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



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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 Gold By working towards a CREST Gold Award, students will develop and deliver largely self-directed projects. The aim is for students’ work to contribute something new to the scientific or technological community or to a particular field of study. They are supported by an industry or higher education mentor, who can offer guidance and advice, and are required to prepare a final report and present the outcomes of their project 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 70 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 using a student profile form For full details about the CREST Gold 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 GOLD AWARD We benefit from a well-developed water and sewage system; a wide choice of cleaning and health products and a free healthcare system. It has taken many years to create the healthy environment we live in but not everyone in the world benefits from these things. Supporting people in developing countries on their journey towards a healthier and safer environment is a responsibility we should take very seriously. Sharing our knowledge, our scientific and technical expertise and our resources to help others to help themselves is an important contribution that can make the whole world a better place. the sanitation divide Research project Have you ever wondered…how many people in the world don’t have access to a toilet? Imagine you are a researcher looking at the world wide provision of private, community and public toilets. The world wide variation in access to this basic facility is enormous but how big is the gap and is this changing? Some groups of people have no toilets at all, others have to share access with too many people but we need to know exactly how many, and where, if we are to target our resources in improving people’s lives. Use your research skills to: • Find out the latest situation in world-wide sanitation • Analyse how this is changing over time Some things to think about... • Different toilets across the world • Sanitation projects that are improving people’s lives • Trends over time within and between countries • Ways of communicating that many audiences can access • Benefits of good sanitation to health and wellbeing • Impacts on groups such as the elderly and women • The role people in developed countries can play to improve conditions in some of the poorest parts of the world extraordinary extractions Practical project Have you ever wondered…how some plant medicines can have such powerful effects? You may already know that plants in remote parts of the world, like the Amazon rain forest, may contain some incredibly useful chemicals we might use as medicines. Some of these may have strong antibacterial properties and could be used by people in developing countries as alternatives to expensive hand sanitizers. Indigenous people often understand the use of these plants much better than our scientists do. Imagine you are a botanist investigating different plant materials, you need to undertake practical experiments to: • Extract the purest form of the essential chemicals from a variety of plants • Test extracts to determine their antibacterial properties Some things to think about... • The separation techniques that will give you the purest samples • Methods that could test a plant’s antibacterial properties • Development of a hand sanitizer from the extracted chemicals • Testing to see if plant extracts are safe to use • Collaboration with others to test a variety of plants • Developing an extraction technique that can be used by people in remote areas without specialist equipment.

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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