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.
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Page 1 of 2 Compare fabric properties In this project, you will compare the properties of a range of fabrics made from different fibres. The fabrics could be woven or knitted and they could be made from natural fibres such as cotton and wool or synthetic fibres such as nylon. You should investigate both physical and chemical properties of the fabrics. Getting Started You should start by picking your samples. • What sort of fabrics and fibres will you use? • How many different types will you test? • How many samples will you test to give accurate results? Physical properties: You will have to decide on your testing methods. You may design or adapt these, or you may be able to use accepted standard procedures, depending on your mentor. The sorts of physical properties to test could include: Strength: Think about what type of strength you’re testing. This could include the strength of the fabric or the strength of the joins. Is it easy to join the fabric together? How strong are the seams? Tear resistance: Abrasion - in other words, how quickly do the fabrics wear down when rubbed on a rough surface. Thermal resistance: Chemical properties: You will need to design some tests to be able to compare the chemical properties of your fabric samples. You could: Investigate how easily they take up different dyes both synthetic and natural. You could make your own synthetic dyes, or extract natural dyes, and use these in the tests. Click to edit project description Investigate how the dyes are affected by washing - do they fade? See if different types of washing powder (different brands, biological, non-biological etc.) make a difference. Investigate how the dyes are affected by exposure to bright sunlight. Investigate how easy it is to shift everyday stains from the fabrics - for example, red wine, chocolate or grass stains. Do different washing powders make a difference? Investigate the different fabrics’ resistance to other chemicals, such as the sorts of chemicals found in a laboratory, or ‘everyday’ chemicals such as bleach. Things to think about If you have a mentor speak to them about what properties they think you should test for. Useful Resources You should link up with a local university or similar institution to find out about different ways of testing physical properties of fabrics. You might try contacting somebody from a clothes manufacturer responsible for testing the clothes. You could try linking up with a chemist from a company that manufacture washing powders. They should be able to tell you how they test their products. For example, how do they test if their washing powders make colours fade - often washing powders claim they will keep your clothes bright.