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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Page 1 of 2 Investigating vitamin supplements For this project, you will do some experiments to find out how quickly different vitamin and mineral. Getting Started You should start by deciding which supplements to test. Iron tablets or multi-vitamin tablets are two suggestions. Iron in the form of iron(II) ions can be detected and analysed relatively easily. Vitamins are a little harder – ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is perhaps the easiest to test for. Mimicking the stomach: To work out how quickly minerals and vitamins get into the bloodstream requires quite a complex series of experiments. You’ll have to design these, but to get you on the right track here are some suggestions: • You could use Visking tubing to model a cell membrane. The relative times taken for the vitamins and minerals to pass through this will be similar to the those it takes for the vitamins and minerals to get into your bloodstream. • How will you detect the vitamins and minerals when they pass through the tubing? Will you measure the decrease in concentration on one side of the membrane or the increase in concentration on the other side? Think about how to record your findings. What are the implications of what you discovered? Were there any problems with your experiment? Click to edit project description Things to think about What is the effect of: • using whole tablets, or ones that have been powdered • different temperatures, • stirring, • changing the pH of the solution? Useful Resources You will probably need to link up with a local university to use some of its analytical equipment. In many cases, you will be trying to identify very small quantities of minerals (or, more precisely, metal ions), and your school or college equipment is unlikely to be sensitive enough for the job. You may also want to contact an analytical chemist from a company that produces vitamin and mineral supplements. They should be able to tell you how the purity of the supplements is analysed. A local university may be able to help.