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.


To browse the briefs, click the buttons below or scroll down.

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1 year ago

Detecting food fraud

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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Page 1 of 2 Detecting food fraud In this project you will undertake the role of an analyst commissioned to test food products for suspected fraud. You will devise a method for performing ‘consumer tests’ on a food product to check the concentration or identity of a core ingredient. You will need to test several brands and a range of prices to compare value for money and produce a report of your evidence and conclusions. Getting started Do some research to find out about food fraud in the news. You could research some of the examples listed under Famous food scams below right. You will need to select a number of different food products to test and devise a method for each one. Select some of the Determine the concentration of several brands of vinegar over a range of prices and compare their value for money. Things to think about How accurate are the news reports you have read? Are ‘value’ brands actually good value? How do your results compare to the ingredients listed on the packaging? How many samples of each product will you test to reach a confident conclusion? Determine the percentage of cocoa solids and/or cocoa butter in various brands of chocolate. Determine whether a sample of olive oil has been adulterated with other vegetable oils. Research the differences between various vegetable oils and ways to measure these differences by chemical analysis, such as ‘saponification value’ and ‘iodine value’. Determine if wine has been contaminated with diethylene glycol. Find out the properties of diethylene glycol (2,2-dihydroxyethoxyethane) and devise ways to detect it in 10% aqueous ethanol (roughly equivalent to wine). Your tests must be able to detect a diethylene glycol concentration of about 1% and distinguish between diethylene glycol and other compounds that one would expect to find in wine. Click to edit project description Determine the type of fish used in a fish product. “Fish Fingers: 100% cod” says the label, but cod is increasingly expensive, who would know if an unscrupulous manufacturer were to substitute a cheaper fish? The answer lies in DNA. Find out about electrophoresis, and how it is used to establish biological identity. You will also need to learn how to extract DNA from a biological sample. Then investigate unknown samples provided by your teacher. Some of these should be a single fish, others a mixture. Your task is to detect which is which. Useful resources You should make contact with professional scientists who can advise you about the methods you might use and show you the instrumental techniques they use themselves. Starting points could include the Food Standards Agency, Trading Standards and public analysts. Famous food scams 1981 – Adulterated olive oil killed over 400 people in Spain 1985 – Several Austrian wine producers added ‘antifreeze’ to sweeten their wine 2004 – Specially purified water turned out to be bottled tap water and contained a suspected carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) 2013 – DNA testing showed that several processed beef products contained horse meat

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