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 further advice on how to get started with CREST, visit our help centre and check out our FAQs.
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.
Background The Royal Society The Royal Society is the world's oldest independent scientific academy in continuous existence, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. The Society works to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. The Royal Society’s machine learning policy project is investigating the potential of machine learning over the next 5-10 years and exploring how this technology can be developed in a way that benefits everyone. The Royal Society has launched a report setting out the action needed to maintain the UK’s role in advancing this technology while ensuring careful stewardship of its development. The Royal Society has supported the development of these CREST Silver resources. How can a computer recognise your voice or face, or predict what films you’d like to watch? Artificial intelligence (AI) is when computer systems are designed to carry out complex tasks or make decisions in ways that we would normally associate with humans or animals. Machine learning is a form of AI that allows computer systems to learn from examples, data, and experience. Machine learning is all around us Many of us now interact with systems using machine learning on a daily basis, such as image and voice recognition on social media, recommendations on online shopping platforms, and virtual personal assistants. These technologies are already a part of your life and are starting to transform the global economy. They can identify better ways of doing complex tasks – from helping doctors diagnose medical conditions more effectively, to helping people communicate through instantaneous speech recognition and translation software. In the future, it is likely we will continue to see advances in the capabilities of machine learning, and this exciting technique has the potential to change the way we use data in a range of areas. Tools are already being developed to support healthcare, policing, telecommunications, driving and farming. 4
Instructions for teachers The topic The topic of machine learning is a great way to get your students thinking about the future. What do they imagine the world will look like in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time? What challenges will we face? This pack contains project ideas to suit a range of interests, enabling students to investigate machine learning in a real life context, and to explore innovative ideas and solutions for the future. Project outcomes Your students could design and make a new product, carry out a practical investigation, do a research project or create a communication campaign for their target audience. Encourage them to consider the impact of their project on people’s lives now and in the future. Students should record their work in a final project report or presentation. Supporting students to complete their project Each project should involve approximately 30 hours of student work from start to finish. The project should be led by the students. As a teacher or mentor your role is to: • Act as a sounding board for students’ ideas and nurture the students’ work; • Check your students’ project plans before they begin the next stage; • Help students see mistakes and setbacks as an opportunity for positive learning and lateral thinking (leading to creativity); • Where relevant, support students to access professionals or experts who could support them; • Provide access to the Internet, library books and magazines; • Help students to complete their project and record their findings; • Encourage them to reflect on their own performance and learning; • Use the tips on page 11 to help students complete their CREST Silver project report. Health and safety Students should be encouraged to make their own risk assessment before they carry out any activity, including surveys. They can use the CLEAPSS student safety sheets to help them science.cleapss.org.uk/Resources/Stud ent-Safety-Sheets/. They should write out their project plan, identifying the risks involved in each stage and the control measures and precautions they will take. In all circumstances this must be checked by a competent person. Students using specialised equipment should be supervised at all times. Students may want to set up unorthodox experiments and you may need to seek specialist advice. Contact CLEAPSS directly cleapss.org.uk for advice if you are unsure. Teachers in Scotland should refer to SSERC www.sserc.org.uk. • Unless stated, no external links have been checked by CLEAPSS. • Safety checked but not trialled by CLEAPSS. In this pack This collection of resources contains three different project ideas that can each be used to gain a CREST Silver Award. Each project has a Teacher Guide, which outlines the project from a teacher’s perspective, and then a student brief, which can be given to the student when they are ready to do the project. Check out the CREST resource library for more support on running a CREST project if you need to as well. 5
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.
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