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.

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:


Northern Ireland



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

2 years ago

Gold Grand Challenges

  • Text
  • Industrial
  • Challenges
  • Reduce
  • Crest
  • Materials
  • Ageing
  • Investigate
  • Assess
  • Aviation
  • Mobility

Clean Growth Biogas

Clean Growth Biogas generator Project brief In this project you will design and make a model of a biogas generator which could be used to turn waste into electricity in your school or local community. You will need to research what waste is generated locally before deciding on the position and the design of your generator. Find out what biogas is and how it is produced. Make a collection of pictures or diagrams of biogas generators. Include those which are used for cooking and those which are used to generate electricity. Do they have common features? Find out what the function of each part is. Make a list of the materials required for making the generator and for collecting and burning the gas produced. Make a list of the organic materials that you could use as the feedstock for a bio gas generator. Think of things you might find in household green-waste. From your list, which things could you safely try in your bio gas generator? Using your research, and the guidance below, design your own bio gas generator. Check your plan with a teacher before starting to make it. A suggested set up is given here: • It can take at least six weeks to produce any meaningful amount of gas. • Add a mineral absorbent / cotton wool plug in the tube between the feedstock and the first tube clamp. • Only carry this out in a fizzy drinks bottle up to 2ltrs in size. Do not use other types of bottles or containers. • Use a plastic measuring cylinder. • This will be under partially anaerobic conditions, so you need to be aware of the presence of anaerobes at the end of the process. • At the end of the experiment submerge all items (including tubing etc…) in a 1% Virkon solution for at least 10mins, and then dispose of in the general waste (not recycling). Do NOT open the bottle, or tubing. • Monitor the gas production and adjust the time and conditions where necessary. • Choose an appropriate location for your generator. The gas generated can be tested for the presence of saturated or unsaturated hydrocarbons by bubbling through bromine or iodine water. Investigate the effect of different variables. You will need to find a way of measuring the gas output of the biogas generator and compare the amount of gas produced. You could try comparing the amount of biogas produced by different feedstocks. Or you could investigate the effect of changing climatic conditions by placing it in different locations such as by a window, outside or in a dark room with a relatively constant temperature. Check your plan with your teacher before carrying out each stage. Things to think about • How will you keep it a fair test? • What are the pros and cons of each feedstock? • How would your generator work on a large scale? • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using bio gas to generate electricity? Useful resources • • s/resources • ciety_content/policy/publications/ 2008/7980.pdf Suggested design for a biogas generator: • biogas-generator.PDF Health and safety • Read carefully the safety sheet: SS076-Bioreactors-andfermenters.pdf • Teachers should refer to CLEAPSS Guide GL206 for more details; • Visit s/safety-information for topic specific safety advice; • choose a suitable location to store and carry out the gas generation; • the organic matter should be chosen carefully and checked by a science teacher or technician; • wear disposable gloves, goggles and an apron when handling organic matter and wash your hands at the end of the activity; • keep incubation below 30°C to avoid the growth of potential human pathogens; • assess all the risks (think about what could go wrong and how serious it might be); • make sure your teacher agrees with your plan and risk assessment. 16

AI and Data | Clean Growth Green building design Project brief In this project you will investigate the use of new technology and materials to improve energy efficiency in new buildings. You will design and test a system to monitor and control energy usage in your home. You could start by making a list of features in your home which are designed to save energy. What other features can you think of which other houses might have? Do some research into energy efficiency in homes. Have a look at how buildings have changed over time to make them more energy efficient. Find out about the different materials used in buildings – what are their properties and which are used for insulation? Make a note of features included in modern houses to increase energy efficiency. Plan and carry out an energy efficiency audit of your own home. In your plan you should identify the things you will look for; these could be materials, energy saving features, such as double glazing and devices, or systems designed to reduce or save energy such as thermostats and energy monitors. Design an experiment to monitor energy use in your home. This could include energy for heating, hot water, electrical appliances and cooking. You could use a digital monitor and mobile app provided by the utilities company or alternatively keep a manual record each day of energy use from the meter. Consider how you could calculate your home’s baseline energy while running essential equipment such as the fridge and freezer. You could keep a diary of devices being used each day as well as the outside temperature. You could investigate what happens when you limit the use of certain devices or increase insulation. If you have access to a thermal imaging camera, you could use this to measure the heat energy loss from different parts of your home. How useful are curtains and blinds for saving energy? Display your results in an appropriate way and discuss in your report what you have found. Make some recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Make an estimate of how much energy could be saved and the cost to make the changes. Things to think about • What are the energy needs of you and your family? • How could you reduce the energy your home uses? • How will you make your experiment a fair test? • Are there any variables outside your control such as outside temperature? If so, how will you control for this? • How could you persuade your family to make changes? Useful resources • me-energy-efficiency/homeimprovements • Specialist equipment: • Home energy monitor (optional) • Thermal imaging camera (optional) Health and safety To avoid any accidents, make sure you stick to the following health and safety guidelines before getting started: • find out if any of the materials, equipment or methods are hazardous using rces/Student-Safety- Sheets/ • assess the risks (think about what could go wrong and how serious it might be); • ask an adult before turning off electrical appliances in your home; • decide what you need to do to reduce any risks (such as wearing personal protective equipment, knowing how to deal with emergencies and so on); • make sure your teacher agrees with your plan and risk assessment. 17

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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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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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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