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 How to embed open-ended and extended investigative projects in the curriculum Introduce to stakeholders (e.g. SLT) the concept and benefits of doing a CREST Award alongside the assessment of practical skills within the curriculum. Complete a costing overview and present to budget holders. Check the CREST website as funding is often available. Register for an account on the CREST site and follow instructions. Develop a teacher timeline for completion of the Award and identify milestones to measure progress. Guidance Research Practical Write up Total (hours) BRONZE 3 4 3 10 SILVER 7 15 8 30 GOLD 10 40 20 70 Teach the core knowledge, practical skills and techniques required for both the curriculum and the CREST Award criteria. Share Plan Teach c Which area of the curriculum will be used as a focus for the CREST Award? c What core knowledge must students know in advance and when will it be taught/refreshed? c What practical skills, techniques or procedures may be required by students and have these been taught? c Is there a pre-existing exam board or CREST resource which can be adapted to guide students in designing an open-ended investigative project? c When is the best time to carry out the laboratory work required in the scheme of work? c What level of Award is likely to be targeted and how will time commitment be allocated? c What resources and equipment may be required? c Can outside agencies (STEM ambassadors, universities, etc.) support the students with this area? c How will the CREST Award be assessed and does this involve teacher time? 6
MAKING IT HAPPEN The implementation plan we set out at the start was crucial to the success of the project. I was able to keep track of where we should be each week. Jackie, STEM coordinator Provide CREST student profile booklets and Bronze workbooks or Silver/Gold student guides. Agree how students will work (in small groups or individually). Highlight the requirement in the student profile for student reflection on their role in the group. In-laboratory assessment of practical skills completed (e.g. CPAC). Student action Preliminary work completed by students and changes/ decisions made. Most appropriate equipment, techniques and data collection processes demonstrated by students. Completed assessment of written practical skills by teacher. Student profiles signed by teacher. Student action Student report and profile completed. Criteria for CREST Award cross-checked. Personal reflection completed. Student research Practical work Report & reflection Suitable resources can be provided to support but not limit the creativity and open-ended nature of the investigation. Risk assessments checked. Student action Relevant project idea and question generated by students. Background to the project researched and a range of possible approaches taken. Research referenced appropriately. CREST Bronze Award projects assessed by teacher(s). Student profiles and a work sample uploaded to CREST. CREST Silver and Gold Awards are externally assessed. Student profiles and all student work uploaded to CREST. 7