Following the success of the British Science Association’s Bronze, Silver and Gold Crest Awards, the scheme has announced a brand new type of Crest Award: the Discovery Award is aimed at young people aged 11-14 and, unlike the existing levels, can comfortably be completed in a single day.
This new award is ideal for collapsed time-table days, and the British Science Association hope it will encourage schools that have never been involved with the Crest programme, to take the first step. For schools that have previously completed Crest Awards – it acts as an introduction to the scheme for younger year groups. To find out more about getting involved in the CREST Award scheme, visit https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/CrestDiscovery
To coincide with National Science& Engineering Week (NSEW) – 14-23 March – a freely available ready-made Community Garden Challenge resource has been developed allowing schools to run this activity for a day during NSEW, and potentially register for the Crest Discovery Award. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Michaela Forsyth, from Westminster School, who have piloted the Crest Discovery Award, explains the benefits: “We are running the event again this year with the whole of Year 7 in December. It has now become an annual event in the school calendar and one that pupils and staff look forward to. The concept of the award is to promote independent thinking. Therefore staff involvement is purely a supervisory and general advice role. This allows our students the freedom to make mistakes and tailor their projects to their individual personalities. We have also found that this hands-off approach encouraged students to devote more time to solving their own problems and to work democratically.”
Headmaster of Eton College, Tony Little, is also a supporter of the Crest Awards, describing them as “a tremendous learning experience about collaboratively producing an answer to the problem”.
Every school that runs the Community Garden Challenge during the NSEW (whether or not they register for the Crest Discovery Award) will be entered in to a prize draw to win a fully-funded class trip to the Allerton Project in Leicestershire. Part of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Allerton Project uses science to promote sustainable environmental management as an essential part of nature conservation on their farm. As well as carrying out scientific research, the farm is actively involved in education projects, aiming to enhance understanding of Britain’s countryside and its wildlife. To be in with a chance to win, visit www.nsew.org.uk to register your NSEW activity for free.
Established in 1831, the British Science Association organises major initiatives across the UK, including the annual British Science Festival, National Science & Engineering Week, programmes of regional and local events, and an extensive programme for young people in schools and colleges.
For more information visit www.britishscienceassociation.org.