Hands-on science investigations for primary school children aged 5 - 11 years old


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Professional development
Families & teenagers (aged 12+)
Families (children aged 12 & under)



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Primary upd8

Primary upd8 offers four activities that can count towards your CREST Star award. Activities are downloadable white board presentations (with teacher notes for guidance) for all primary children, which use topical events to create uniquely engaging science lessons. They make scientific enquiry skills more compelling and accessible, support science topics and QCA units and cross-curricular links including numeracy, literacy and creativity and make great assembly material.

Floating ducks (Star Award) 
29,000 plastic yellow ducks, blue turtles and green frogs broke free from a cargo ship 15 years ago and have floated halfway around the world. Since then they have travelled 17,000 miles, floating over the site where the Titanic sank, landing in Hawaii and even spending years frozen in an Arctic ice pack. 
Children will imagine finding some of these plastic toys washed up on the beach. They will discuss other objects that might have fallen off a ship and ended up on the beach. Children will build up collections of objects made of different materials and describe the objects. 
Duration: 1 hour; can be developed into longer topic work. 
Miracle Berry (Star Award)
This is a KS1 activity. In the 1960s, Robert Harvey, a biomedical postgraduate student, encountered the miracle berry, a fruit from West Africa which turns sour tastes to sweet. In this activity children will investigate which foods are sour and which are sweet. They will discuss whether the miracle berry is a good thing and when it should be used.
Duration: 1 hour; can be developed into longer topic work. 
Magic or Magnetic (SuperStar Award)
Everyone’s jealous of wizards like Harry Potter. The Muggle Times newspaper prints a story suggesting that some wizards’ tricks are not magic at all, but rely on hidden magnets. Pupils are asked to find out if they can duplicate a magic trick using magnets. There is then a literacy activity to investigate whether it’s possible to play the broomstick riding game Quidditch with the force of magnets.
Duration: 1 hour; can be developed into longer topic work.
Juicy Adventure (SuperStar Award)
Rhys and his Dad are sailing a tiny 12ft craft down all 4,000 miles of the Mississippi, the longest river in the US. Reinforcing the council's message of 'reduce, reuse, recycle', Rhys' boat is made from materials that are both sustainably sourced and recyclable. In this activity children will design a boat made of recyclable materials. They will consider the forces acting on a boat and will argue how the adventure will help raise the issues of recycling.
Duration: 1 hour; can be developed into longer topic work.
Primary upd8 is a joint initiative from ASE and the Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University and are supported by the Department for Education and Skills in developing this programme.
For further details about Primary upd8:
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