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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INVESTIGATIVE PRACTICAL SCIENCE IN THE CURRICULUM Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a natural fit for a CREST Gold Award as there are a number of overlapping features within the assessment criteria. Students should complete the open-ended practical work as per the EPQ criteria, ensuring they have also covered the following CREST Gold Award assessment statements: c 1.2 The student explained a wider purpose for the project c 1.3 The student identified a range of approaches to the project c 1.4 The student described why they chose that approach c 3.1 The student explained the implications for the wider world c 3.2 The student explained how their actions and decisions affected the project’s outcome c 4.2 The student made decisions taking account of ethical and safety issues These could be covered with the addition of one or two paragraphs and a risk assessment. There is no expectation that students re-write the EPQ project for the purposes of completing a CREST Gold Award. 24
MAKING IT HAPPEN KS3 science curriculum Most of the pilot schools set aside an hour a week, within curriculum time, to focus on the open-ended investigative project and completed it within 18 weeks. They identified an area of the KS3 curriculum which best lent itself to this or identified a CREST resource which linked well to their curriculum. Schools who completed a Silver CREST Award ensured they adapted the content to the KS3 curriculum. In some cases the project was used as part of the sequencing of procedural knowledge, to act as a means of assessing students. All schools emphasised the importance of completing the write up and student profile as the students went along. Examples of KS3 projects from the pilot study include: c Year 9 - Bronze CREST Award investigating the suitability of various metals for making jewellery. See case study on page 26. c Year 8 - Bronze CREST Award investigating the biodiversity of a nearby park. c Year 8 - Bronze CREST Award investigating insulating materials. c Year 7 - Silver CREST Award using the CREST resource ‘Detecting food fraud’. Extended research has helped me learn more about metals than I would have done in a normal lesson. Year 9 student The project showed me there was more than one way of carrying out an investigation which I didn’t think about before. Year 9 student 25