The CREST Awards
The CREST Awards scheme is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people, providing science enrichment activities to inspire and engage 5-to-19-year olds. They are well regarded, high quality and a tangible recognition of success. CREST can be run in schools, clubs, youth groups, other organisations or at home.
There are six CREST Award Levels, allowing students to progress through the scheme throughout their education. CREST supports students to solve real-life science, technology, engineering and maths challenges through practical investigation and discussion.
What is CREST accreditation?
CREST accreditation is designed to enable other organisations to offer CREST participation to students taking part in their resource (either entire awards, or ‘credits’ towards a full award). We accredit individual activities, not entire schemes or organisations, so each activity would need to be independently approved by the CREST awards scheme. You do not need to be CREST accredited to direct people to complete a CREST Award once they have completed your resource or programme.
CREST accredited activities must:
- Reach a minimum of 200 students per academic year
- Meet all the relevant CREST guiding principles – see Appendix 1
- (For Bronze, Silver and Gold levels) enable students to meet at least 11 of the 15 CREST criteria, which they will be assessed on – see Appendix 2
While all CREST levels can have accredited resources, accreditation does not guarantee that participants will achieve their award when assessed at Silver and Gold level by our trained assessor. Accreditation simply means a programme fits the criteria enough that it can fully or partially be used to apply for an award. Participants wishing to subsequently submit for a Silver or Gold Award will need to refer to the CREST criteria when writing/creating their project report, and filling in their profile form.
Which CREST level is my activity suitable for?
If you think your activity is suitable for accreditation or you have any questions..
...see the below options and FAQs:
If your activity is only in a certain region, and you would not be paying
for people to take part in the CREST Awards through your accredited resource, please get in touch with your Regional CREST Support Organisation (RCSO) here. N.B. If you are not sure, get in touch with your RCSO - they will be able to answer any questions or direct you to the relevant person.
If you are a national scheme, or you will be paying for the CREST Awards
, then please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
, mentioning that you are a national or funded scheme, and they will direct your query to the relevant person.
my activity have to be for schools?
We will accredit any suitable activity, so please consider activities in your
formal and informal programme.
do I need to set my activity in a context?
research and experience shows that young people engage with science much better
if they come across science in a context that they can relate to. It makes
science relevant to their everyday lives and not just something that they have
to learn in school. Context can be as simple as a story that relates the
science to their everyday lives.
do you mean by working independently?
would like young people to be given the chance to work on their own, or as part
of a small group, without adults where appropriate. This helps them to gain
confidence, and helps organisers to resist the temptation to say ‘no, do it
like this’. However, we don’t mean that the adults should sit back and watch!
They should, of course, be there to prompt, ask questions and advise on safety
concerns and other matters where appropriate.
is decision-making a key criteria?
CREST activities should be based on investigative learning. Our activities might
suggest one way to find out, and invite children to think of others. We want
that element of choice and decision making to be reflected in our link scheme
do you mean by reflection and discussion?
is all too easy to rush through an activity without giving young people time to
sit and think about what they are doing. We want to encourage young people to
feel they can talk about what they are doing, and why.
supplementary materials should I send you if I apply?
you have a script or a detailed plan for a workshop, or any ‘take-home’
materials, we would expect to see these. We don’t need to see the materials you
give the young people, although of course if you think we’d like to see them,
do send them to us.
CREST Guiding Principles
Bronze, Silver and Gold students must achieve 11+ of these criteria to be
awarded CREST certification for their project
More detailed criteria can be found here.
does your activity provide the opportunity for this?
aims and objectives
can set a clear aim and potentially break it down into smaller
links to everyday life
can consider different ways to do the project and gave reasons for the one
have a realistic plan for how to complete their project
are able to plan the project and organise who does what
of material and human resources
decide what/who you needed to help them complete the project and explained
do some background research to help them complete and understand their project
draw logical conclusions and explain the impact of what they did
of project outcome
can explain how their actions affected the project outcome and what you might
change in the future
reflect on what they learnt
and/or technical knowledge
can demonstrate understanding of the topic
activity allows students to make sensible decisions about the project and
take safety into account
activity allows for creativity in the way students tackle the project
activity allows students to identify and overcome problems
are required to communicate the project in some way- e.g. in writing and conversation and maybe
in a visual way too