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 Rain gauges Drought Climatologists use temperature and precipitation records to create a definition of the ‘normal’ climate for an area (typically using the average of 30 years of data), which then helps us to measure periods of unusual weather, such as flooding or drought. To collect this data, climatologists use a variety of tools. A rain gauge is a useful tool to track how much precipitation there is, and is one of several indicators to monitor the length and severity of a drought. In this project, students will design, make and test a rain gauge which can be used to help predict drought and the likelihood of having to use reservoirs or groundwater supply. Prompts • How could you evaluate how accurate your rain gauge is? Is there a way you could improve the design to make it more accurate? • How often do you need to take measurements to make your data useful? • Try comparing the amount of rain to the length of time the rain lasted. Was it a short and heavy rain shower or a long and light one? • How will you display the data you collect? What kind of graph(s) would be most suitable to display rainfall over a period of time? • How long would you need to collect data for in order to calculate average rainfall? 14
Student brief Rain gauges Drought (Engineering, data, drought, climate change) Have you ever wondered how to measure rain? Imagine you are a climatologist. You are trying to calculate the average rainfall for your local area. You want your data to be as accurate as possible. Design and make a rain gauge, and then use your gauge to collect data about rainfall in your area. Getting started Start by researching how rain gauges work. You could look at some different products on the market to inform your design ideas. You will need to think about durability and functionality. Remember, your design doesn’t have to look like other rain gauges, as long as it can collect and measure rainfall data. Things to think about • Remember your rain gauge needs to survive outside for a long period of time in order to gather viable data. What materials will you use? • Where will you put your rain gauge? How might the location affect the data you collect? • How can you measure/evaluate how accurate your gauge is? Can you think of any ways to improve your design? • How long will you collect data for? How often do you need to take measurements to make your data useful? • Why not add to your data by using historical data from a local rain gauge at the UKCEH Environmental Information Platform, or from the National River Flow Archive? Useful resources • How to Build a Rain Gauge https://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Rain-Gauge • Why Is a Rain Gauge Important? https://sciencing.com/rain-gauge-important- 6611576.html • Rain Gauges Helping Farmers Adapt to Droughts in Mwenezi https://www.scoreagainstpoverty.org/375-2/ • DROUGHT: The Importance of Drought Indicators https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/droughtimportance-drought-indicators • National River Flow Archive https://nrfa.ceh.ac.uk/ 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 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. 15