Thanks for the great work of the Royal Opera House Bridge we are very familiar with the Arts Award scheme here in Essex. But did you know there is also a scheme which provides qualifications for young people learning in science subjects too?
Last week I talked about the British Science Association’s Science Week. Today, I’m following up by introducing their CREST Scheme.
CREST Star is their scheme for children aged 5 to 12. It has 3 levels:
- Star for 5 to 7 year olds
- Super Star for 7 to 11 year olds
- Mega Star for 8 to 12 year olds
Children participating in Star take part in a series of 1 hour activities. For every activity they complete, they get a sticker to put in their log book (which can be downloaded for free from the website). Once the log book is full they get their certificate.
While the British Science Association have created many activities themselves it is possible to become a CREST partner and have science activities accredited by the scheme. It is possible that sessions you already offer schools, youth groups etc could be accredited in this way.
The CREST Awards are the BSA’s offer for young people aged over 11. There are four levels of award. The first level is Discovery. This bridges the gap between CREST Star and CREST Awards. It can be delivered in 5 hours and is envisioned as “CREST in a day”. This other three levels are based on projects undertaken by the participants:
- Bronze – 10 hours of activity
- Silver – 30 hours
- Gold – 70 hours
Project ideas can come from the young people, teachers/youth leaders or organisations like ours. However, the decision should be student-led, so that they choose a topic they are interested in.
Once the participants have completed their project, their work is assessed and (if successful) they will receive a personalised certificate.
CREST Awards are endorsed by UCAS (the body that oversees applications to universities) and also count towards Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the Children’s University Passport to Learning. As they are an accredited qualification, there is a small per-pupil fee involved to cover assessment costs, details of which can be found here.
As mentioned in my last post, the definition of science is a broad one. Activities could be in many areas that your museum covers such as natural history, archaeology, medicine, forensics, engineering, technology and social sciences.
Many museums are moving away from history and towards science in their offer to schools. This may be a good way of accrediting your offer and making it more attractive to teachers.
Have a think about what you’re already offering it could be but you already have activities that could be parts of the CREST scheme visit the British Science Association website and investigate further.