Low-resource or low equipment sharing resources


The resources on this page have been selected to support educators in finding CREST project ideas that require little equipment, can be run outside of a lab or at home, and use equipment that doesn’t require much sharing.

Find out more about the different CREST Award levels here: CREST Awards.

At primary level, our curated home learning packs don’t require many resources so they’re perfect to use either in the classroom or at home. For Primary teachers who have CLEAPSS access, we recommend this piece on doing Practical activities within your bubble.

At secondary level, each project brief has an overall challenge, ideas for getting started and a list of resources you might need. Read the health and safety section carefully before you begin. Young people should create a plan for their project and a risk assessment before they begin any practical activity. You can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets as well as the rest of the CLEAPSS website to help them.

If you are looking for further advice on how to get started with CREST, visit our help centre and check out our FAQs.

If you are looking for ideas for running CREST at home, many of the below resources are suitable, and you can still access our Star and SuperStar Home Learning packs below. If you need further support, check out the CREST at home section of the Help Centre.


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3 years ago

Cooking pasta

  • Text
  • Pasta
  • Starch
  • Grains
  • Iodine
  • Investigate
  • Affects
  • Uncooked
  • Mashed
  • Mainly
  • Dried
Investigate how cooking pasta affects its properties. This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). For more information visit our Terms and Conditions (www.crestawards.org/terms-and-conditions).

Click to edit project

Click to edit project description

How does cooking change pasta? Pasta is mainly sold as dried shapes or strands that are hard and brittle. After cooking for only a short time they become soft and flexible. In this project, you’re going to investigate how cooking pasta affects its properties. You’ll see if this is linked to how starch in pasta in altered during cooking. Getting Started Have a look for starch grains present in uncooked pasta. Look at a variety of different types of pasta, for example ones with different ingredients. Use the instructions below to help you, making a note of what you’ll need: Soak a piece of pasta in water to soften it up a little. Mash the pasta up. Scrape up a little of the mashed pasta and place it onto a microscope slide. Put a drop of 0.01M iodine solution onto the mashed pasta. Careful, iodine solution may stain skin and clothing. Examine the specimen using a light microscope. You should see the starch grains stained blue-black by the iodine solution. Count the number of starch grains present. Draw a diagram of what you see. Investigating the effect of cooking on pasta: Cook each of your different types of pasta according to the instructions on the packet. When they’ve cooked and cooled down see how they’ve changed physically Record the differences you observe between the uncooked and cooked pasta. Things to think about Are they a different size? You’ll need to measure the pasta before cooking so you can compare this. • How hard are they compared to before cooking? Is there a way you can measure this? • How easily can they be torn or pulled apart? Is there a way you can measure this? • Look for the starch grains in the cooked pasta using the technique above. Useful Resources Why not try different kinds of pasta and see the effects on these? Cooking the perfect pasta: Although cooking pasta is quite straightforward people have different ways of improving the standard instructions you’ll find on the packet. They add oil or salt to the water the pasta is cooked in. Adding oil is supposed to help prevent the pasta sticking together as it cooks. You could cook some pasta using varying amounts of oil or different types of oils. Click to edit project description See if it improves how much the pasta sticks together during cooking. Compare the water the pasta has been cooked in to see how much starch is present. You can add iodine solution to do this. Look for starch grains in the cooked pasta under the microscope. Can you come up with instructions for cooking pasta so it sticks together as little as possible?

Challenges for ages 5-11


These challenges take about an hour each. Once you have completed eight of them you can get a CREST SuperStar Award. Start by downloading the Passport. Children can use this to record each activity they complete.

Our curated packs for home learning require very little equipment or resources, so are ideal now that you are back in the classroom. They also add flexibility as students can finish their Star or SuperStar Award at home, if needed.

Each challenge has an organiser card and an activity card. All the instructions to set up the activity are in the organiser card. Read the 'watch out' section carefully before you begin. Children can use the activity card or you can read it through together.

Find out more about Star and SuperStar levels here.


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Projects for ages 11-18


Each of these projects take between ten and thirty hours to complete. The project briefs have an overall challenge, ideas for getting started and a list of resources students might need. Before they begin, students should read the health and safety section carefully. Once students have completed their projects, they can get a CREST Discovery, Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. The amount of time spent on the project and how well they met the CREST criteria determines the level students will be awarded.

Start by downloading the relevant Workbook or Profile Form below. Young people can use these to help them complete their project and record their progress.

Young people should create a plan for their project and a risk assessment before they begin any practical activity, which should be checked by a teacher. You can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets as well as the rest of the CLEAPSS website to help them.

For Bronze projects, once a student has completed their project, you can sign up to assess it and order their personalised certificate here. Bronze assessment is incredibly easy and can also be adapted for at-home learning if needed due to unexpected lockdowns, meaning parents can always assess when teachers cannot. Check out how to assess a Bronze project here

For Silver and Gold projects student work will need to be submitted online and will be assessed by a CREST assessor. Learn more about assessment for Silver Awards here

Find out more about Bronze level here.

Find out more about Silver level here.

Find out more about Gold level here.


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