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:
To browse the briefs, click the buttons below or scroll down.
Teacher guide Imaginative irrigation Climate change and food supply Most crops grown in the UK rely heavily on natural rainfall. But rainfall varies significantly seasonally and annually, and some regions are much drier than others. Irrigation is the process of applying controlled amounts of water to plants at intervals. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops during periods of less than average rainfall. Irrigation, using man-made systems to water plants where there is not enough rainfall, could help build resilience to drought and water scarcity risk in UK agriculture, particularly in the context of a changing climate. However, some irrigation systems are more efficient in their water use than others. In this project, students will design, make and test their own crop irrigation system for water efficiency. Prompts • There are lots of different types of irrigation systems – find out a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of the different variations. • How would your irrigation system fare in the winter? Students will need to think about not only designing an irrigation system that works, but one that can survive outside across all seasons. • How easy is your system to maintain? • How much would your system cost to make? Is it cost effective? 8
Student brief Imaginative irrigation Climate change and food supply (Engineering, design, water) Have you ever wondered how farmers manage to water all their fields? Imagine you are a farmer. You rely heavily on rainfall to water your plants, but sometimes when there is not enough rain you have to water them manually. This takes a lot of time! You would like to have an irrigation system that you can control remotely. You also want a system that is efficient and does not waste water. Design and make a prototype irrigation system that can be controlled remotely. Test and improve your design to make it more efficient. Getting started Start by researching irrigation systems and how they work. There are lots of different types of irrigation systems – find out a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of the different variations. Which ones are most efficient? Why? Use your research to help inform your design. Perhaps you could interview a local farmer to find out if they use an irrigation system and, if so, which kind. Things to think about • How will you control your irrigation system? • What settings will there be? • You will need to think about not only designing an irrigation system that works, but one that can survive outside across all seasons. • What situation is your irrigation system designed for? • How will you test the effectiveness of your irrigation system? • Once you have built a prototype, think about how you might be able to improve the efficiency of your irrigation system. Useful resources • Irrigation water strategy for UK agriculture and horticulture https://www.nfuonline.com/nfu-online/science-andenvironment/irrigation-and-abstraction/irrigationwater-strategy-for-uk-agriculture-and-horticulture/ • Agriculture – key to climate action http://www.fao.org/tempref/agl/IPTRID/FGuideMod 3.pdf 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/ • Decide what you need to do to reduce any risks, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. • 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. 9
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.
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.
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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