Secondary project briefs (ages 11+)


Bronze Awards are typically completed by students aged 11+. They complete a ten-hour project which is a perfect introduction to STEM project work. Over the course of the project, teams of students design their own investigation, record their findings, and reflect on their learnings. This process gives students a taste of what it is like to be a scientist or engineer in the real-world.


Silver Awards are typically completed by students aged 14+ over thirty hours. Project work at Silver level is designed to stretch your students and enrich their STEM studies. Students direct the project, determining the project’s aim and how they will achieve it. They carry out the project, record and analyse their results and reflect on the project and their learnings. All Silver projects are assessed by CREST assessors via our online platform.


Gold Awards are typically completed by students aged 16+ over seventy hours. Students’ projects are self-directed, longer term and immerse them in real research. At this level, we recommend students work with a mentor from their chosen STEM field of study. All Gold projects are assessed by CREST assessors via our online platform. There are more CREST approved resources that have been developed by our partners and providers specific to your region.


There are more CREST approved resources that have been developed by our partners and providers specific to your region.


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1 year ago

A clean break

Study materials to learn about how to investigate breaks. 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).

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Click to edit project description

Page 1 of 2 A clean break Sometimes, what looks like an accident turns out not to be. It may be vandalism, insurance fraud or even murder. Accident investigators need to establish whether an incident happened accidentally, or was caused deliberately. For instance, did something break through wear and tear, or was it tampered with? In this project, you will study various materials that have been broken in various ways. Your objective is to find ways of distinguishing between the various causes by studying the broken pieces. Getting Started How many ways of breaking (not cutting) solid materials can you think of? Devise and carry out experiments to see which types of materials break under various conditions. Gradually increasing tension: Hold strips of the material in a clamp and hang a mass so it pulls down on the material. Gradually add more masses until it stretches or breaks. It might be wise to design these experiments yourself but ask a trained adult to help you carry them out. If something needs a really large mass to break it, then just make a note of the fact – don’t keep increasing the mass until it does break! Examine and compare the broken edges. Working at the cutting edge of science: Try cutting and sawing the same materials. Examine the cut/sawn edges carefully, looking for telltale marks or patterns that indicate the separation method. Compare cut and sawn samples, and also compare them with the samples above. Investigate whether the type of blade or saw affects the results. Getting to know the ropes: Ropes are designed to be very flexible, so impact or bending won’t break them. They are also designed to withstand tension, so snapping would need more force than you could safely apply. Think up a way to scale down the experiment so that you can snap the fibres. A rope might also wear away by rubbing against a hard and/or rough surface. Think up a way of simulating this, to obtain samples that have worn through. Examine the fibres of cut, sawn, snapped and worn ropes. Look for telltale differences. Try both natural and synthetic fibre ropes. To see the effect of weathering, test string (for example, garden twine) that has been left out in the open air over winter. Compare it with new string of the same kind. Click to edit project description Things to think about You could investigate the effect of: Sudden impact, for example, dropping a mass onto the material Gradually increasing the load or the bend angle. Hold the material in a vice and hang a mass on one end, gradually add extra masses so the material bends. Flexing backwards and forwards Sudden tension, for example, if someone is attached to a climbing rope and they fall there will be a sudden tension pulling on the rope. How can a test ‘mimic’ this? Useful Resources Why not see if you can get in touch with real-life accident investigators Investigating a claim: Imagine that you are insurance claim investigators. You have been given two pieces of rope and you need to decide how the end of the rope became separated from the rest. Use the knowledge you gained above to examine the rope end and draw conclusions. Present your findings to the claims assessor with supporting evidence. Explain how the evidence supports your conclusions. .

Bronze level

Ten hour projects recommended for ages 11+. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the Bronze Awards page.


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Bronze

Getting Started Guide: Secondary
A clean break
Bath bomb challenge
Design a game controller
Fraud detection: testing metals
Home entertainment cabinet
How do rockets work
Insulating fabrics
Make a rollercoaster faster
Make a wooden pendant
Make your own animation
Make your own fizzy drink
Make your own toothpaste
Monitoring acid rain
Plant nutrients
Quality control
Revealing fingerprints
Sailing clothing
The perfect cup of tea
Treatments for dehydration
Waste free lunch
What makes bread rise
What's in food
Which crisps are crispiest
Which material is strongest
Who is the fittest in your class
Why do we use shampoo
Plant nutrients
Treatments for dehydration
Who is the fittest in your class
Bath bomb challenge
Fraud detection: testing metals
Make your own fizzy drink
Make your own toothpaste
Monitoring acid rain
Revealing fingerprints
The perfect cup of tea
What makes bread rise
What's in food
Which crisps are crispiest
Which material is strongest
Why do we use shampoo
A clean break
Fraud detection: testing metals
Revealing fingerprints
Design a game controller
Home entertainment cabinet
Make a wooden pendant
Make your own animation
Sailing clothing
Waste free lunch
Monitoring acid rain
Plant nutrients
Waste free lunch
Bath bomb challenge
Make your own fizzy drink
Quality control
The perfect cup of tea
Waste free lunch
What's in food
Which crisps are crispiest
Why do we use shampoo
Make your own toothpaste
Treatments for dehydration
Insulating fabrics
Make a wooden pendant
Which material is strongest
A clean break
How do rockets work
Make a rollercoaster faster
Quality control
Design a game controller
Home entertainment cabinet
How do rockets work
Make a rollercoaster faster
Make your own animation
Sailing clothing
Who is the fittest in your class

Silver level

Thirty hour projects recommended for ages 14+. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the Silver Award page.


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Silver

Getting Started Guide: Secondary
Are some jeans tougher
Art restoration
Build a model pirate ship ride
Ceramic jewellery
Cooking pasta
Design and build a disco light
Detect fraud using chromatography
Detecting drugs
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
Hit and run
How healthy is your spread
How steady is your hand
How strong are climbing ropes
Make and analyse painkillers
Make your own lipstick
Make your own tea bag
Testing toothpastes
Measuring alcohol content
Monitoring water pollution
Oral rehydration therapies
Plant growth and fertilisers
Shampoo and hair types
Testing suncreams
The fizz in fizzy drinks
The ultimate pizza box
Which crisps are healthiest
Build a model pirate ship ride
Make your own tea bag
How healthy is your spread
How steady is your hand
Monitoring water pollution
Are some jeans tougher
Art restoration
Cooking pasta
Detect fraud using chromatography
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
Hit and run
How healthy is your spread
How strong are climbing ropes
Make and analyse painkillers
Make your own lipstick
Make your own tea bag
Testing toothpastes
Measuring alcohol content
Monitoring water pollution
Oral rehydration therapies
Shampoo and hair types
Testing suncreams
The fizz in fizzy drinks
The ultimate pizza box
Which crisps are healthiest
Detect fraud using chromatography
Detecting drugs
Hit and run
Ceramic jewellery
Design and build a disco light
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
Make your own tea bag
The ultimate pizza box
Monitoring water pollution
Plant growth and fertilisers
Art restoration
Cooking pasta
How healthy is your spread
Make your own lipstick
Make your own tea bag
Testing toothpastes
Measuring alcohol content
Shampoo and hair types
The fizz in fizzy drinks
The ultimate pizza box
Which crisps are healthiest
How healthy is your spread
How steady is your hand
Make and analyse painkillers
Oral rehydration therapies
Testing suncreams
Are some jeans tougher
Art restoration
Ceramic jewellery
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
How strong are climbing ropes
Build a model pirate ship ride
Hit and run
The ultimate pizza box
Build a model pirate ship ride
Design and build a disco light
Hit and run
How steady is your hand

Gold level

Seventy hour projects recommended for ages 16+. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the Gold Awards page


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Gold

Getting Started Guide: Secondary
A balanced diet
Aerodynamic sails
Brighter after a cup of tea
Build a model waltzer
Build a pinhole camera
Build a robotic ball boy
Compare fabric properties
Compare suncreams
Design the ultimate toothbrush
Detecting food fraud
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
How much starch is in a potato
How quick are your reactions
Investigating crash damage
Investigating metal jewellery
Investigating vitamin supplements
Make a skateboard
Make a speaker system
Measuring alcohol levels
Monitoring lead pollution
The effect of additives on bread
The effect of treatments on hair
The perfect colour lipstick
The properties of saucepans
Which fertiliser
Build a model waltzer
Build a pinhole camera
A balanced diet
How quick are your reactions
Investigating vitamin supplements
Measuring alcohol levels
The effect of treatments on hair
Which fertiliser
A balanced diet
Brighter after a cup of tea
Compare fabric properties
Compare suncreams
Detecting food fraud
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
How much starch is in a potato
Investigating metal jewellery
Investigating vitamin supplements
Monitoring lead pollution
The effect of additives on bread
The effect of treatments on hair
The perfect colour lipstick
The properties of saucepans
Which fertiliser
Investigating crash damage
Measuring alcohol levels
Build a pinhole camera
Build a robotic ball boy
Design the ultimate toothbrush
Make a skateboard
How much starch is in a potato
Monitoring lead pollution
Which fertiliser
Brighter after a cup of tea
Detecting food fraud
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
How much starch is in a potato
The effect of additives on bread
The effect of treatments on hair
The perfect colour lipstick
What makes bread rise
A balanced diet
Compare suncreams
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
Investigating vitamin supplements
Measuring alcohol levels
Compare fabric properties
Design the ultimate toothbrush
Investigating metal jewellery
The properties of saucepans
Aerodynamic sails
Build a model waltzer
Build a robotic ball boy
Investigating crash damage
Make a skateboard
Make a speaker system
Aerodynamic sails
Build a model waltzer
Build a robotic ball boy
How quick are your reactions
Investigating crash damage
Make a skateboard
Make a speaker system