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.


To browse the briefs, click the buttons below or scroll down.

Views
1 year ago

Measuring alcohol levels

  • Text
  • Ethanol
  • Measuring
  • Urine
  • Levels
  • Aqueous
  • Dichromate
  • Investigate
  • Artificial
  • Detect
  • Concentration
This resource is published under an Attribution - non-commercial - no derivatives 4.0 International creative commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). For more information visit our Terms and Conditions (www.crestawards.org/terms-and-conditions).

Click to edit project

Click to edit project description

Page 1 of 2 Measuring alcohol levels In much of the UK, it is illegal to drive if the alcohol level in your blood is above 80 mg per 100 ml, about 0.08%. In Scotland, the legal limit is 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. We therefore need ways to determine whether a person is ‘over the limit’. The aim of this project is to find out how a suspect’s alcohol level can be measured. You will investigate simple chemical tests, and more sophisticated methods. Getting Started Start with simple aqueous solutions of ethanol, and progress to testing for ethanol dissolved in artificial urine. This project concerns ‘ethanol’, the alcohol present in drinks. However, the ethanol you use for testing has had methanol added. It is toxic and is not drinkable. Qualitative tests: Try out, chemical tests for alcohols, including reduction of dichromate ions. Are any of these specific to ethanol, or do they detect alcohols in general? By progressive dilution, determine the lowest concentration of aqueous ethanol that you can detect. Is it low enough to detect the legal limit? What would be the problems in applying such tests to a driver’s blood or urine sample? You could try testing alcohol dissolved in artificial urine instead of in water. Quantitative tests: Devise, and try out, a method of adapting one of the above tests to measure the concentration of ethanol in an aqueous solution, not just detect it. Colorimetry might help: Again, test whether you could measure concentrations at least down to the legal limits. Click to edit project description Explain whether the method could be used with blood or urine samples. Devise, construct and test an alcohol analyser. This could be a portable breathtester, or a piece of laboratory apparatus, such as a simple gas chromatograph. Initially, aim to distinguish between ‘pass’ and ‘fail’, for example test samples with ethanol levels half and double the legal limit. The next step would be to calibrate your device, and then to measure samples with concentrations known to your teacher, but not to you. Things to think about The reduction of dichromate was used as the basis of the original breath-in-abag ‘Breathalyser’. Find out how it measured, rather than just detected, the ethanol in breath. The dichromate reaction is not specific to ethanol. Why is it reasonable to assume that ethanol is the only alcohol likely to be present in a person’s breath? The legal limit for ethanol in breath is 35 μg per 100ml or 22 μg in Scotland (μg = microgram). Some people claimed that eating pickled onions would beat the Breathalyser - devise a way to test this theory. Useful Resources Local police may be willing to show you their breath alcohol meters. You should also link up with an organisation that uses appropriate instrumental analysis (though not necessarily for ethanol), so that you can see the instruments in use, and maybe analyse some of your own samples. Recipes for artificial urine can be found on the internet. Measuring ethanol concentration in blood or urine is more complex than in an aqueous solution. It needs a quantitative method that is specific to ethanol and unaffected by other substances in the mixture. Miniaturisation and electronics have allowed some laboratory techniques to be incorporated into portable alcohol meters. These are used not only by police, but also in the rail and airline industries and other workplaces. If you have made external links, why not use these to investigate these methods?

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.


Back to top

Bronze

Getting Started Guide: Secondary
A clean break
Bath bomb challenge
Design a game controller
Fraud detection: testing metals
Home entertainment cabinet
How do rockets work
Insulating fabrics
Make a rollercoaster faster
Make a wooden pendant
Make your own animation
Make your own fizzy drink
Make your own toothpaste
Monitoring acid rain
Plant nutrients
Quality control
Revealing fingerprints
Sailing clothing
The perfect cup of tea
Treatments for dehydration
Waste free lunch
What makes bread rise
What's in food
Which crisps are crispiest
Which material is strongest
Who is the fittest in your class
Why do we use shampoo
Plant nutrients
Treatments for dehydration
Who is the fittest in your class
Bath bomb challenge
Fraud detection: testing metals
Make your own fizzy drink
Make your own toothpaste
Monitoring acid rain
Revealing fingerprints
The perfect cup of tea
What makes bread rise
What's in food
Which crisps are crispiest
Which material is strongest
Why do we use shampoo
A clean break
Fraud detection: testing metals
Revealing fingerprints
Design a game controller
Home entertainment cabinet
Make a wooden pendant
Make your own animation
Sailing clothing
Waste free lunch
Monitoring acid rain
Plant nutrients
Waste free lunch
Bath bomb challenge
Make your own fizzy drink
Quality control
The perfect cup of tea
Waste free lunch
What's in food
Which crisps are crispiest
Why do we use shampoo
Make your own toothpaste
Treatments for dehydration
Insulating fabrics
Make a wooden pendant
Which material is strongest
A clean break
How do rockets work
Make a rollercoaster faster
Quality control
Design a game controller
Home entertainment cabinet
How do rockets work
Make a rollercoaster faster
Make your own animation
Sailing clothing
Who is the fittest in your class

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.


Back to top

Silver

Getting Started Guide: Secondary
Are some jeans tougher
Art restoration
Build a model pirate ship ride
Ceramic jewellery
Cooking pasta
Design and build a disco light
Detect fraud using chromatography
Detecting drugs
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
Hit and run
How healthy is your spread
How steady is your hand
How strong are climbing ropes
Make and analyse painkillers
Make your own lipstick
Make your own tea bag
Testing toothpastes
Measuring alcohol content
Monitoring water pollution
Oral rehydration therapies
Plant growth and fertilisers
Shampoo and hair types
Testing suncreams
The fizz in fizzy drinks
The ultimate pizza box
Which crisps are healthiest
Build a model pirate ship ride
Make your own tea bag
How healthy is your spread
How steady is your hand
Monitoring water pollution
Are some jeans tougher
Art restoration
Cooking pasta
Detect fraud using chromatography
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
Hit and run
How healthy is your spread
How strong are climbing ropes
Make and analyse painkillers
Make your own lipstick
Make your own tea bag
Testing toothpastes
Measuring alcohol content
Monitoring water pollution
Oral rehydration therapies
Shampoo and hair types
Testing suncreams
The fizz in fizzy drinks
The ultimate pizza box
Which crisps are healthiest
Detect fraud using chromatography
Detecting drugs
Hit and run
Ceramic jewellery
Design and build a disco light
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
Make your own tea bag
The ultimate pizza box
Monitoring water pollution
Plant growth and fertilisers
Art restoration
Cooking pasta
How healthy is your spread
Make your own lipstick
Make your own tea bag
Testing toothpastes
Measuring alcohol content
Shampoo and hair types
The fizz in fizzy drinks
The ultimate pizza box
Which crisps are healthiest
How healthy is your spread
How steady is your hand
Make and analyse painkillers
Oral rehydration therapies
Testing suncreams
Are some jeans tougher
Art restoration
Ceramic jewellery
Fabrics for cold weather clothing
How strong are climbing ropes
Build a model pirate ship ride
Hit and run
The ultimate pizza box
Build a model pirate ship ride
Design and build a disco light
Hit and run
How steady is your hand

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


Back to top

Gold

Getting Started Guide: Secondary
A balanced diet
Aerodynamic sails
Brighter after a cup of tea
Build a model waltzer
Build a pinhole camera
Build a robotic ball boy
Compare fabric properties
Compare suncreams
Design the ultimate toothbrush
Detecting food fraud
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
How much starch is in a potato
How quick are your reactions
Investigating crash damage
Investigating metal jewellery
Investigating vitamin supplements
Make a skateboard
Make a speaker system
Measuring alcohol levels
Monitoring lead pollution
The effect of additives on bread
The effect of treatments on hair
The perfect colour lipstick
The properties of saucepans
Which fertiliser
Build a model waltzer
Build a pinhole camera
A balanced diet
How quick are your reactions
Investigating vitamin supplements
Measuring alcohol levels
The effect of treatments on hair
Which fertiliser
A balanced diet
Brighter after a cup of tea
Compare fabric properties
Compare suncreams
Detecting food fraud
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
How much starch is in a potato
Investigating metal jewellery
Investigating vitamin supplements
Monitoring lead pollution
The effect of additives on bread
The effect of treatments on hair
The perfect colour lipstick
The properties of saucepans
Which fertiliser
Investigating crash damage
Measuring alcohol levels
Build a pinhole camera
Build a robotic ball boy
Design the ultimate toothbrush
Make a skateboard
How much starch is in a potato
Monitoring lead pollution
Which fertiliser
Brighter after a cup of tea
Detecting food fraud
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
How much starch is in a potato
The effect of additives on bread
The effect of treatments on hair
The perfect colour lipstick
What makes bread rise
A balanced diet
Compare suncreams
Fruit juice or fizzy drinks
Investigating vitamin supplements
Measuring alcohol levels
Compare fabric properties
Design the ultimate toothbrush
Investigating metal jewellery
The properties of saucepans
Aerodynamic sails
Build a model waltzer
Build a robotic ball boy
Investigating crash damage
Make a skateboard
Make a speaker system
Aerodynamic sails
Build a model waltzer
Build a robotic ball boy
How quick are your reactions
Investigating crash damage
Make a skateboard
Make a speaker system