Engage your students with inquiry through science investigations and technology projects supported by CREST.

What is CREST?

The CREST program aims to progress the development of an inquiry culture in our education system, particularly in the subject areas of science and technology (incorporating engineering)

The CREST program achieves these aims through three strategies:

Inquiry is an approach to teaching and learning that enables learners to:

  • explore the world around them
  • act upon their curiosity
  • question their own understandings of the world.

Through this approach, learners:

  • construct deep, reliable and lasting ideas about the world
  • develop skills and capacities for thinking, learning and acting scientifically
  • develop, practice and apply their general capabilities including critical and creative thinking, ethical understandings, personal and social capabilities, literacy and numeracy
  • acquire dispositions valuable for citizenship in a rapidly changing world, such as a valuing of science, curiosity, actively open-minded thinking, perseverance and scepticism
  • take responsibility for their learning.

CREST recognises the inquiries of primary and secondary students with nationally recognised CREST Awards. CREST Awards are competency-based and non-competitive. There are six levels of Awards, each of which are defined by the nature of the inquiry.

Through the CREST program, students in Years 3 to 12 can progress from teacher-directed through to open inquiry. This gradual progression enables students’ development of inquiry skills, problem-solving skills, and procedural and conceptual understandings of and about science to the point of independence and innovation.

Focussed student experimenting  ©CSIRO, Carl Davies

There are many ways in which you can incorporate the CREST program into your teaching. Different schools have different structures, programs, and students that require different approaches. These are some ideas for incorporating CREST that have been used successfully:

  • as an integral part of the class work program and potentially part of assessment
  • as an option for assessment (as an alternative to a research assignment)
  • as an extra-curricular or after-school club activity
  • as a major unit of work in extension classes
  • as a part of a Science Inquiry Skills unit in primary or junior secondary science
  • as a whole subject in a vertical curriculum
  • as a major project in senior science classes.

CREST Contacts

CREST Professional Development

We provide teachers and schools with professional development on CREST and how to implement CREST in your classroom.

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