As secondary students settle back into the classroom, there’s no better time to reconnect them with practical science – a vital and invigorating aspect of STEM learning. To help teachers across the UK to embed interactive STEM learning within lessons after an extended period away from the school lab, the British Science Association (BSA) is thrilled to launch a free new resource that maps practical CREST projects onto the science curriculum.

Download the resource now!

Entitled Investigative Practical Science in the Curriculum: Making it Happen, this mapping resource is an essential tool for any secondary science teacher looking to rejuvenate their lessons with open-ended, extended investigative STEM projects.

Stress-free practical lessons

Developed with Gatsby Charitable Foundation and based on a pilot study with schools across England, the secondary curriculum mapping resource includes invaluable tips to help teachers embed investigative practical work into timetabled lessons. As reflected in the case studies, the pilot schools used CREST projects to successfully teach A-level, BTEC and KS3 lessons to students of all learning abilities across Biology, Chemistry and Physics, highlighting the sheer versatility of the CREST programme.

Supporting this guidance are easy-to-use, free-to-download mapping workbooks, which match individual Bronze, Silver and Gold CREST Award projects with each area of the secondary science curricula for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can download and save your own copy of the relevant mapping workbook via the following links: 

Tried and tested

James Allen, Head of Biology at Helston Community College, was one of the teachers involved in the pilot study. In this short video James highlights some of the benefits of embedding CREST Awards into the secondary curriculum, and offers top tips on how to do so.

Jackie Hardaker, science teacher and STEM coordinator at Oaklands Catholic School, was also involved in the pilot study, and here discusses why open-ended investigative CREST projects are ideal for secondary science lessons.

Dr Lynda Dunlop, Senior Lecturer in Science Education at the University of York, explains here why open-ended investigative projects are beneficial for A-level students looking to progress in science, technology, engineering and maths at university and beyond.

The CREST advantage

Easy to implement within lessons, CREST is a nationally recognised scheme that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists. CREST Awards encourage independent student work with minimal teacher supervision, easing workloads and providing more time for individualised learner support.

Designed for secondary-level learners, Bronze, Silver and Gold CREST Awards give students the chance to complete STEM investigations on topics of their choosing, opening their minds to the limitless potential of science.

Broader still, the practical nature of CREST helps students to develop multiple transferrable skills of long-term benefit to their lives, whether or not they choose to follow a scientific path. These include:

  • independent thinking and communication skills
  • an ability to learn and retrieve procedural knowledge
  • confidence with practical investigative work
  • improved understanding of how real science works.

The BSA is committed to helping young people from all backgrounds to engage with STEM and develop a better awareness of science in action. Why not use the secondary curriculum mapping resource to bring accessible, practical to science to life in your classroom?

If you have any questions about secondary-level CREST, or if you are a teacher who can share your experience of running CREST Awards during lesson time, please contact [email protected]