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 Investigative practical science in the curriculum: How the pilot schools made it happen 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. Secondary students can complete Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects. TOP TIPS for successful implementation Choose an open-ended investigative project which is closely linked to your current curriculum. Tweak or expand what you already do. Plan to use homework and student independent study as part of the project time, e.g. research and report writing. Why do CREST within the curriculum? Have a planned teaching route through the project, with any links to examination board specific criteria, e.g. CPAC, PAG, BTEC. Consider the procedural and content knowledge students require before they start planning in order to be successful. Encourage students to write up as they go along, rather than write a full report at the end of the project. To learn and retrieve procedural knowledge To develop independent and resilient students To motivate students who enjoy practical work 8
MAKING IT HAPPEN It was interesting to have free reign and see what worked and what didn’t. Year 13 student Encourage the students to use the workbook (Bronze) and student guides (Silver and Gold). This will help to structure the writing and ensure the criteria are considered. Do not underestimate the guidance students need in writing up their projects, particularly at KS3. Encourage preliminary work to enable students to adapt their method and let them run with their ideas first before stepping in (provided they are safe). Take it slowly – try it with one class and work through any teething problems. Who needs to know? c Senior Leadership Team (SLT) c Head of department c Paired teachers c EPQ coordinator c Technicians c Students Essential documents Student profile Assessment criteria Student workbook Generating questions for CREST Make use of the CREST criteria from the beginning; 11 out of the 15 criteria need to be met to achieve the Award. Make local contacts with universities, workplaces and STEM ambassadors to help act as mentors, particularly for Gold Award projects. Familiarise yourself with the assessment criteria during the planning stage, particularly ‘implications for the wider world’. To enable students to take pride in their practical work To give students an understanding of how real science works To produce confident students in the laboratory 9