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:
To browse the briefs, click the buttons below or scroll down.
Teacher guide Parched plants Climate change and food supply Plants need sunlight, nutrient rich soil and water to grow. But clean freshwater is not always available where and when we need it, and increasing temperatures and populations mean there is more and more pressure on this vital resource. With more and more people facing water scarcity, farmers around the world are looking for ways to grow more crops with less water, and finding both high and low tech solutions. In this project, students will investigate seed germination and plant growth in different conditions to determine what crops we could grow in the UK if we had 25% less water. Prompts • How much data do you need to collect to make your conclusions statistically significant? Encourage students to think about how many plants they will grow. • Is there such a thing as too much water? Encourage students to think about both ends of the curve. • What variables would there be on a real-life farm that are not present in your controlled experiment? 10
Student brief Parched plants Climate change and food supply (Biology, water, plants) Have you ever wondered if plants can survive with less water? Imagine you are a farmer. Every year one of your biggest expenses is water, and it is getting more and more expensive. You would like to find out what the optimal amount of water is for the different crops you grow, and which crops need the least water. Getting started Start by planning out your experiment – think about how long you have and which plants you can grow within that time. You might like to do some research into which crops are currently grown the most in your area, and how water-intensive they are. You could then look at what kinds of crops are grown in parts of the world where there is less rainfall. Things to think about • How do you know when a plant needs watering? • What is the optimal amount of water for a plant? • Does the amount of water a plant needs vary from species to species? • What will you compare your plant growth to? • How many different species will you investigate? • How long will you take measurements for? • How often will you take measurements? • How will you present your findings? Useful resources • Is the world running out of fresh water? https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170412-isthe-world-running-out-of-fresh-water • More Crops With Less Water, Is It Possible? – Futuris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fjVwTr8U5s • Growing Crops with Less Water https://www.aau.edu/researchscholarship/featured-research-topics/growing-cropsless-water • Crop Water Requirement https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agriculturaland-biological-sciences/crop-water-requirement Health and safety To avoid any accidents, make sure you stick to the following health and safety guidelines before getting started: • Wear eye protection. • Find out if any of the materials, equipment or methods are hazardous using http://science.cleapss.org.uk/Resources/Student- Safety-Sheets/ to assess the risks. (Think about what could go wrong and how serious it might be.) • 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 there is plenty of space to work. • Clear up slip or trip hazards promptly. • Make sure your teacher agrees with your plan and risk assessment. 11