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.

1 year ago

Hydrology - Silver pack

  • Text
  • Librarycrestawardsorg
  • Ukceh
  • Materials
  • Soil
  • Encourage
  • Crest
  • Mitigation
  • Irrigation
  • Flooding
  • Climate
  • Flood
  • Drought
This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (

Background UK Centre for

Background UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is an independent, not-forprofit research institute, carrying out excellent environmental science across water, land and air. The UKCEH has a long history of investigating, monitoring and modelling environmental change. Its focus is on mitigating and building resilience to climate change, preventing and reducing pollution, and creating sustainable ecosystems. The UKCEH’s research extends from molecular biology to global climate modelling. It carries out fieldwork across the world, and its work helps to underpin environmental policies, commercial innovation and conservation action all around the world. The UKCEH, the British Geological Survey and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science are working jointly on a project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) named Hydro-JULES. Its aim is to deliver an open-source, three-dimensional model of the terrestrial water cycle to provide next generation land-surface and hydrological predictions. The science and societal issues addressed by Hydro-JULES are the basis for the development of these CREST resources. Humans depend on nature. Humans are changing nature. Water constantly cycles across our Earth. As our planet's atmosphere warms due to greenhouse gases, climate change is affecting, and will continue to affect, the distribution of water across the world. Some areas are projected to get wetter, others will become much drier. Rainfall impacts soil saturation and can cause rises in streams and rivers. Lack of rain stresses vegetation and water reserves. Climate change is not just a future problem; it’s already affecting global patterns of drought and flooding. The frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts are increasing, and will continue to increase. This has a wide-ranging impact, from local weather to where crops can grow. Droughts can be disruptive and dangerous for agriculture, water supplies, fisheries, infrastructure, and public health. Flood risk to people, buildings and businesses is predicted to rise in coming years, with a significant impact on global health, safety and the economy. Climate change and land degradation threaten our ability to produce sufficient and nutritious food supplies for a growing global population. The combination of climate change with a growing population, landuse change and economic development will create greater pressure on water resources in future. These are complex and intertwined issues, and it is vital that we identify environmentally-sustainable solutions that meet the increasing, and often competing, demands of users in different sectors, including public water supply, agriculture and food, commerce and industry, and energy. 4

Instructions for teachers The topic The topics of climate change, drought and flooding are great for getting your students thinking about the future. What do they imagine the world will look like in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time? What challenges will we face in managing climate change, protecting against flooding and continuing to produce food through droughts? This pack contains project ideas to suit a range of interests, enabling students to investigate a range of issues around climate change, drought and flooding in a real-life context, and to explore innovative ideas and solutions for the future. Project outcomes Your students could design and make a new product, carry out a practical investigation, do a research project or create a communication campaign for their target audience. Encourage them to consider the impact of their project on people’s lives now and in the future. Students should record their work in a final project report or presentation. Health and safety Students should be encouraged to make their own risk assessment before they carry out any activity, including surveys. They can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets to help them at Safety-Sheets. They should write out their project plan, identifying the risks involved in each stage and the control measures and precautions they will take. In all circumstances this must be checked by a competent person. Students using specialised equipment should be supervised at all times. Students may want to set up unorthodox experiments and you may need to seek specialist advice. Contact CLEAPSS directly at for advice if you are unsure. Teachers in Scotland should refer to SSERC at • Unless stated, no external links have been checked by CLEAPSS. • Safety checked but not trialled by CLEAPSS. Supporting students to complete their project Each project should involve approximately 30 hours of student work from start to finish. The project should be led by the students. As a teacher or mentor your role is to: • Act as a sounding board for students’ ideas and nurture the students’ work. • Check your students’ project plans before they begin the next stage. • Help students see mistakes and setbacks as an opportunity for positive learning and lateral thinking (leading to creativity). • Where relevant, support students to access professionals or experts who could support them. • Provide access to the Internet, library books and magazines. • Help students to complete their project and record their findings. • Encourage them to reflect on their own performance and learning. • Use the tips on page 24 to help students complete their CREST Silver project report. In this pack This collection of resources contains nine different project ideas that can each be used to gain a CREST Silver Award. Each project has a teacher guide, which outlines the project from a teacher’s perspective, and then a student brief, which can be given to the student when they are ready to do the project. Check out the CREST resource library for more support on running a CREST project if you need to as well. 5

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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