What are CREST Awards?
The CREST Awards scheme is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people, around 30,000 students in the UK gain CREST Awards every year. It is the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for STEM project work (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, providing science enrichment activities to inspire and engage 5-to-19-year olds.
- CREST is delivered by educators (teachers, technicians, club leaders, home educators etc.)
- CREST can be run in schools, clubs, youth groups, other organisations or at home.
- There are six CREST Award Levels, but the levels are non sequential, students do not need to have completed the levels below in order to be eligible for an Award.
- CREST is non-competitive, as long as the project meets all the CREST criteria at the expected level they will achieve their Award. Silver and Gold Awards are submitted for external assessment, all other levels are assessed by you (or another educator at your organisation), using the assessment framework we provide.
CREST offers educators an easy-to-run framework for curriculum enhancement, it is widely recognised as a mark of high quality for STEM project work, 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 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.
The CREST framework
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.
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.
CREST provides opportunities for students to experience the scientific process. We believe that supporting young people to experience behaving like a scientists 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.
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.
My Stem Club were assessed for their Bronze Award and had so much pride when they got it! The assessor was impressed at the skills they had learned in communication and facing challenges. The whole experience is so valuable!
CREST Gold Award holder
The whole experience was amazing – I got a real feel for what working in a science setting is like.