The resources on this page have been selected to support educators in finding CREST project ideas that require little equipment, can be run outside of a lab or at home, and use equipment that doesn’t require much sharing.
Find out more about the different CREST Award levels here: CREST Awards.
At primary level, our curated home learning packs don’t require many resources so they’re perfect to use either in the classroom or at home. For Primary teachers who have CLEAPSS access, we recommend this piece on doing Practical activities within your bubble.
At secondary level, each project brief has an overall challenge, ideas for getting started and a list of resources you might need. Read the health and safety section carefully before you begin. Young people should create a plan for their project and a risk assessment before they begin any practical activity. You can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets as well as the rest of the CLEAPSS website to help them.
If you are looking for ideas for running CREST at home, many of the below resources are suitable, and you can still access our Star and SuperStar Home Learning packs below. If you need further support, check out the CREST at home section of the Help Centre.
Clean Growth Biogas generator Project brief In this project you will design and make a model of a biogas generator which could be used to turn waste into electricity in your school or local community. You will need to research what waste is generated locally before deciding on the position and the design of your generator. Find out what biogas is and how it is produced. Make a collection of pictures or diagrams of biogas generators. Include those which are used for cooking and those which are used to generate electricity. Do they have common features? Find out what the function of each part is. Make a list of the materials required for making the generator and for collecting and burning the gas produced. Make a list of the organic materials that you could use as the feedstock for a bio gas generator. Think of things you might find in household green-waste. From your list, which things could you safely try in your bio gas generator? Using your research, and the guidance below, design your own bio gas generator. Check your plan with a teacher before starting to make it. A suggested set up is given here: build-a-biogasplant.com/PDF/School_activity_1abiogas-generator.PDF • It can take at least six weeks to produce any meaningful amount of gas. • Add a mineral absorbent / cotton wool plug in the tube between the feedstock and the first tube clamp. • Only carry this out in a fizzy drinks bottle up to 2ltrs in size. Do not use other types of bottles or containers. • Use a plastic measuring cylinder. • This will be under partially anaerobic conditions, so you need to be aware of the presence of anaerobes at the end of the process. • At the end of the experiment submerge all items (including tubing etc…) in a 1% Virkon solution for at least 10mins, and then dispose of in the general waste (not recycling). Do NOT open the bottle, or tubing. • Monitor the gas production and adjust the time and conditions where necessary. • Choose an appropriate location for your generator. The gas generated can be tested for the presence of saturated or unsaturated hydrocarbons by bubbling through bromine or iodine water. Investigate the effect of different variables. You will need to find a way of measuring the gas output of the biogas generator and compare the amount of gas produced. You could try comparing the amount of biogas produced by different feedstocks. Or you could investigate the effect of changing climatic conditions by placing it in different locations such as by a window, outside or in a dark room with a relatively constant temperature. Check your plan with your teacher before carrying out each stage. Things to think about • How will you keep it a fair test? • What are the pros and cons of each feedstock? • How would your generator work on a large scale? • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using bio gas to generate electricity? Useful resources • practicalaction.org/biogas-3 • microbiologyonline.org.uk/teacher s/resources • royalsociety.org/~/media/royal_so ciety_content/policy/publications/ 2008/7980.pdf Suggested design for a biogas generator: • build-a-biogasplant.com/PDF/School_activity_1a biogas-generator.PDF Health and safety • Read carefully the safety sheet: science.cleapss.org.uk/Resource/S SS076-Bioreactors-andfermenters.pdf • Teachers should refer to CLEAPSS Guide GL206 for more details; • Visit microbiologyonline.org.uk/teacher s/safety-information for topic specific safety advice; • choose a suitable location to store and carry out the gas generation; • the organic matter should be chosen carefully and checked by a science teacher or technician; • wear disposable gloves, goggles and an apron when handling organic matter and wash your hands at the end of the activity; • keep incubation below 30°C to avoid the growth of potential human pathogens; • assess all the risks (think about what could go wrong and how serious it might be); • make sure your teacher agrees with your plan and risk assessment. 16
AI and Data | Clean Growth Green building design Project brief In this project you will investigate the use of new technology and materials to improve energy efficiency in new buildings. You will design and test a system to monitor and control energy usage in your home. You could start by making a list of features in your home which are designed to save energy. What other features can you think of which other houses might have? Do some research into energy efficiency in homes. Have a look at how buildings have changed over time to make them more energy efficient. Find out about the different materials used in buildings – what are their properties and which are used for insulation? Make a note of features included in modern houses to increase energy efficiency. Plan and carry out an energy efficiency audit of your own home. In your plan you should identify the things you will look for; these could be materials, energy saving features, such as double glazing and devices, or systems designed to reduce or save energy such as thermostats and energy monitors. Design an experiment to monitor energy use in your home. This could include energy for heating, hot water, electrical appliances and cooking. You could use a digital monitor and mobile app provided by the utilities company or alternatively keep a manual record each day of energy use from the meter. Consider how you could calculate your home’s baseline energy while running essential equipment such as the fridge and freezer. You could keep a diary of devices being used each day as well as the outside temperature. You could investigate what happens when you limit the use of certain devices or increase insulation. If you have access to a thermal imaging camera, you could use this to measure the heat energy loss from different parts of your home. How useful are curtains and blinds for saving energy? Display your results in an appropriate way and discuss in your report what you have found. Make some recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Make an estimate of how much energy could be saved and the cost to make the changes. Things to think about • What are the energy needs of you and your family? • How could you reduce the energy your home uses? • How will you make your experiment a fair test? • Are there any variables outside your control such as outside temperature? If so, how will you control for this? • How could you persuade your family to make changes? Useful resources • energysavingtrust.org.uk/ho me-energy-efficiency/homeimprovements • https://www.ukgbc.org/ Specialist equipment: • Home energy monitor (optional) • Thermal imaging camera (optional) Health and safety To avoid any accidents, make sure you stick to the following health and safety guidelines before getting started: • find out if any of the materials, equipment or methods are hazardous using science.cleapss.org.uk/Resou rces/Student-Safety- Sheets/ • assess the risks (think about what could go wrong and how serious it might be); • ask an adult before turning off electrical appliances in your home; • decide what you need to do to reduce any risks (such as wearing personal protective equipment, knowing how to deal with emergencies and so on); • make sure your teacher agrees with your plan and risk assessment. 17
These challenges take about an hour each. Once you have completed eight of them you can get a CREST SuperStar Award. Start by downloading the Passport. Children can use this to record each activity they complete.
Our curated packs for home learning require very little equipment or resources, so are ideal now that you are back in the classroom. They also add flexibility as students can finish their Star or SuperStar Award at home, if needed.
Each challenge has an organiser card and an activity card. All the instructions to set up the activity are in the organiser card. Read the 'watch out' section carefully before you begin. Children can use the activity card or you can read it through together.
Find out more about Star and SuperStar levels here.
Each of these projects take between ten and thirty hours to complete. The project briefs have an overall challenge, ideas for getting started and a list of resources students might need. Before they begin, students should read the health and safety section carefully. Once students have completed their projects, they can get a CREST Discovery, Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. The amount of time spent on the project and how well they met the CREST criteria determines the level students will be awarded.
Start by downloading the relevant Workbook or Profile Form below. Young people can use these to help them complete their project and record their progress.
Young people should create a plan for their project and a risk assessment before they begin any practical activity, which should be checked by a teacher. You can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets as well as the rest of the CLEAPSS website to help them.
For Bronze projects, once a student has completed their project, you can sign up to assess it and order their personalised certificate here. Bronze assessment is incredibly easy and can also be adapted for at-home learning if needed due to unexpected lockdowns, meaning parents can always assess when teachers cannot. Check out how to assess a Bronze project here
For Silver and Gold projects student work will need to be submitted online and will be assessed by a CREST assessor. Learn more about assessment for Silver Awards here
Find out more about Bronze level here.
Find out more about Silver level here.
Find out more about Gold level here.