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British Social Attitudes

Evaluation of the CREST Silver Award programme

We are evaluating the CREST Silver Award programme, which enables 14 to 16 year old students to develop and lead their own Science, Technology and Maths (STEM) research projects.

CREST Awards are British Science Association programmes which enable students to develop and lead their own Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) projects. 

CREST aims to engage students in ‘hands on' 'real world' science, and to celebrate excellent STEM project work. There are varying levels of CREST Award: Star, Discovery, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

You can find out more about CREST here.

Why evaluate the Award?

We want to find out whether the CREST Silver Award has a positive impact on students’ achievement in science and if it leads to increased confidence and aspirations among participating students. 

We also want to know what enables or hampers successful delivery; and the cost of the programme per person.

The evaluation is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

What does the evaluation involve?

Schools are randomly assigned to either a treatment group that takes part in the CREST Silver Award or a control group that does not receive the Award. 

We're inviting around 200 schools to take part in the evaluation. All schools have an equal chance of being picked to receive the CREST Silver Award.

The trial will take place over the 2017/2018 academic year and involves:

  • An assessment of eligible Year 9 students’ achievement in science towards the end of the 2018 summer term (treatment and control schools).
  • Case study research in treatment schools, including interviews with CREST Award educators and Heads of Science or Key Stage 4, and discussion groups with pupils.
  • Follow-up interviews with staff in treatment schools.
  • Surveys of pupils and staff before and after CREST is delivered in treatment schools.
  • Interviews with staff in control schools so we can understand the extra-curricular Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths activities taking place in these schools.

If you are a school and would like to find out what happens next, click here.