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.
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Page 1 of 2 Make a rollercoaster faster The classic rollercoaster ride involves a wheeled car moving down an angled track. One of the really exciting things about rollercoasters is the speed of the car when it reaches the bottom of the track. But do you know how the height of the track affects the speed of the car? Getting Started First, you need to make a simple model rollercoaster. Use some sort of flexible plastic, or tubing cut in half lengthways. Think about how you can increase the height. Perhaps you could use a clamp and stand to hold it in place. Things to think about You will also need a rollercoaster car, you could make a simple one yourself, use a toy car or you could even simply use a ball bearing. Whatever you choose, make sure it rolls freely down your ‘track’. Testing your rollercoaster: There are lots of things to think about when you set up your test: • How can you measure the speed of the car? Ask your teacher if it’s possible to use a light-gate and a data logger. • As the car starts to move, it speeds up. The speed isn’t constant - it accelerates - so you need to decide where you should measure the speed. You could measure the speed at different points to see how much it accelerates. • How does the speed vary as the car moves down the track? • How are you going to vary the height? • How do you make the investigation a fair test? • Does the shape of the track matter? Click to edit project difference? description • Does the mass of the car make a • Does the shape (streamlining) of the car make a difference? Take care when using tools. Remember, any use of tools needs to be well supervised, possibly in a workshop (depending on the tools used). • Does the number of wheels on the car change the speed? Going further: You could try adding a hill or – if you’re really adventurous – a loop-the-loop to the rollercoaster. You’ll have to keep adjusting the height so the car goes over the hump without flying off the track. . Useful Resources You could start by investigating how rollercoasters are made. Try searching for ‘rollercoaster design’ or ‘rollercoaster project’.