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 Frequently asked questions What are CREST Awards? CREST is a nationally recognised scheme designed to inspire young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. CREST gives young people the chance to choose their own subject and methodology when completing their hands-on investigation. What are the different levels of CREST for secondary aged students? Award level Bronze Silver Gold Description An introduction to STEM project work for students aged 11+ working individually or in teams A challenge for students aged 14+ running their own STEM projects in teams or individually An extended open-ended project for students aged 16+, ideal for enhancing UCAS applications Key Stage (suggested) England: KS3 / L1 Wales: KS3 / L1 Scotland: S1, S2 and S3 Northern Ireland: KS3 England: KS4 / L2 Wales: KS4 / L2 Scotland: S4, S5 and S6 Northern Ireland: KS4 England: KS5 / L3 Wales: KS5 / L3 Scotland: S6 Northern Ireland: KS5 Total time allocation guidance 10 hours 30 hours 70 hours Planning and research 3 7 10 Practical investigation 4 15 40 Reflecting and evaluating 3 8 20 Assessment Internal using the assessment framework External assessor (online) External assessor (online) Upon completion Personalised certificates School professional assessment Personalised certificates School professional assessment Personalised certificates Cost £5 per student Funding may be available £10 per student Funding may be available £20 per student Funding may be available 30
MAKING IT HAPPEN Do students who are aged 16+ have to complete a Gold Award? No, the age ranges in the table on page 30 are for guidance only. Sixth form students can complete a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. If a 16-18-year-old student is completing a Bronze Award, the content and techniques involved should be adapted to be equivalent to their education stage. Most schools in the pilot project working with A-level students chose to complete a Bronze or Silver Award. Do I have to use one of the CREST Award resources? No, CREST is about tackling an issue that interests the student. The skills and content of the area chosen must be equivalent to the age of the student. This could involve expanding a practical already in the curriculum, e.g. a required practical or practical unit, to make it open-ended and investigative. See case studies for examples. Can I use the CREST resource projects in lessons? Yes, although currently CREST Awards are most commonly completed in STEM clubs after school. This project was carried out to show that CREST Awards can be completed in curriculum time to provide opportunities for students to experience open-ended extended investigative work. Mapping tools which link practical CREST resources to each content area of the KS3, KS4 and KS5 national curricula of all four home nations are available. There are also partner resources which can be accessed through the CREST website. Can students work in groups? Students can work in groups but each student must have a defined role. Every student must complete a student profile sheet which is submitted online. How are CREST Awards assessed? Make sure that you fully understand the criteria for assessment of the CREST Award before you begin. Students must pass at least 11 of the 15 criteria to be successful. Bronze Awards are assessed in-house, while Silver and Gold Awards are assessed externally online by trained assessors. Can it be used with EPQ? Yes, a Gold Award can be completed alongside EPQ. Ensure that all the criteria are covered for the CREST Award if using the EPQ structure and vice versa. There are slight differences. You do not need to produce two separate reports. See EPQ guidance on page 24. Can CREST be used in conjunction with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme? Yes, a CREST Award can be completed for the skills section. Using CREST for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award What resources do I need and where can I find them? c Create a free account on the CREST website. c There are a variety of secondary CREST resources which can be downloaded from the CREST website. CREST Awards Library The resources provide some context and ideas for students to consider before defining their own question to investigate. c The resources are also mapped for areas of the national curriculum. c Download the teacher guide for the relevant level. Teacher guide – Bronze c Download the c Download the c Download the c Download the Assessment criteria Student profile (one per student) Student workbook Generating questions for CREST Can CREST be used at KS4 in England? Yes, the pilot schools chose to embed CREST Awards into the KS3 and KS5 curricula in England. A Required Practical at KS4 could be extended in a similar way to A-level to incorporate a Bronze or Silver CREST Award. 31