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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2 years ago

How quick are your reactions

  • Text
  • Experimenter
  • Switches
  • Recording
  • Measuring
  • Coloured
  • Reacts
  • Circuit
  • Reactions
  • Devices
  • Principle
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 How quick are your reactions? For this project, you are going to design, make and test a device to test people’s reaction times. Getting Started Devices that measure reaction time work on the principle that there are two switches, one operated by the experimenter and the other by the subject. A recording device measures the time between when the two switches are pressed. The experimenter shouldn’t give the subject any clue that they’re about to press the switch. The sorts of reaction times you wish to measure may alter the design of your measuring device. Think about what sort of reaction times you wish to test. 1. Comparison of reaction to sight and touch Reaction time to sight: Get the subject to watch the experimenter press his switch. As soon as the subject sees the experimenter pressing his switch, they press their switch. The reaction time is measured. This process should be repeated about ten times to get an average value. Reaction time to touch: The subject should close their eyes, and the experimenter rests his foot lightly on the subject’s foot. The experimenter presses their switch and simultaneously treads on the subject’s foot. As soon as the subject feels the pressure they press their switch. Compare the reaction time to sight and touch: Identify possible sources of error and try to overcome them. If you’ve got enough data, you could do a ‘t-test’ to test whether the differences between the results are significant. Click to edit project 2. Reaction description time to coloured lights: The experimenter’s switch should be connected to two coloured lights, one red, the other green. Find out if a person reacts at the same speed to a red light as to a green light of the same intensity. Do your results support the use of red lights as a warning colour? Was there a significant difference between the results? What happens when you vary the intensity but keep the same colour? 3. Reaction time to sound: Connect the experimenter’s switch to a sound generator and headphones which are worn by the subject. Test the hypothesis that a subject reacts more quickly to a loud sound than to a quiet sound. Things to think about When you’ve got an idea of how to design the device, you’ll have to think about the electronic circuitry involved. Think about the power supply, input device, processor and output device. Draw a circuit diagram. Set about making the circuitry. You could try making a printed circuit board (PCB). You might also want to make a casing for the device. Recording systems could include a pair of switches linked to a triggered cathode-ray oscilloscope, microcomputer, chart recorder or stimulus marker on a kymograph. Useful Resources Reaction times give only an approximate idea of how quickly nerve impulses are transmitted in the nervous system. Why is it only approximate? Suggest other, more accurate ways of measuring transmission speeds in the human nervous system.

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

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

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