Congratulations to Victoria, Alex and Thomas on achieving their Silver CREST awards.
CREST is a national scheme in association with the British Science association. Students work independently or in groups to plan and run a project addressing a real-world STEM problem. What the pupils decide to research is completely up to them, and the focus is on the ability of the students to carry out this with little intervention from their teachers, who otherwise provide assistance as a mentor.
The Silver Award is aimed at pupils aged 14+, and so for the pupils to achieve this in Form 3 and Form 4 is fantastic.
Silver awards are designed to enrich the students’ studies and develop a greater understanding of the scientific method or engineering design process.
Victoria’s project focused on finding the best eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws. Through both research and practical work, Victoria acquired and tested the properties of different types of straws e.g. durability, strength, and the drinking experience. Through her research Victoria focused on the impact of plastic pollution on the environment and how her research may help target some of these issues.
Thomas’ project aimed to investigate the level of bacteria on the surfaces we encounter on a daily basis. Thomas’ wider purpose was to determine the different types of bacteria he might find present in a school laboratory and to understand how cleaning routines can deal with the contaminants that build up on different types of surfaces in the classroom environment. Thomas used the laboratory incubators to incubate petri dishes at the ideal temperature of 20 degrees, where bacteria thrive. Thomas also used the petri plates, and apparatus which the school provided in line with the health and safety policy in the department. Thomas used techniques that are not usually met until A-level. The outcome of his research was that the teacher’s desk was the site with the highest and widest range of bacteria!
Alexander aimed to investigate the effectiveness of different oral rehydration therapies and to study the impacts of dehydration on human health. Alexander researched the history of ORT to better understand the concept and apply his scientific knowledge in context in the laboratory. Alexander challenged himself to understand the process of osmosis, not typically met in class until GCSE. Alexander’s practical approach was thorough and he used his ICT skills to produce his report in a professional manner.