The CREST guiding principles

The CREST guiding principles

The below principles are the overall ideas that govern how the CREST Awards work. They are different to the CREST criteria, although the criteria are based around these.

Real-world context

CREST projects and activities have a clear real-world context, appropriate for the level. 

Problem solving 

CREST projects and activities demonstrate creative approaches in developing solutions to scientific problems. 

Independent working

CREST projects and activities show independent working skills, students should carry out their projects either on their own, in pairs or small groups, ideally completing their challenge independently of adults (appropriate to the level).  

Decision making


CREST projects and activities should, as far as possible, support students to lead their own projects, to set their own aims and objectives and create their own plans for how to conduct the project.  

Practical science

CREST develops students understanding of the scientific method, as well as research, production and/or communication techniques and knowledge related to their project 

Reflective practice

CREST projects and activities should allow students to reflect on what they have learnt. 

Reporting and Communicating

CREST projects and activities should enable young people to share their results (not necessarily in a written format) and explain the impact of what they did. 


CREST projects and activities require students to do background research to help them complete and understand their project. 


CREST projects and activities allow students to utilise creativity and approach their project in an innovative way. 

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