Gold Awards allow students to conduct real research. They are longer-term projects that require around 70 hours’ work and are typically completed by 16-19-year-olds. At Gold level, your students’ work should contribute something new to the scientific or technological community or to a particular field of study.
1. Sign up for a free CREST account online
Sign up for a free CREST account online.
2. Choose a project
Support your students in choosing a project. This could be their own idea, or it could use an existing resource from our partners or us. It could link to other work they are doing in school, for example, GCSE coursework.
You could also:
- Use one of our ready-made plans and resources
- Arrange for an external education provider run a project with your students. This could be at your school, or at another accredited location such as a museum.
Tips for planning your own project
- Make sure it will enable your students to meet the Gold assessment criteria listed below in the assessment section.
- Students working towards Gold Awards should consider the broader impact of their project and demonstrate an innovative approach
- Each student should complete a minimum of 70 hours of work during the project.
- Give students as much choice as possible in their project topic as students respond more positively to a challenge that they’ve had some part in choosing
- Whatever their level, don’t underestimate students’ ability to respond to a challenge
The most important thing is that there is an element of investigation and exploration and that the project sets out to answer a question or solve a problem.
3. Run the project
This is the fun part! Your students can have the freedom to explore their ideas and run their own investigations. Your students should work collaboratively on the project or challenge(s) in self-managed groups, with your support. Download our student guide for CREST Gold to find out more.
Recording project work
CREST assessors will need the following to evaluate a project:
- A project report
- A completed CREST Gold Award student profile form, which includes the project checklist and personal reflections about each student’s experience and what they learnt.
When the project is done by a team, the team should produce a joint report, but each team member needs to submit an individual student profile.
We encourage students to access support from a mentor who works in a STEM field related to their CREST project topic. Mentors can play an important role in CREST projects by offering their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to help inspire students. They can open a window into what working in STEM can be like.
Mentors are strongly recommended at Gold level, preferred at Silver, and optional at Bronze and Discovery levels. To find a mentor for your project, you can:
- Request support through the STEM Ambassadors Scheme
- Contact local universities they often have a public outreach department
4. Writing a CREST Gold report
At the end of the project, students will need to write a report to introduce, describe and evaluate their work.
Tips to help your students create a CREST project report:
- Number the pages in the report. This will help students reference areas of the report when they fill out the checklist in their profile form.
- Students should use their own words. We want to hear about their project and what they did. Don’t let students use information copied straight from the internet in the report.
- Make sure they list the sources of research information. We don’t mind what format references are in, so long as we can find any sources they used. You might need to help students with this.
Recording work in an accessible way
You can use discretion over how students work is recorded and presented. For example, it may be more appropriate to:
- record the student working, and have a supporting adult complete the student profile on their behalf
- provide a scribe for the student to fill out the workbook
- use in person interviews
5. Assessing your students' work
Log in to your CREST account to upload your students work and submit it for assessment. 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.
Guidelines for assessing CREST Gold and an assessment grid can be found on the assessment criteria page. To get a CREST Gold Award, each student needs to demonstrate at least 11 of the CREST criteria at acceptable standard or above, covering all four sections of the criteria. They should also complete around 70 hours of project work.
*In the UK, CREST Award entry fees are subsidised by the UK Government. British Forces Overseas schools, with a BFPO address, are treated as British schools
** Yng Nghymru, mae’r ffi mynediad Gwobr CREST cyfan yn cael ei dalu gan Lywodraeth Cymru.
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!
It’s helped the self-esteem for some low achievers for whom it is their major achievement in school.