CREST Award (Gold)

Head Department:
Ms F Wright

What is the Crest Award?
CREST Gold allows students to conduct their own scientific research. You will investigate a project based either on your own ideas or ideas supplied by CREST. Your research will contribute something new to the scientific or technological community or to a particular field of study. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 70 hours of work during their projects. You will be encouraged to access support from a mentor who works in a STEM field related to your project topic.

Why choose to do a CREST award?
• For the love of learning and the intellectual and organisational challenge.
• It may augment your UCAS application in a subject not studied at school or in a highly competitive course.
• It may be a more practical alternative to an EPQ
• You may be able to gain experience of STEM in the ‘real life’ – this may lead to further work experience and even job opportunities.

Who is eligible?
In most cases we would envisage that students who are taking at least one of the sciences for A or AS level will be eligible.

CREST is a scheme that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. CREST is a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

CREST gives young people aged 5–19 the chance to choose their own subject and methodology when completing their hands-on investigation CREST helps young people become independent and reflective learners through enquiry-based project work.

CREST Awards are flexible with no set timetable; projects can start whenever you want and take as long as you need.

Gold Awards are longer projects that immerse students in real research. At this level and students work with a mentor from their chosen field of study

TIME TO COMPLETE 70+ hours Students must complete a project that makes an original contribution to a STEM field of study and submit their findings via the online platform. No two CREST projects are the same! Students can do different types of projects on any STEM subject.

The outcome…Students will hone their investigative skills and employ scientific method to conduct their own piece of research. CREST Gold can be used by students to enhance their UCAS personal statements. The award is recognised and respected by universities and employers. Assessment…..The students or teacher submit the project to the online platform. Gold Awards are externally assessed online by a trained CREST assessor. They are all experts from industry, academia or the education sector. Projects are assessed against the CREST assessment criteria.

To obtain a CREST Gold award you need to demonstrate at least 11 of the CREST criteria at an acceptable standard. You will present a project report or portfolio of evidence to your CREST assessor.

The criteria are:
Planning the project
• set a clear aim for the project
• explain a wider purpose for the project
• identify a range of approaches to completing the project
• describe a plan for how to complete the project and explain that approach
• plan and organise your time well
Throughout the project
• make good use of the materials and people available
• research the background to the project and reference sources appropriately
Finalising the project
• make logical conclusions and explain the implications for the wider world
• explain how what you did affected the outcome of the project
• explain what you have learned and reflect on what you could improve
Project-wide criteria
• show understanding of the science behind your project
• make decisions to direct the project, taking account of ethical and safety issues
• show creative thinking in carrying out the project
• identify and overcome problems successfully
• explain the project clearly, in both writing and conversation

What is it?
Gold CREST award allows us to conduct our own, real research or investigations as part of a project in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) related subjects. It is a long-term project that requires a minimum of 70 hours’ work, but, unlike an EPQ, there are no deadlines, so you can really enjoy your project and complete it at your own pace. Not only this, but you will have the chance to be guided by a mentor (a professional working in the industry) in your chosen field.

Why did you do it?
Mainly because I love science and am hoping to pursue a career in medicine, like some other students in my CREST group, so the award allows me to dive further into these subjects, with it being linked to STEM. CREST Awards are also well-regarded by UCAS and are recognised as a high-quality and tangible source of skills and knowledge, so something to make you stand out on your CV too. Having a CREST Awards shows that you possess useful skills, such as problem solving, researching, creative thinking, decision making, organisation and project management. Furthermore, the prospect of being able to conduct my own research into something that truly interested me was very exciting!

How does it fit into my timetable?
There will be 3, 1 hour, lessons a fortnight assigned to your timetable, which are productive sessions, although somewhat relaxed, as you control the pace of your project. During the lessons, we have many discussions which aids us with the progression of our projects. We are always discovering something new or learning from each other, due to the expansive nature of our varied topics.

Do we enjoy it?
We all really enjoy CREST, as we run our project customized to us, for our own benefit. We would thoroughly recommend this amazing opportunity to anyone who is interested in developing their knowledge in a STEM related field of particular interest – you don’t even need to be doing STEM subjects for A level to join, just a genuine curiosity and passion! We hope you will consider completing the Gold CREST Award alongside your A level studies at BSG – you definitely won’t regret it!