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CREST Assessment

CREST Awards are non-competitive, as long as the project meets enough of the CREST criteria at the expected level they will achieve their Award.

Star, SuperStar, Discovery and Bronze Awards should be assessed by you (or another educator at your organisation), using our tried and tested assessment framework. 

Silver and Gold Awards are submitted for external assessment by a trained assessor from industry or academia, working in a similar field to the project.

View CREST Assessor profiles.

Click the  below to expand the boxes and find details of the assessment criteria and process for each level. 

Star

All CREST Star activities on our resource bank meet the criteria below. If you are using other resources or creating your own activities they should be tailored to fit this framework. 

When you log in to your CREST account to submit your CREST Star projects you will need to confirm which 8 activities your students participated in. 

Overview: CREST Star introduces children to investigative learning, supporting students to solve real-life STEM challenges through practical investigation and discussion.

Scientific or technical level: Equivalent to KS1 Early level/ Nursery and Primary 1 (P1)/ IB Primary Years Programme

Problem-solving: Students explore a clearly defined question presented through a story that relates the scenario to their everyday life.

Decision making: Students are supported to decide how to solve science-based problems, working in pairs or small groups, independently of adults where possible. Students are given the opportunity to discuss and decide how they will carry out their investigation, with prompts and support from their educator.

Practical science: Students complete 8 practical challenges with a real-world context that links to their everyday life. Students are supported to keep their aim in mind when designing and carrying out their investigation.

Reflecting and discussing:Students discuss scientific problems, thinking about and sharing ideas on how to solve the problem.

Communicating: Students share what they did not necessarily in a written format.

Discovery

Students should use the CREST Discovery passport to demonstrate where they have met the criteria below and reflect on their learning. Each student is assessed as an individual even when working within a team. It is not intended that teachers must review all CREST Discovery passports after the project, but these may be helpful if you have any concerns about the performance of particular individuals.

You can assess Discovery Awards yourself or ask another educator or colleague to do the assessment. Ideally, the assessor shouldn’t be the same person who has been facilitating the CREST projects. 

When you log in to your CREST account to submit your CREST Discovery project(s) you will need to tick to confirm students have met these criteria. 

Overview: CREST Discovery offers a first introduction to STEM project work. Great for STEM enrichment days, or transition projects, students complete either a single project or a series of linked challenges with a clear real-world context.

Scientific or technical level: Equivalent to Upper KS2 towards KS3/ 2nd level: Primary 5-7 (P5, P6, P7)/ IB Middle Years Programme. 

Self-management: Students demonstrate readiness to accept responsibility; flexibility; effective time management; motivation to improve own performance; confidence when tackling tasks. Students describe their plan for how to complete the project and why they chose that approach e.g. division of tasks according to skills in the team.

Team-working: Students are set a challenge and are demonstrate that they can break down their overall aim into smaller tasks, with support where necessary, recording this in their CREST passport. Students respect each other’s’ work and views; working collaboratively; negotiating/persuading; contributing positively to discussions. 

Problem-solving: Students apply creative (imaginative) approaches in developing solutions. 

Research: Students acquire new knowledge relevant to the task and applying it appropriately. Students identified some different approaches to completing the project before selecting one.

Communication: Students follow written and verbal instructions (the brief); talking and listening to other team members; producing a
structured presentation which relates to the original brief and which reflects the creativity applied by the group during the project.

Reflective practice: Students demonstrate the ability to recognise: what knowledge and skills have been gained; where they could have
worked more effectively; where they achieved/exceeded expectations. 

Silver

 Students should use their CREST profile forms to demonstrate where in their project report or portfolio they have met each of the criteria. For team projects students can submit one project report, but should each complete an individual profile form. 

To submit for assessment log in to your CREST account to upload your students profile form(s) and project report or portfolio. You will need to pay the per student entry fee before their projects can be assessed. Their projects will be assessed by a trained CREST assessor, who will send feedback on the project within 2 weeks.

Each student needs to demonstrate at least 11 of the 15 CREST criteria below at acceptable standard or above, covering all four sections of the criteria. They should also complete around 30 hours of project work.

Overview: Research shows that CREST Silver improves GCSE grades and increases interest in continuing in STEM education. Students develop their own project idea and gain experience of the scientific process.

Section: Planning the project

1. Project aims and objectives: Students show clear understanding of the difference between their aims and objectives, communicating clearly both their overarching aim in broad terms and specific objectives towards achieving this aim.

2. Project context: Students consider in some depth the broader implications of their project e.g. social or commercial, beyond the direct application.

3. Selection of approach: Students identify a range of relevant possible approaches to achieving their aim, and explore the pros and cons of each, showing clearly why they have selected their approach.

4. Project strategy: Students communicate a clear strategy for their project, and include an outline of decisions made and reasoning in their project report or profile form.

5. Planning and organising: Students work independently to plan and organise their project, including a description of how they did this in either their project report or profile form.

Section: Throughout the project

6. Use of material and human resources: Students actively seek out appropriate resources and make relevant use of them.

7. Research: Students research the background to their project, referencing a range of studies and their sources appropriately, demonstrating their relevance clearly.

Section: Finalising the project

8. Conclusions and implications: Student explore the direct and indirect implications of their work, drawing comprehensive conclusions.

9. Understanding of project outcome: Students show strong understanding of the significance of their outcomes, and the
wider relevance of this. Students identify how their own actions/decisions may have affected their project.

10. Reflection on learning: Students clearly indicate their own role in the project and reflect on what they have learnt.

Section: Project wide criteria

11. Scientific or technical level: Equivalent to KS4/ Level 2/ Senior phase: Fourth year – Sixth year/ (S4, S5, S6)/ IB Diploma Programme

12. Decision making: Students lead the project and have regular access to an educator or mentor to discuss their ideas with.

13. Creativity: Students demonstrate they have approached the project in an innovative way and explore novel outcomes.

14. Problem solving: Students analyse facts and circumstances in order to apply creative approaches in developing realistic, innovative and original solutions.

15. Communication: Students show clear communication skills, demonstrating an ability to present their project in a manner suitable for their audience. They use appropriate language and where relevant also include visual aids such as photos and graphs.

SuperStar

All CREST SuperStar activities on our resource bank meet the criteria below. If you are using other resources or creating your own activities they should be tailored to fit this framework. 

When you log in to your CREST account to submit your CREST SuperStar projects you will need to confirm which 8 activities your students participated in. 

Overview: CREST SuperStar helps widen children’s perception of what STEM subjects are, supporting students to solve real-life STEM challenges through practical investigation and discussion.

Scientific or technical level: Equivalent to KS2/ 1st level: Primary 2-4 (P2, P3, P4)/ IB Primary Years Programme

Problem-solving: Students explore a question or idea presented through a story and are supported to think about what the aim for their investigation is and can communicate this. Students investigate problems from a broader range of contexts. E.g. home or school environment, framed in a scientific manner.

Decision making: Students work in pairs or small groups, independently of adults where possible. Students are given opportunities to shape their methodology e.g. deciding which variables to test; how to record their results; how to share what they did etc.

Practical science: Students complete 8 challenges with a real-world context that links to broader situations they might encounter.

Reflecting and discussing:Students discuss scientific problems and how to record results. They think about and share how to test their ideas, and how to tell people what they did.

Communicating: Students share what they did and explain their results using a medium of their choice.

Bronze

Students should use their CREST profile forms to demonstrate where in their project report or portfolio they have met each of the criteria. For team projects students can write one project report or portfolio, but should each complete an individual profile form. 

You can assess Bronze Awards yourself or ask another educator or colleague to do the assessment. Ideally, the assessor shouldn’t be the same person who has been facilitating the CREST projects. When you log in to your CREST account to submit your CREST Discovery project(s) you will need to tick to confirm students have met these criteria. 

Each student needs to demonstrate at least 11 of the 15 CREST criteria below at acceptable standard or above, covering all four sections of the criteria. They should also complete around 10 hours of project work.

Overview: CREST Bronze provides a real-life experience of ‘being’ a scientist. Bronze Awards allow students to experience the project process; improving their enquiry, problem solving and communication skills.

Section: Planning the project

1. Project aims and objectives: Students define and communicate clearly the overall aim of their project, and show that they have broken this down into smaller achievable objectives.

2. Project context: Students can explain the wider purpose the project and explain some examples of real world applications.

3. Selection of approach: Students explore a few possible approaches to their project and can explain and justify why they chose their approach above others.

4. Project strategy: Students can clearly explain their plan, showing how they decided on their strategy and why.

5. Planning and organising: Students work mostly independently and show they can plan and organise their time well in order to achieve their objectives.

Section: Throughout the project

6. Use of material and human resources: Students show they have made good use of the resources available to them.

7. Research: The students research some background to their project and refer to their research.

Section: Finalising the project

8. Conclusions and implications: The students made logical conclusions and explained the implications of their project.

9. Understanding of project outcome: The students explained how what they did affected the outcome of the project.

10. Reflection on learning: The students explained what they have learned and reflected on what they could improve.

Section: Project wide criteria

11. Scientific or technical level: Equivalent to KS3/ Level 1/ 3rd or 4th level: First year – Third year (S1, S2, S3)/ IB Middle Years Programme

12. Decision making: Students take decisions about how to progress in their projects with ongoing support from their educator/mentor.

13. Creativity: The students showed creative thinking in carrying out the project e.g. coming up with a range of possible ideas and approaches. 

14. Problem solving: Students show they have considered the problem and the wider situation, coming up with relevant and realistic solutions. 

15. Communication: Students present their project, explaining their aims and objectives, how they developed their project process, and communicating their results. Students can explain how their project relates to the real world and explain what it might be used for.

Gold

 Students should use their CREST profile forms to demonstrate where in their project report or portfolio they have met each of the criteria. For team projects students can submit one project report, but should each complete an individual profile form. 

To submit for assessment log in to your CREST account to upload your students profile form(s) and project report or portfolio. You will need to pay the per student entry fee before their projects can be assessed. Their projects will be assessed by a trained CREST assessor, who will send feedback on the project within 2 weeks.

Each student needs to demonstrate at least 11 of the 15 CREST criteria below at acceptable standard or above, covering all four sections of the criteria. They should also complete around 70 hours of project work.

Overview: CREST Gold can be used to enhance UCAS personal statements and is well regarded by employers. Gold Awards allow students to conduct real research, contributing something new to a particular field of study. 

Section: Planning the project

1. Project aims and objectives: Students express their project aim in broad terms, setting out what they hope to achieve at the end of their project. They also clearly set out specific defined and measurable objectives for their project and explain how these contribute to their overall aim.

2. Project context: Students show comprehensive understanding of the wider context of their project, how it could be used, and the implications of this in the field more generally.

3. Selection of approach: Students identify a range of relevant approaches and show clear justification for their selected approach based on sound research and best practice in the field.

4. Project strategy: Students include a highly developed plan in their project report or profile form, detailing their decision making and the reasoning behind it.

5. Planning and organising: Students show they are able to plan and organise their time effectively, demonstrating a high level of understanding of the tasks required, the skills needed to complete those tasks and allocate appropriate time and resource accordingly.

Section: Throughout the project

6. Use of material and human resources: Students show they have actively sought out resources, and that they have made
the most of what is available to them.

7. Research: Students show thorough and critical analysis of research in the field of their
project, and clearly link this to their work.

Section: Finalising the project

8. Conclusions and implications: Students communicate clearly the implications of their work, demonstrating
how their project contributes to the field.

9. Understanding of project outcome: Students are able to critique their own project outcome, identifying and exploring
the limitation of their outcome.

10. Reflection on learning: Students communicate their development through the project process and show
reflection on their own journey.

Section: Project wide criteria

11. Scientific or technical level: Equivalent to KS5/ Level 2/ Senior phase: Fourth year – Sixth year/ (S4, S5, S6)/ IB Diploma Programme

12. Decision making: Projects are largely self-directed, students show clear project management skills and
demonstrate how they have made their own decisions about how to progress with their project.

13. Creativity: Projects contribute something unique to the scientific or technological community or to science or technology.

14. Problem solving: Students approach problems strategically, demonstrating sound understanding of the root of the problem, and coming up with solutions that are both innovative and founded on their research.

15. Communication: Students pitch their project report well for their audience (assuming scientific understanding but no background on the specific topic covered). They communicate clearly, and demonstrate effectively how
they have met all of the assessment criteria. They use accessible language, include relevant graphs and images of
their results and explain these, and present their findings in an easy to understand manner.

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.