CREST Awards

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The CREST Awards scheme is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people, providing science enrichment activities to inspire and engage 5-to-19-year olds. It is the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for project work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

 

 

CREST gives students the chance to participate in hands-on science through investigations and enquiry-based learning, supporting them to solve real-life STEM challenges through practical investigation and discussion.

 

There are six CREST Award Levels, allowing students to progress through the scheme throughout their education. CREST offers educators an easy-to-run framework for curriculum enhancement and is student-led, encouraging young people to take ownership of their own projects. The Awards are well regarded, high quality and a tangible recognition of success. CREST can be run in schools, clubs, youth groups, other organisations or at home.

 

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Why CREST?

The CREST Awards provides a framework for STEM project work that supports all students, not just future scientists, to leave school with the skills and confidence to discuss and shape scientific and technological advances in society, whatever their career choices.

Enquiry-based approach
CREST encourages pupils to learn by solving a problem or answering a question, rather than simply following instructions or being presented with information. The emphasis is on the process, not on finding a ‘right’ answer. By encouraging students not to view STEM as learning facts and doing experiments, but as sharing ideas and asking questions, the CREST Awards help to develop a culture of ‘everyday science’, bridging learning and supporting cross-curricular education.

Scientific process
CREST provides opportunities for students to experience the scientific process. We believe that supporting young people to experience behaving like a scientist or engineer, and lead their own project, will support young people to put into practice transferable skills such as observation, thinking, reasoning and communication. The knock-on effect is a space for young people to be innovative and creative, and to develop their problem-solving skills.

Real-world context
We believe that encouraging students to lead their own projects on topics that connect to their everyday experiences, enables young people to explore the relevance of STEM subjects to their lives, and motivates them to respond positively to challenges. 

 

 

Levels

 

Star Superstar Discovery Bronze Silver Gold
Time commitment 8 x 1 hour activities 8 x 1 hour activities 5+ Hour project 10+ Hour project 30+ Hour project 70+ hour project
Recommended Age 5-7 7-11 10-14 11-14 13-16 16+
Key Benefits Introduces children to investigative learning. Widens children’s perception of what STEM subjects are. Great for STEM enrichment days, or transition projects. Provides real-life experience of “being” a scientist. Improves GCSE grades and increases interest in continuing STEM education. Enhances UCAS personal statements and is well regard by employers.

 

 

Project ideas can be created by students, teachers, organisations or local businesses – ideally, the decision should be student-led so that they choose a topic they are interested in investigating. There are three categories of CREST project to choose from: Research/Investigation, Design/Making; and Science Communication.

Have a look at the British Science Association's overview of Project REsources to get some tips about how to support your students.

CREST Awards can be undertaken at school or college, within an after school club or youth group setting, or by participating in one of our accredited link schemes (i.e. EDT projects, Nuffield Scheme, RZSS Summer School, Geobus etc.)

Once students have completed their project work, they are individually assessed and successful students will receive a personalised certificate.

 

Benefits of a CREST Award

 

  • Improved grades and increased interest in continuing in STEM education and careers. 

  • Real-life experience of ‘being’ a scientist' and working on STEM projects. 

  • CREST Award projects help to develop students’ skills in creativity, teamwork and time management

  • Students can use CREST to enhance their UCAS personal statements.

  • Extra value from other activities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and the Children’s University Passport to Learning.

  • A measurable improvement in exam results. 
    In January 2016, CREST published a report by a team of economists from Pro Bono Economics. This revealed that students who have taken a CREST Silver Award achieved half a grade higher on their best science GCSE result and were more likely to continue with STEM education, compared to a matched control group.

  • A greater impact for more disadvantaged students. 
    The report also showed that Silver CREST students eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) saw a larger increase in their best science GCSE (two-thirds of a grade) compared to a matched control group who were also eligible for FSM.Students who were eligible for Free School Meals and took part in a CREST Silver Award were 38% more likely to take a STEM subject at AS Level than the matched control group.

  • A positive shift in attitudes.
    In 2011, a study from the University of Liverpool concluded that CREST has a strong positive impact on students’ attitudes towards Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) and aspirations for SET careers are significantly improved.A report into the CREST Expansion Scheme showed that three-quarters of participating students and 78% of teachers rated CREST as good or very good. About half the CREST student cohort reported a positive shift in attitudes toward STEM and STEM careers as a result of participation in CREST. Many of those whose attitudes did not change were already positive about STEM.

 

Getting Started with CREST

Register for free for a CREST Account and access to all project application and support materials at: http://www.crestawards.org/register-your-award/

The CREST Regional Support Organisation for Scotland is TechFest.  

For advice about undertaking CREST Awards in Scotland, please contact 
Lesley Weston by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone on 01224 274188. 

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