The British Science Association (BSA) has launched a new early years resource, ‘Earth and beyond’, to help children aged 3-5 discover a love of science from a young age.  

Developed in partnership with the Ogden Trust, a charitable trust that exists to promote teaching and learning of physics, this CREST Star early years resource offers parents, educators and early years professionals the chance to engage children with science from the very start of their education and development. The packs include a range of enriching age-appropriate science activities designed for early years foundational stage children to enjoy. 

The pack’s theme is ‘Earth and beyond’ and includes eight activities that introduce children to Earth and the Moon, such as spotting a location on Google Earth, identifying the differences between Earth and the Moon, considering how to grow food on each, and learning about the night sky. During the activities, the children will be encouraged to think about some more complicated questions such as how to land on the Moon, as well as learning how to block light out, and what it’s like to be an astronaut. 

Each activity takes 45-60 minutes to complete and involves hands-on investigation, decision making and group discussion. To earn the CREST Star Award, children must complete all eight challenges, which they can mix and match from other packs.

The pack comes with comprehensive guides and demonstration videos on what the activity will support pupils to do, how to conduct the activity, and a full kit list including materials and preparation instructions. The pack also offers questions to ask the child(ren), specific points to think about, and easy-to-use activity templates. Once all eight activities are completed, the relevant adult can go online to to sign in and report the challenges completed and order a certificate and badges. 

The BSA’s CREST Awards is a nationally recognised scheme to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning and aims to help young people become independent and reflective learners through enquiry-based project work. The projects serve to inspire young people to think and behave like real life scientists, sparking a love of learning and developing dynamic skillsets. As the Awards are flexible and cost effective, they can be run in nurseries, schools, clubs or at home according to the child’s pace of learning.

Maria Rossini, Head of Education at the British Science Association said: 

We are so thrilled to launch the CREST Star Award for early years children so all young people regardless of age can engage with and enjoy enriching science projects. Alongside Star, our other resources such as SuperStar (ages 7-11), Discovery (ages 10-14), Bronze (ages 11+), Silver (ages 14+), and Gold (ages 16+), offer resources for young scientists of any age to discover and develop a love of STEM learning. 

Project-led learning is the cornerstone of a strong and impactful education, encouraging children to be inquisitive and hands-on. Moreover, by starting science projects at a young age, children are supported to build foundational skillsets that will aid them all the way through school and beyond, helping them to flourish in all they take on.

Clare Harvey, Chief Executive at The Ogden Trust said: 

We are delighted to have been involved in the development of the new CREST Star for early years resource. The activities will enthuse and engage the youngest of learners, encouraging them to ask questions about how the world works and helping them to believe they can be scientists. Young children are curious about the world around them, and space is an awe-inspiring physics topic to capture the imagination!

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