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CREST Awards – Isabella Takes Silver & Morven Bronze

A big congratulations to two of our Year 10s who achieved CREST awards recently. Well done to Isabella P and Morven P on being awarded Silver and Bronze Awards respectively.

CREST is a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Run by the British Science Association that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. Students are given the chance to choose their own subject and methodology when completing their hands-on investigation.

We asked Morven and Isabella all about their CREST award journeys:

What was the topic you chose and why?

Morven: The topic that Evie and I chose was ‘What dish soap product has the best reaction when in contact with a fat-based liquid?’. We chose this because we thought it was interesting and we could then work out if it was worth it to spend more money on private brands or if own brands were just as effective. Our results told us that in fact that the Co-op own brand washing up soap is most effective when cleaning dishes with fat based liquids on them.

Isabella: The project that I chose was ‘A Smart Lamppost’. The aim of my project was to redesign the typical lamppost into a green alternative that reduces the amount of energy needed and has other functions. I chose this because in London, streets, buildings and construction account for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions with the lighting industry contributing to around 6%. One of the main contributors to this are lampposts.

How did you plan your work and how long were you working on it for?

Morven: We used the advised section plan to help us plan and we worked on it every Wednesday and ended up doing it for 10+ hours.

Isabella: I used a Gantt chart to plan my work and use a project diary to collect my information and organise my time. The recommended time for Silver CREST was 30+ hours and it took me around that to fully complete my project.

Who or what resources did you find most helpful?

Morven: Ms Brown helped us if we had any questions, and we also researched the topic a bit, but we did not research that much as we wanted to get all our results from our experiment.

Isabella: Ms Brown helped me if we had any questions especially near the end to check I met all criteria. My project was research based and by the end, my bibliography was over a page! The only downfall of doing a research based project was having to cross reference results.

What was the hardest thing about what you did?

Morven: The hardest thing we did was the actual experiment as we had to measure the distance that the food colouring travelled, immediately after we put the fairy liquid in.

Isabella: One of the difficulties I faced was narrowing down all the options for the light and energy sources because it was a bit overwhelming.  I initially wanted to incorporate bioluminescence into my design, but many bioluminescent species are toxic or require specific environmental conditions so I settled on a mixture of Solar photovoltaic and wind energy as both suffer from intermittency (does not consistently produce energy).

Are you inspired to go for the next level award?

Morven: I am inspired to go for the next level award, but I am not able to do it this year, due to being busier with netball and academics.

Isabella: Definitely, I think it would be really cool to be able to say I have all three although Gold seems very daunting.

I think you have been doing this as part of CREST Club? It would be great if have any tips or words of motivation for future CREST Clubbers.

Morven: I would definitely recommend it to everyone as it allows you to have the freedom to research a topic or an experiment that you are really interested in. You are always supported in your topic, and you gain lots of experience from it.

Isabella: I would definitely recommend it to everyone because it’s a really good opportunity to improve your scientific skills and learn how to plan and conduct either an experiment or research based topic. Even though it is about your topic, it’s more about the framework which you can use again and again in the future. It’s also really good fun to do with friends and have the freedom to decide what you want to do.

Silver CREST Club is open to Year 9 and 10 students and takes place on a Tuesday lunchtime.


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