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.
Find out how to build practical CREST projects into secondary science lessons using our free teacher guidance pack. Supporting this guidance are easy-to-use, free-to-download mapping workbooks, which match individual Bronze, Silver and Gold CREST Award projects with each area of the secondary science curricula for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can download and save your own copy of the relevant mapping workbook via the following links:
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Page 1 of 2 Build a model pirate ship ride Pieces of eight, pieces of eight! Ahoy there, shipmates – the Pirate Ship awaits! No theme park is complete without a pirate ship ride. This classic ride involves a swinging ‘gondola’ on a rigid support, often balanced by a large counterweight. How does the ride give you a thrill? Getting Started Imagine you’re a manufacturer of theme park rides. A new theme park is opening near you, and the theme park owner has chosen you to design the pirate ship ride. You should build a model to help you work out things like how big it will and how big the counterweight should be. When you’ve made a working model you can show the theme park owner. Designing your ride: Carry out some research into the design of theme park rides. You need to think carefully about your design for the ride. The way you decide to support the swinging parts is vital. If your supports are too flimsy then the whole thing could collapse. This is unsafe and will ruin your investigation. Another vital component is the support that holds the gondola and the counterweight. This needs to be strong and rigid enough to brace the two weights but, if you are going to investigate your design, you need to be able to change its length. The gondola is the component that ‘holds’ the people. People can be ‘modelled’ using metal weights – you need to think how to distribute them evenly along the gondola, yet keep them firmly fixed inside. Investigating your model: Once you have built your model you should investigate how the following things affect the swing of your model: Click to edit project • Initial description swing angle • Length of support • Mass of ‘passengers’ • Mass of the counterweight (if you have one) Design an electric motor and gearing system to swing your ride. How will you control the motor to supply energy only when you need it? Design a presentation to give to the theme park owner. Things to think about How will you control the amount of swing? If you are going to investigate how your ride moves, what factors are you going to measure? Swing time and speed of swing seem good factors to measure, but how will you measure them? As the Pirate Ship swing’s back and forth it will lose energy, mostly through friction with the bearing and air resistance. How does the amplitude of the swing vary with time? Useful Resources Why not go to a fair or theme park to get first-hand experience of how a model pirate ship works?