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Inject excitement into science with CREST Awards

As the summer term kicks off and students (and teachers!) have one eye on the upcoming and well-deserved summer break, it’s important to ensure science lessons stay fun, engaging and relevant.

If you’re looking for ways to inject some fresh excitement for science into your lesson plan, the CREST Awards, run by the British Science Association, may be just what you need.

The CREST Awards is our education programme and includes a wide variety of projects for secondary students of all ages.

We have Discovery Days which are group work projects for students aged 10-14, Bronze projects for ages 11+, Silver for 14+ and Gold Awards for students aged 16 and over.

The curriculum and beyond

Secondary CREST Awards cover all sorts of topics and the projects can be mapped directly onto curriculums from across the UK, meaning they can be incredibly helpful for lesson planning. Check our mapping tool here.

While our resource library is brimming with curriculum-aligned projects with instructions to follow, completing one is not the only way to earn an Award.

We provide a guide which shows students how to design their own project to be submitted for a CREST Award, to allow them to tailor it to the scientific themes that interest them most.

CREST is all about encouraging students to engage with the real-world applications of science; how it is behind almost every aspect of our lives, even when we don’t realise it.

CREST for the future

Older secondary students may be thinking about their next steps after school – perhaps higher education or a learn-on-the-job apprenticeship.

Whichever route they choose, doing a CREST Award can help lay the foundations for success.

The CREST Awards are well-regarded and trusted by universities, and are a tangible recognition that can be used to enhance students’ UCAS personal statements.

Talking about the skills and experiences gained through CREST Awards can demonstrate a genuine passion for their subject and the ability to conduct a long-term independent investigation which could also impress prospective employers.

Of course, not all student will be thinking about pursuing a science subject after school.

Many may prefer creative vocations such as beauty, music or working in food. CREST can help there too.

We provide an array of resources which explore the science behind these fields and help students expand their interest and excel.

Artificial intelligence

A topic that is becoming increasingly prevalent and is bound to play a big role in students’ lives as they become adults is artificial intelligence (AI).

For students with a burgeoning interest in this field, CREST has got it covered.

We offer an ‘Industrial Challenges Grand Challenges’ collection for all Award levels, which includes projects that look at AI, among other subjects.

Students can work on projects that explore the wide variety of ways AI could be utilised, from classroom advancements and smart lampposts, to the possible future uses of AI in healthcare.

There is also a ‘Machine learning’ resource pack for Bronze and Silver levels, and ‘Machines of the future’ Discovery day.

Inspire and prepare the scientists of tomorrow

It is impossible to ignore the topic of climate change as it seems there are new headlines almost daily.

The future generations of climate scientists who will work to keep the planet habitable are currently sitting in secondary school classrooms, so it’s essential we arm them with the knowledge and understanding they’ll need as they play their part in climate action.

Practical science activities in the CREST Awards can help young people relate to and contextualise the issues that will inevitably play a formative and significant role in their futures.

The CREST Awards resource library includes projects for all ages that encourage students to think about climate change and how we can manage it.

We have some recently-developed resources on hydrology for older students which ask them to think about how we use water, and how water supplies could be impacted by climate change. Can they develop solutions?

To learn more about the importance of teaching young people about climate change and sustainability, read this article by our head of education, Maria Rossini, recently published in the School Science Review.

Explore our resources

CREST Awards cover the breadth of the curriculum, from energy changes in chemistry to forces and matter.

Visit the CREST Awards website to find out more about how CREST works, funding opportunities that are available, our full resource library and curriculum mapping tool.

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