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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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 Silver By working towards a CREST Silver Award, students begin to develop their own project idea – they are encouraged to lead it and use their teacher, club leader or supervisor as a sounding board for discussions. They are also expected to consider the broader impact of their project, demonstrate an innovative approach, and write a project report or portfolio of evidence to present to their CREST assessor. To use their project to achieve a CREST Silver Award your students will need to: - Develop and lead the project - Complete a minimum of 30 hours of project work - Consider the broader impact of their project and demonstrate an innovative approach - Write a project report or portfolio of evidence - Reflect on their work during the project and using a student profile form For full details about the CREST Silver Award visit www.crestawards.org/runcrest-awards/crest-silver/ 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 SILVER AWARD Access to clean water and sanitation to help prevent the spread of diseases is global issue. Educating people is as important as providing the equipment needed. In order to support people in the developing world who may not have access to clean water and toilets we need solutions that are local, fairly inexpensive and can be understood in a local context. what a waste Research project Have you ever wondered… how much water a toilet uses? Every time you flush the toilet you use water that is good enough to drink. The waste that leaves your home travels a long way to be processed and made safe, which is expensive. In some parts of the developing world people don’t have access to enough water for cooking and drinking, let alone for flushing a toilet. Imagine you are a research assistant for a Government funded project just starting in Kenya and: • Find out where our drinking water comes from • What happens to the waste we produce? Some things to think about... • How has water been processed before it reaches our homes? • What happens to the waste water that leaves our homes via the sewage system? • How is waste processed to make it safe? • What happens to the materials once it has been processed? • What alternative toilet systems are there that people in the developing world might use? • What might be the impact on health and wellbeing when toilet systems are introduced to these communities? • What is the connection between standing water and malaria? • What is being done about this to reduce the number of cases of malaria? washing with plants? Practical project Have you ever wondered…why some hygiene products contain plant extracts? Some people in the developing world do not always have access to commercial soaps or hand cleaning products but may have access to natural plant materials. You know that many plant materials have antibacterial properties and that in some situations people could use these instead. Imagine you are a botanist for the Royal Society and do some practical experiments to: • Collect and process common plant materials • Test if they have antibacterial properties Some things to think about... • Initial research to find out what plants might work well • Deciding how you will find out if they affect bacteria. • What measurements might you take that will help you decide which is the most effective plant? • Does the way you process the plant make a difference? • What safety precautions must you take when working with bacteria? • Is a single experiment good enough? • Can you collaborate with other research groups to verify your findings?