What are the CREST Awards?
CREST is an engaging way to bring science to life in your classroom. By introducing students to real scientific applications, they build confidence and inquiry skills, while also giving them the freedom to run their own investigations. With levels for different ages and abilities, CREST is accessible for everyone.
The British Science Association believes that investigation is the key to getting young people engaged in STEM subjects – investigation being a skills area relevant to all subjects.
If they have a problem to solve, and find their own solution, not only do they get a chance to take ownership of that investigative work, it also gives it some meaning.
Subjects don’t appear in packages in the real world, which is why the BSA advocates the value of project-based learning.
CREST Awards differ from other STEM activities in that students run a project addressing a real-world problem.
The project not only develops enquiry, problem-solving and communication skills, but encourages a greater understanding of how science contributes to our daily lives.
Students are encouraged to pick an issue they are passionate about, but there is also a free resource library full of topic suggestions and challenges to investigate.
One of the advantages of CREST Awards over other STEM resources is the recognition it receives from universities and employers. Awards are assessed by a teacher or group leader, all trained experts across the areas of STEM.
CREST awards can be used by students to enhance their UCAS personal statements to or make a CV stand out.
Even teachers without a science background are encouraged to consider taking part.
The CREST website features a section with teaching resources, inspiring activities and helpful tips to keep everything running smoothly.
A January 2016 report by a team of economists from Pro Bono Economics revealed that students who had 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.
Need to Know
- An alternative approach to teaching STEM in the classroom is to get students thinking and acting like scientists and engineers.
“CREST has the advantage of giving science clubs a focus. It is judged against criteria that are clear, so students know what they need to do.”