CREST Awards
Motivate and build confidence in your students

The CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology) Award scheme is for students aged 5-19 and is nationally recognised.

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What are CREST Awards?

  • CREST Awards are non-competitive, nationally recognised award scheme delivered by educators in schools, clubs or at home. Students take part in hands-on science through investigations and enquiry-based learning.
  • There are six CREST Award levels: Star, Superstar, Discovery, Bronze, Silver and Gold
  • You can select a project from the CREST Awards website, but you can submit others if they meet the criteria.

There is more information on the CREST Awards website

Alternatively, contact us with any queries or questions.

Get involved

  • Choose a CREST Award level and/ or a project. You may have something already in mind or you may need inspiration. Visit the CREST project resources for free guidance and investigation ideas. To choose an award level or check the criteria, visit CREST Award levels

There is more information on the CREST Awards website

Alternatively, contact us with any queries or questions.

Success Story: Theo Pilbeam

The Cavendish School, Eastbourne

Theo Pilbeam earned a CREST Gold Award for his computer science project EBNow – and is quick to thank mentor Will Callaghan for believing in him.

Theo, from the Cavendish School, designed and built both the back-end – database, PHP input/output forms and APIs – and front-end – Android application – for a “what’s on” events service in Eastbourne. He’s been interested in computing and development for as long as he can remember and loves the fact that the field moves and changes so quickly.

When he embarked in his CREST project he settled on an Android-based app showing information on standard TV screens, and was put in touch with mentor Will Callaghan, of TechResort CIC. “We’re interested in growing Eastbourne’s creative, digital and technical economy,” he says. “We do this by encouraging ideas to flourish, and we loved Theo’s idea.

Theo, who is studying chemistry, maths, computing and physics, says “almost everything” he learned while doing his CREST project was new to him and he had to research ways of doing almost everything online. “From the start, I made it clear that I wanted to work on something that would be there once I’d completed the award … not just disappear,” he says. “It’s been really great seeing the app that I’ve made go live in hotels around Eastbourne.”

Having a mentor, he says, really helped because one of the most difficult things for young people is getting people to believe in their ideas and support them.

The project took about a year to complete as Theo needed to fit it in around his exams, and the couple kept in contact via Facebook Messenger and face-to-face meetings. For Will it was a change of pace from his day job and he enjoyed seeing the project come to fruition.“I hope it’s given Theo an idea of how such projects are built in industry so he can eventually decide whether it’s a career area he would like to pursue,” he says.

Success Story: Ellie Burkill
Brighton & Hove High School

Ellie Burkill, an A-level student at Brighton & Hove High School, won a CREST Silver Award for her project that examined how traditional methods of pain relief are being developed for the future – and she credits her STEM mentor Natasha Sigala for providing “incredibly valuable” help.

Teacher Naomi Smith introduced CREST awards to the school as a means of promoting STEM subjects and providing opportunities for students to develop, run and execute their own projects.

Ellie, an aspiring medic, chose her project partly because her brother suffers from migraines, and her researched-based essay task involved gathering information from a wide range of sources – from videos about the effects of headaches on patients’ lives to scientific articles in medical journals. The aim was to collate and analyse material into a paper that answered some of the key questions about the effect of cluster headaches and migraines and their various treatments, both established and experimental.

“It enabled me to look at a topic in medicine from two perspectives,” she says. “Firstly, scientific through reviewing the literature in the fields of pharmacology and neuroscience, and secondly, from the views of patients. I discovered the debilitating effects of severe headaches, as well as the immense relief that effective pain-killers can achieve.”

Ellie’s mentor was STEM Ambassador Natasha Sigala, from the University of Sussex, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and they communicated mainly via email. “I would spend about an hour on each of the drafts I received from Ellie,” she says. “I was able to fit that in flexibly around my other responsibilities.

Ellie, who is now studying sciences and maths for A-levels, says she not only learned facts about illness, painkillers and new technologies through her CREST project, more importantly she acquired skills in literature review and summarising of data and opinion which will be valuable beyond the sixth form.

“My mentor was incredibly valuable throughout the process,” she says. “As a neuroscientist she was able to suggest a wide range of sources about my topic, as well as providing a regular review of my work. This enabled me to have confidence in what I was doing.”

Teacher Naomi Smith believes CREST is a way of doing work that is separate from the curriculum but recognises the skills involved. The most difficult process for students is deciding what project to tackle.

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