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.

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:


Northern Ireland



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

4 years ago

World wide washing collection


GENERAL GUIDANCE Project health and safety Students should be encouraged to make their own risk assessment before they carry out any activity, including surveys. In all circumstances this must be checked by a competent person. Students using specialised equipment should be supervised at all times. Students may want to set up unorthodox experiments and you may need to seek specialist advice. Organisations such as CLEAPSS and the Royal Society of Chemistry are able to help. The MISAC (Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee) can provide advice concerning microbiological investigations. Support and Guidance CREST gives students the chance to participate in hands-on science through investigations and enquiry-based learning. Students must decide their own focus; however, you may need to give additional support to students. Your role is to: - Act as a sounding board for students’ ideas and nurture the students’ work - Help students see mistakes and setbacks as an opportunity for positive learning and lateral thinking (leading to creativity) - Encourage your students in reflecting on their own performance and learning - Where relevant, support students to find mentors from academia/industry - Where relevant, ensure technician support is available to students - Provide access to the Internet, library books and magazines (such as New Scientist) - Provide direction to identify suitable sources of relevant information at an appropriate level. (NB. Students must research and select information for themselves.) CREST AWARDS Bronze By working towards a CREST Bronze Award, students experience the project process; improving their enquiry, problem solving and communication skills. They have the opportunity to develop the project using their own ideas, taking decisions about how to progress with ongoing support from their teacher. The most important thing is that there is an element of investigation and exploration, and that the project sets out to answer a question or solve a problem. To use their project to achieve a CREST Bronze Award your students will need to: - Develop a project using their own ideas, taking decisions about how to progress through it - Complete a minimum of 10 hours of project work - Write about their findings and evaluate their project in their profile form or workbook For full details about the CREST Bronze Award visit Prompts The student briefs give some triggers to start students thinking. They should realise that each trigger implies several items to research and compare. Encourage students to identify these themselves. If students struggle to identify these the teacher guide provides extra prompts to help you guide them.

student brief Worldwide Washing BRONZE AWARD We all want to support people in the developing world but they often need to have solutions that work in their environment and with resources they can obtain locally. Some of our high tech solutions don’t work because of the lack of availability of spare parts, specialist resources or the expertise needed to keep things running. Local solutions often work best for people because they can source everything they need and are able to maintain things for themselves. The right pieces of knowledge in the right place make people independent and able to help themselves. Dirt detectives Reasearch project Have you ever wondered… what causes people to become sick? You may have been told to wash your hands frequently, particularly after going to the toilet or preparing food, but why? Surely a bit of dirt can’t be that harmful can it? From your studies in history you will know that diseases in the past have affected whole populations. Imagine you are a researcher working for the Institute of Microbiology and find out more about: • What causes illness and disease? • Can effective hand washing prevent some of these diseases? Some things to think about... • How do bacteria spread and infect many people? • What happens when diseases get beyond our control? • What can we do to stop them? • What examples are there from history and from more recent times? • Are people in other parts of the world more at risk than us? • Why won’t better hand washing help prevent the spread of diseases like malaria? soap or nope? Practical project Have you ever wondered…how effective different hand cleaning products and techniques are? Manufacturers make all sorts of claims about the effectiveness of different products for hand cleaning and some can be very expensive. If effective hand washing is to be spread across the world we need some low cost solutions to make this a reality for everyone. Imagine you are a scientist working on the transfer of bacteria. Carry out a practical experiment to: • Decide if washing hands makes any difference • Compare the effectiveness of different hand washing products and decide which is the most cost effective. Some things to think about... • How does water quality differ around the world? • What will you look for to see if hand washing has made a difference? • What are the different products you could test? • Is soap as effective as more expensive products? • How will you compare the differences these products make? • What sorts of diseases might widespread hand washing help prevent?

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.

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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.

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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

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