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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1. Before your project What does a CREST Gold Award involve? • Complete minimum of 70 hours of work on one project area • Use scientific and/or technical knowledge appropriate to students aged 16 to 19 • Contribute something new to the scientific or technological community or to a particular field of study. • Write a project report or portfolio of evidence • You’re encouraged to access support from a mentor, ideally someone who works in a STEM field related to your CREST project topic Where should I start? 1. Read through this student guide. It will make the CREST process easier for you, your mentor and your teacher. If you are unsure of anything, your teacher or mentor should be able to help. 2. Look at the criteria we use to assess your project, and make sure you understand what you need to do to get a CREST Gold Award. CREST criteria 1 - Planning your project • Set a clear aim and break it down into smaller steps/objectives • Explain the wider purpose of your project • Consider different ways to do your project • Describe your plan for how to complete your project and give reasons for the approach you chose • Explain how you planned your time and organised who would do what 2 - Throughout your project • Say who and what materials you needed to help you complete your project • Summarise the background research you did to help you understand your project and where you found the information 3 - Finalising your project • Make logical conclusions and explain the implications for the wider world • Describe how what you did affected the outcome of your project • Explain what you learned and how you would change your project if you did it again 4 - Project-wide criteria • Show understanding of the science behind your project • Describe how you made sensible decisions about your project. Consider safety and risks • Show creativity in the way you carried out your project • Explain how you identified and overcame problems • Explain your project clearly in writing (and conversation, if relevant).
Finding a mentor We strongly recommend getting support from a mentor who works in a STEM field related to your CREST project topic. Mentors can play an important role in CREST projects by offering you their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm. They can open a window into what working in STEM can be like. To find a mentor for your project, you can: • Request support through the STEM Ambassadors Scheme • Contact local universities or STEM businesses. It’s usually best to start with the schools liaison team in most universities, who will refer you on to appropriate people • Ask your school careers advisor for support in connecting with local businesses If you’re participating in CREST through an accredited provider, often a mentor will be provided by the scheme. 2. During your project • Use the CREST criteria as a guide, to make sure you cover all the criteria as you work. • Take lots of notes of what you do, including your planning from early on in the project. This will help you to write your report and personal reflections. 3. Producing your report At the end of the project, you will need to write a report to introduce, describe and evaluate your work. Alongside your report you will need to complete the CREST Gold Award student profile, to check you’ve covered all the assessment criteria in your report. The student profile is there to help you as you write your report, so completing it at the end with your report should be very straightforward. If you are working as part of a team, your team should produce a joint report but each team member should have a separate student profile – not doing so will result in you being asked to resubmit. When you submit online, a project completed by a group can be submitted jointly, with one report and a profile form per student. You can also submit separately using the same report and your own profile form. Groups that have done separate project work should submit separately, so that each project is assessed on its own merits. Remember to: • Number the pages in your report. This will help you reference areas of the report when you fill out the checklist. • Use your own words. We want to hear about your project and what you did. You should not use information copied straight from the internet in your report. • Make sure to list the sources of your research information. At Gold level ‘in-text’ references should be used, and they should be clear enough for us to find the sources you used. If you want advice on this, please ask your teacher.