The CREST Awards has added a new member to its family, the CREST Discovery Award , which was formally launched at the STEM in Education event at the British Science Festival on 10th September. Over 130 teachers and educationalists attended this networking event at the Festival, where details of the new award were officially announced.
About the CREST Discovery Award
The CREST Discovery Award is designed to appeal particularly to teachers new to running STEM related project work, who often report being daunted even setting up extended practical projects for the first time. It will act as a pre-Bronze Award to build teachers’ confidence in facilitating CREST Awards. As with all CREST Award levels, the framework can be applied to any STEM based activities that meet the award’s criteria.
During the development stages, ten pilots took place in schools in England and Wales, refining the challenge activities, criteria and supportive resources. Comments from the teachers participating in the pilots were extremely positive and constructive, including:
“Really encouraged good skills development. Love to do another."
"Brilliant day, fantastic engagement from the pupils and I felt all pupils really enjoyed it and took something from it."
“The high majority of pupils exhibited some good teamwork skills, which is what we hoped to draw from the event.”
One of the pilot schools, Westminster City School in London, found the activity so worthwhile that they have already repeated it with a second group of students and intend to embed this with the Year 7 activities for the new academic year.
Teachers Miss Michaela Forsyth and Mr Jack White commented, “Our students loved the challenge that the CREST Discovery Award brought and the chance to work independently as a team. Our students were highly successful in meeting the demands of the challenge and even surprised staff with their ingenuity.
To run the pilot, we initially asked staff from the science department. We are now getting requests and ideas from other departments as to how they can get involved and help to expand the project and develop the initial challenge of the community garden.” A report on the activities has also been featured on the Westminster City School website .
To find out more
For more information on the CREST Discovery Award and how it fits in with the other offerings from the CREST scheme, or to see if your activities could qualify for the award see the CREST Award levels webpage .
The website also contains details of teacher professional development sessions  (taking place at various locations in October 2013) relating to the award and how it can be used with resources for National Science & Engineering Week.