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 Quality control Imagine that you work in the quality control department of a company that manufactures pre-packaged consumer products. Your job is to sample packages to check that they contain the right mass or volume of product. If not, the filling machines need adjusting. Getting Started Your first task in this project is to choose two products to check – one solid and one liquid. You need to check at least 10 packs of each, so choose products that keep well so they can still be used, or consumed, after the project. The contents are bound to vary slightly, particularly if the product contains individual pieces which vary in size - for example a packet of crisps. What other causes of variation can you think of? Check weighing a solid product: Decide how to check the mass of the contents of your sample packs. Remember, it’s the mass of the contents that matter, not the packet as well. Check the weight of the contents of at least 10 packs and work out whether they comply with the e-mark rules - both for average mass and for ‘negative tolerance’. Think what you will do if your results appear to show an anomaly - a result significantly different from normal. Remember, never open food or drink in the laboratory if you’re going to eat or drink it afterwards. Checking a liquid product: Again, it’s the contents of your cans or bottles that you need to check, but without opening them all. Clearly, it’s not possible to measure the volume of the contents directly while they’re still inside the container, so you need to think up a cunning plan - think density. As with your solid product, check at least 10 cans / bottles, and decide whether they conform to the rules. Click to edit project description The results: You need to report your results to your manager. Decide on the best way to display them visually, for example as tables, charts or diagrams, so that they can be quickly and easily understood. Investigate the use of ‘box and whisker’ diagrams, as well as more familiar methods - you might like to find out about ‘statistical process control’. Things to think about The e-mark (℮) means that the average contents of a packet must be at least the nominal amount shown on the label - if not, the company may be fined for selling short measure. If the average is much more than the nominal amount, it means the company is giving away extra product, reducing its profits. So your job is very important! Useful Resources You will need to look up rules about the e-mark, to find out what is the minimum amount your packets are legally allowed to contain. This is called the ‘negative tolerance’. This will help you to decide how precisely you need to measure your packs, for example to the nearest 1, 0.1 or 0.01 g or ml. Equipment check: You can’t check the amounts unless your equipment measures accurately – you could check yours by using accurate masses, for example a set of ‘weights’ from a twopan balance. Think about how to measure the volume of liquid products with the necessary precision. Devise a procedure to check the accuracy of your measuring instruments.