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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Free CREST Star activities

These activities are free to download having been created in partnership with other organisations who support the CREST Star scheme in the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and maths at primary school level.

Each investigation comes with an Activity card and an Organiser’s card, which will give you all the information you need to run the activity. Supporting materials can be found on the sponsors' websites.

Open Air Laboratories (OPAL)

These activities were developed as part of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) project's Explore Nature programme to get children exploring and enjoying the natural world around them. They are great for home schooling, or holiday fun. You can find lots of great supporting material at

Worshipful Company of Horners

The company has been around since at least the 1200s, although the craft dates from centuries earlier. In 1943 they started to work with the horn's modern equivalent, plastics. This activity introduces children to the world of polymers, and to help them understand the many uses they have in our world today. For more information and ideas visit

Practical Action

Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Their strength is their approach. Through technology they enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions - transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them. You can find more ideas and information here:


You don't need to be a teacher or have a science background to run CREST Star activities and they can be used in a club, the classroom, or at home.

Each activity resource is in two parts:

  • an "activity" card for the children to use, which sets out the problem and contains the questions for the children to discuss and helps them decide how to solve the problem.
  • an "organiser" card which contains step-by-step instructions for running the activities; it also lists the resources you will need and gives the background science.

Each activity typically takes one hour to complete. Children should work individually or in small groups with as much autonomy as possible to come up with their own questions and answers to solve the problem. Star and SuperStar are single activities, but the MegaStar activity is just one of three that make up a complete MegaStar project based around the life and future of an old tree. The emphasis should be on the hands-on investigation rather than a "right" answer but there are lots of fun ways for the children to share their results; why not have them make a poster or display? 

Download the free activities

Star activity – Discovery Bag (OPAL)
This activity gets children interested in trees and the that they trees support, and begin to be aware of the differences between trees. For this activity you will need to collect leaves and other tree parts for the children to investigate, and a magnifying glass to study them. You can also download a free tree identification guide from the OPAL website.

Discovery Bag activity card

Discovery Bag organiser card


SuperStar activity – Windy Ways (OPAL)
Have you ever tracked the wind? Use bubbles to follow the gusts and find out which way the wind blows. For this activity you will need a compass, a timer, measuring tape, and of course bubbles!

Windy Ways activity card

Windy Ways organiser card


SuperStar activity - Polymer Problem (Horners)
The scientists at Horners use special substances called polymers to create great new product but now they have run out of ideas... Can you design a great new product using one of their polymers? You can even submit your ideas to be showcased on their Fantastic Plastic website!

Polymer Problem activity card

Polymer Problem organiser card


MegaStar activity– Tree Trouble (OPAL)
Children get the chance to identify the importance of trees and their biodiversity, carry out a survey, make decisions about how to choose a tree for a particular purpose, and use the internet for research. For this activity the children will need a magnifying glass, binoculars, a net, a bug box, and the OPAL Nature free tree identification guide. This is one of three activities that form the MegaStar Tree for Life project.

Why not get involved in citizen science by taking part in the OPAL Tree Health Survey and help protect our trees.

Tree Trouble activity card

Tree Trouble organiser card



SuperStar activity– Yummy Yoghurt (Practical Action)
Yoghurt making is the theme of the latest CREST Star investigation produced in association with Practical Action. In this fun new activity pupils find out how farmers in Bangladesh can earn money for their family by turning milk into yoghurt. They then make a range of different flavoured yoghurts using a variety of different types of milk and fruit. Students also get the opportunity to find out more about schools in Bangladesh and the types of food that families eat there.

Yummy Yoghurt Activity Card

Yummy Yoghurt Organiser Card