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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Investigate the fizz in fizzy drinks Traditional fizzy drinks were made by fermentation using yeast. In this project, you’re going to make some fermented fizzy drinks so you can investigate the effect of using additives and varying brewing conditions on their shelf-life. Getting Started Find out about fermentation. What are the reactants and products of this reaction? Find a recipe for a homemade fizzy drink, popular ones are traditional lemonade and ginger beer Making your fizzy drink: Make a bottle of fizzy drink using the recipe you’ve found. Then make more bottles, changing your recipe each time. For example: Things to think about Research the equipment you’ll need to make your fizzy drink. Fermented fizzy drinks can explode if they aren’t bottled properly. Investigate how to bottle your fizzy drinks safely. Adjust the quantity of lemon juice. Lemon juice is used as an ‘acidifier’ - lots of fizzy drinks contain these types of additives to inhibit bacterial growth. Look at other natural ingredients that could be used to inhibit bacterial growth, for example herbs and spices. Increase and decrease the quantity of sugar added. Strain the drink before bottling to remove any ‘bits’. Remember, only change one variable at a time to make sure you get meaningful results. Make three or four bottles of each type of fizzy drink so you can monitor how they change over time. Useful Resources Search for a ginger beer recipe online. Storing your bottles: The drinks need time to ferment. Depending on the recipe, this might be some time at room temperature followed by some time in a fridge. Make sure your drinks are all kept in the same conditions. Or as a separate experiment you could leave bottles to ferment at different temperatures and see the effect. Remember all the other variables must be kept the same. Comparing your results: Investigate how your additives have affected your fizzy drinks. Open one of each type after six days – this is the usual shelf life of a homemade fermented drink - and compare: The appearance of the drinks opened Click to edit project description How much carbon dioxide they give off when Their acidity - measure the pH values The sugar concentration The alcohol concentration - one of the products of fermentation is ethanol. Open another set of bottles after leaving them a further amount of time, for example another week. Compare them like you did the first time. You can then repeat this exercise over the period of time you have available.