Typically completed by 10-14 year olds, students work collaboratively on a five hour project or challenge in self-managed groups. During the project, they use a CREST Discovery passport to record and reflect on their work. Afterwards, students communicate their findings as a group presentation.
Each pack provides teaching guides, kit lists, example timetables and suggested starter activities to help you run your day. Find out more about CREST Discovery Awards.
Nanotechnology Fact file: Clothing Clothing designers and manufacturers are now thinking more about the ways in which the environment around us affects us, and how this might influence what we wear. Waterproofing and stain proofing Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is added to many different types of clothing. The properties of silica mean that it repels water and other liquids. The liquid will stay on the surface and can either be brushed off or will roll off by itself. Not all nanotechnologies are new, silica has actually been used for hundreds of years but the process of being able to add it to textiles is a more recent development. UV protection UV radiation from the sun can damage the skin, causing sunburn. With extensive exposure there is also the potential for skin cancer. Your clothing doesn’t always protect your skin because the UV radiation might be able to pass through the material. Nanoparticles such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide can be added to clothes that will protect you from UV rays. They prevent the UV from getting to your skin as they reflect it away. Antibacterial Silver nanoparticles have been found to be able to control the spread of fungus and bacteria by interrupting their growth. When added to clothing (such as socks) this can prevent a smell from developing!
Nanotechnology Fact file: Magic Sand and Ferrofluid Magic Sand Also known as hydrophobic sand, this is just ordinary sand that has been coated with a special compound that repels water. This means that when the sand is submerged in water and removed it stays completely dry. It is now commonly found as a toy, but it was originally developed to trap oil spills that occur near the shoreline. The hydrophobic sand would be poured on top of the oil to mix with it and sink, and the oil would then be removed. However, it turned out that this was too expensive to produce. Ferrofluid This dark fluid consists of a large number of iron oxide particles in oil. The particles move and react when in the presence of a magnet, and this produces some exciting patterns. To prevent the particles being pulled out of the oil when near a magnet they are coated with a surfactant. The fluid was developed in the 1960s by NASA as a potential basis for a rocket fuel that worked in zero gravity. Today it is found in a wide range of fields, including engineering, medicine and materials science.