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.
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TOP TIPS for students completing a Silver project 1. Understand the problem Find out more about the topic and make sure you are clear about the problem you need to solve and the time you have. If you are developing your own project idea, discuss your ideas with your teacher or mentor. 2. Plan your approach Draw or write a plan showing how you will approach the problem, the tasks you will complete, the resources you’ll need and how long you will spend on each task. Ask your teacher or mentor for feedback on your plan. 3. Watch out! Identify any risks to health and safety or ethical concerns you think there will be. Decide how you will limit or overcome these risks. Show your risk assessment to your teacher. 4. Research Find a professional mentor by contacting your local STEM Ambassador hub: stem.org.uk/stemambassadors/local-stemambassador-hubs Find out more by doing some research using the suggested links on the project page. Research relevant news articles, blog posts and other media sources. 5. Use your research to improve your plan and generate ideas Use your research to help you come up with a possible solution or to select the best experiments to use in your practical work. 6. Finalise your idea and carry out practical work Carry out any practical work including experiments, surveys, designing and making activities. When testing your ideas, make sure you make it a fair test and record all your results clearly. You could also use photos and a diary to record your project activities. 7. Concluding your project What have you found out by doing your project? Did you come across any problems, how did you overcome them? What is the impact of your project for other people, how could it be developed further? 4 8. Choose the best way to communicate it Tell others about what you did. You could use a written report, a digital presentation, a blog or a poster display. Make sure you include each stage from planning through to the conclusion. Remember, science isn’t just about data. The most successful projects will demonstrate good communication skills and show original ideas that address a realworld problem. Even if things go wrong, use this to show what you have learned.
Drought detectives Project brief Water is vital for sustaining life, so droughts impact people's lives in many ways. Plants and animals need it to live; we use water to grow the food we eat, keep ourselves, clothes and dishes clean, but it also plays a big part in leisure activities such as swimming. In this project, you will research how droughts could affect your local area. Imagine you are an Environmental Surveyor from the local council. Your job is to take a closer look at how a lack of water could affect your community. Choose one area of life to focus on, such as food, agriculture, business, housing or health. Find out: • The effects a drought would cause • The systems in place to deal with a drought Start by picking which area of life you want to focus on. Do some research to find out some general information about your chosen area. For example if you choose ‘business’ find out how many businesses there are in your local area and what type of businesses they are. If you choose housing, find out how many people live in your area and what kind of housing exists in your community. Now your research has a good foundation, delve deeper into how your chosen area uses water, and how much it uses. Next, take a look at what impact a water shortage would have to your chosen topic. Think about ways to communicate what you have learned. Things to think about • How would a drought affect local ecosystems? • Are there any long-term effects caused by droughts? • What are the cost implications to the local community? • What is being done to reduce the impact of droughts? • When do temporary use bans get enforced? Do they work? Useful resources A report on the effects climate change has on water in the UK: nerc.ukri.org/research/partners hips/ride/lwec/reportcards/water Facts on droughts in the UK: water.org.uk/consumers/droug ht The Environment Agency’s drought response plan: gov.uk/government/publication s/drought-management-forengland Take a look at how your local council and water company prepares for droughts – they may have information on their website. Water companies are required to update their drought plan every five years. 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 science.cleapss.org.uk/Resou rces/Student-Safety- Sheets/ • 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 your teacher agrees with your plan and risk assessment. 5