designed to be completed within an hour which allows you to slot them into a lesson plan.
These activities are slightly more advanced, as the children start to grasp more complex scientific concepts, and they continue to develop a strong foundational knowledge on which they’ll build their secondary school learning.
For older pupils, it’s just around the corner!
If you’re teaching forces and magnet this term, ‘Racing Rockets’ from the SuperStar Challenges collection gives pupils the freedom to experiment with these concepts in a creative way, and test their rockets in the playground.
Using classroom supplies including card, paper and plastic straws, pupils will design and build rockets and test how far they fly.
Encourage them to think about how they could make the rocket fly further, which different forces are at play, and allow them to make several versions of the rocket to test.
Once the class are happy with their rockets, the race is on!
The lesson can be rounded off with a rocket flying competition, with winning designs displayed in class and points given for creativity.
Other activities that cover forces and magnets section of the curriculum are ‘Bowled over’, ‘Band rollers’ and Super spinners’.
CREST Awards cover the breadth of the curriculum, from living things and their habitats, to properties and changes of material, and help to develop essential skills including problem solving and reflective practice.
Visit the CREST Awards website to find out more about how CREST works, funding opportunities that are available, our full resource library and curriculum mapping tool.
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