Secondary project briefs (ages 11+)

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.

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:


Northern Ireland



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3 years ago

Machine Learning Bronze

This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (

Background The Royal

Background The Royal Society The Royal Society is the world's oldest independent scientific academy in continuous existence, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. The Society works to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. The Royal Society’s machine learning policy project is investigating the potential of machine learning over the next 5-10 years and exploring how this technology can be developed in a way that benefits everyone. The Royal Society has launched a report setting out the action needed to maintain the UK’s role in advancing this technology while ensuring careful stewardship of its development. The Royal Society has supported the development of these CREST Bronze resources. How can a computer recognise your voice or face, or predict what films you’d like to watch? Artificial intelligence (AI) is when a computer system is designed to carry out complex tasks or make decisions in ways that we would normally associate with humans or animals. Machine learning is a form of AI that allows computer systems to learn from examples, data, and experience. Machine learning is all around us Many of us now interact with systems using machine learning on a daily basis, such as image and voice recognition on social media, recommendations on online shopping platforms, and virtual personal assistants. These technologies are already a part of your life and are starting to transform the global economy. They can identify better ways of doing complex tasks – from helping doctors diagnose medical conditions more effectively, to helping people communicate through instantaneous speech recognition and translation software. In the future, it is likely we will continue to see advances in the capabilities of machine learning, and this exciting technique has the potential to change the way we use data in a range of areas. Tools are already being developed to support healthcare, policing, telecommunications, driving and farming. 4

Instructions for teachers The topic The topic of machine learning is a great way to get your students thinking about the future. What do they imagine the world will look like in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time? What challenges will we face? This pack contains project ideas to suit a range of interests, enabling students to investigate machine learning in a real life context, and to explore innovative ideas and solutions for the future. Project outcomes Your students could design and make a new product, carry out a practical investigation, do a research project or create a communication campaign for their target audience. Encourage them to consider the impact of their project on people’s lives now and in the future. Students should record their work in a final project report or presentation. Supporting students to complete their project Each project should involve approximately 10 hours of student work from start to finish. The project should be led by the students. As a teacher or mentor your role is to: • Act as a sounding board for students’ ideas and nurture the students’ work; • Check your students’ project plans before they begin the next stage; • Help students see mistakes and setbacks as an opportunity for positive learning and lateral thinking (leading to creativity); • Where relevant, support students to access professionals or experts who could support them; • Provide access to the Internet, library books and magazines; • Help students to complete their project and record their findings; • Encourage them to reflect on their own performance and learning. Use the tips on page 14 to help students complete their CREST Bronze project report. Health and safety Students should be encouraged to make their own risk assessment before they carry out any activity, including surveys. They can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets to help them t-Safety-Sheets/ They should write out their project plan, identifying the risks involved in each stage and the control measures and precautions they will take. In all circumstances this must be checked by a competent person. Students using specialised equipment should be supervised at all times. Students may want to set up unorthodox experiments and you may need to seek specialist advice. Contact CLEAPSS directly for advice if you are unsure. Teachers in Scotland should refer to SSERC • Unless stated, no external links have been checked by CLEAPSS. • Safety checked but not trialled by CLEAPSS. In this pack This collection of resources contains four different project ideas that can each be used to gain a CREST Bronze Award. Each project has a Teacher Guide, which outlines the project from a teacher’s perspective, and then a student brief, which can be given to the student when they are ready to do the project. Check out the CREST resource library for more support. 5

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Bronze level

Ten hour projects recommended for ages 11+. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the Bronze Awards page.

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Silver level

Thirty hour projects recommended for ages 14+. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the Silver Award page.

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Gold level

Seventy hour projects recommended for ages 16+. Find out more about this level and how to gain a CREST Award on the Gold Awards page

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