CREST Success for Year 9s
CREST is a nationally recognised scheme created by the British Science Association that has been inspiring young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers since 1986. It is student led and project based with a dedicated focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, encouraging teamwork and co-operation.
During the Autumn and Spring Terms two groups of Year 9 students have been spending their six week CAS rotation working on their Bronze CREST awards. We were delighted to present certificates to the Autumn Term group at the end of March, 14 members of the class receiving their awards. A further group of 13 students should be recognised for their Spring Term efforts after Easter. The Bronze level CREST Award is for pupils aged 11 or older who are able to design an investigation and record their findings through a 10 hour project The projects all required a number of transferable skills helpful to teamworking and project management such as research, problem solving, communication, strategising, presentation and creativity. CREST Award Co-Ordinator, Rachel Milhofer, commented, “The CREST Award projects make a valuable contribution to our STEAM education by helping students understand how the cross disciplinary aspects of STEAM impact day to day life.”
The class worked on four projects between them; three based on the theme of ‘A Home for Everyone’ and one on ‘Worldwide Washing’. The Worldwide Washing team, aka Project Bacteria, created an experiment to see whether hand sanitizer or soap and water was more effective at cleaning hands compared with the baseline of no hand washing. Their project needed some creative thinking as student hands were so clean due to covid procedures in School that it was hard to find any bacteria! The Home for Everyone groups focused on sustainable living looking variously at wheelchair access, sustainable building materials and new products such as recycled used nappies for roof tiling.
The Year 9s certainly seem to have learnt plenty from their experience:
- “One thing I learnt from this project is that bacteria and other germs fight each other and say if one of them gets wiped out another germ like mould can take over.” – Freddie
- “l have also learnt how it isn’t that much different and difficult to change a house and floor plan to meet the expectations for a family with a disabled person. ” – Dulce
- “There is so much that I have learned from this project that I definitely did not know before. To start with, what it actually takes to build a house, more than that a home. It takes so much firstly you have to discuss your ideas, create drafts critically look at them to improve them and then come up with your final plans. You also have to do research, a lot of research and I have learnt a lot from that, for example sustainable materials, bamboo for example. I also learnt a lot more on certain skills. For example, time management and organisation and a lot more on leadership.” – Alexandra
- “Throughout the making of the project, we learnt how to use different software and we learnt more about sustainable materials to make a house with.” – Esha
- “I have learned that when you have good people around you, most of the time, everything will be ok and it will get done quicker.” Alex S
A second group of students who faced the challenge of completing their Bronze award projects during lockdown are currently finalizing their work prior to assessment. We hope to be congratulating them on their achievements as well next term!