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30 years of CREST

The British Science Association (BSA) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its CREST Awards programme.

Set up to allow young people the chance to run their own science projects on whatever subject they choose, CREST has gone from strength to strength since the first cohort did their pioneering projects in 1986. From the introduction of the National Curriculum, through numerous changes in government and shifts in education policy, the CREST Awards have continued to grow and thrive, with over 30,000 young people every year now achieving awards.

In total, since the programme’s inception three decades ago, over 400,000 students have been rewarded for their project work.

The anniversary celebrations – taking place throughout this 2016/17 academic year – will include special events and activities. Speaking at the launch, which took place at the British Science Festival, the BSA’s Chief Executive, Katherine Mathieson, said:

“At the British Science Association, we have long believed that the best way to inspire young people in science is for them to have the chance to try it for themselves. Rather than see science as just a collection of facts and equations, our flagship education programme, the CREST Awards, recognises and rewards young peoples’ own investigations in STEM.”


“By recognising the value of open-ended project work for all young people, regardless of whether or not they will go on to be scientists, CREST has allowed students to build their skills and demonstrate personal achievements through their own investigative work.”

30 inspirational ideas

As part of the celebrations for CREST’s 30th anniversary, we have published a new 30 Inspirational ideas teaching resource, which is full of project suggestions, information and activities to help bring science alive in the classroom. It contains submissions from teachers, students and STEM professionals from across the UK, and is a one-stop shop for inspiring ideas and activities. From top-tips for running STEM clubs and CREST projects, to hands-on activity ideas, it has everything an educator will need to put on the most exciting sessions for their students.

Linking with the BSA’s mission of reaching beyond the science community, 30 inspirational ideas also contains ideas linked to the arts and other cultural areas relevant to the curriculum, so is ideal for ‘non-STEM’ teachers to dip into.

CREST 30 inspirational ideas

Enrich your classroom with our new Discovery Day resource

We’ve also launched a CREST linked Enrich my classroom resource produced in partnership with URENCO’s Richie programme. Classrooms have changed hugely over the last 30 years since CREST first began and this new activity encourages young people to envisage what the classrooms of the future might look like, particularly thinking about how science and technology can further enrich their learning experiences in the classroom through creative design.

thumb_03_60_60Chris Conheeny

Tapton School

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!

thumb_03_60_60CREST teacher

It’s helped the self-esteem for some low achievers for whom it is their major achievement in school.