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:
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Teacher guide Feeding the future Climate change and food supply We hear more and more about the energy required to produce food, and greenhouse gas emissions from food production. But what about the water in our food? A lot of water is used to make our food. Some estimates suggest that 3.8tn cubic metres of water is used by humans annually, and 70% of that is used in agriculture. But in the future we are likely to experience more droughts and more flooding, meaning that water availability may become more and more unreliable. In this project, students will research how much water is used in the food supply chain, from field to fork. Focusing on agriculture, students will investigate how and if farmers could change their methods in order to use less water in food production. Prompts How has food production and distribution changed over the past 50 years? Has the amount of water in our food changed as a result? What are some known methods for reducing the amount of water used in agriculture? If students are stuck, you might like to suggest they look into: • Water use in organic vs. non-organic farming. • Drought tolerant crops. • Rain water storage. • Optimising watering times. • Crop rotation. • Different types of irrigation. • Dry farming and soil management. • Covering crops, composting and mulching. 6
Student brief Feeding the future Climate change and food supply (Geography, water, data) Have you ever wondered how much water is in our food? Imagine you work at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). You are concerned about food security in the future, and about how food production may be affected by a potential increase in water shortages. Conduct a research project and produce a report that explores how much water is used in food production and looks at possible ways to reduce the amount of water used by the agriculture sector in the UK. Getting started Start by doing some research into how much water is in our food. Think about the whole journey from farm to table. Find out which kinds of food products use the most water and which ones use the least. Where does this water normally come from? Useful resources • The Water We Eat https://thewaterweeat.com/ • Food’s Big Water Footprint https://www.watercalculator.org/footprint/foods-bigwater-footprint/ • Water footprint of crop and animal products: a comparison https://www.waterfootprint.org/en/waterfootprint/product-water-footprint/water-footprintcrop-and-animal-products/ • 10 Ways Farmers Are Saving Water https://cuesa.org/article/10-ways-farmers-are-savingwater • Reducing Water Waste in Agriculture Through “Smart Farming” https://www.advancedsciencenews.com/reducingwater-waste-in-agriculture-through-smart-farming/ Things to think about • How do you calculate how much water goes into a food? What counts? • How much of the water that goes into our food is from the agriculture stage of food production? • Are there any examples of approaches to agriculture that use less water? • How will you analyse and present your findings? 7