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What is CREST?

Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) is an educational program made available by CSIRO for students to develop their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. Based on an inquiry approach to teaching and learning, students are engaged at all levels, in science investigations and technology projects, with an aim to progress students from structured inquiry through to open inquiry.

CREST supports teachers to facilitate inquiry learning in the classroom and provides scaffolded resources to enable students in Years K to 12 to achieve their award.

CREST is non-competitive, competency-based awards program, designed as an incentive to recognise student achievement in inquiry learning. There are six awards levels: Green, Orange, Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students conducting a CREST inquiry may work alone or in a team of up to three students.

A single school registration provides access to all six levels of CREST Awards. The cost for a school to register for CREST is $55 for a calendar year (January - December) and $20 for each subsequent year. The school registration process is done by a teacher through the CREST Online portal.

Further information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions in CREST Online.

[Music plays and a split circle appears on the screen and symbols of the various CSIRO activities flash through on either side of the circle and then the circle morphs into the CSIRO logo]

[Image shows the CSIRO logo morphing into an orange circle with the text “CREST” in the centre]

Narrator: CREST is CSIRO’s Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Technology Programme.

[Animation image shows the circle changing into an eye and then the animation image shows a magnifying glass appearing over the eye and then the camera zooms out to show a male looking through the glass]

It is a national non-competitive awards programme focussing on student enquiry and curiosity.

[Animation image shows the magnifying glass disappearing, and then the image moves to the left to show a second and then third student, and then the image changes to show the word STEM]

Based on enquiry learning, CREST is a student centred programme that engages students from K to 12 by enabling them to seek out and investigate topics of interest in the STEM fields.

[Animation image shows the letters moving around an orange circle with text “CREST” in the centre, and the animation image shows a student looking at it]

CREST provides a framework to support teachers as they guide students through the enquiry continuum as they move towards open enquiry.

[Animation image shows the student disappearing and then the orange circle rotating and changing colours through green, orange, blue, bronze, silver, and gold]

CREST awards are presented in six levels, green, orange, blue, bronze, silver, and gold.

[Animation image shows the gold circle becoming a medallion around the neck of a student and then the image moves left to show numerous students holding up rewards cards and wearing medallions]

Assessed on a competency basis, every student that demonstrates they have met an awards requirements will receive that award.

[Animation image shows a student looking at a gold medallion and then the letters “STEM” linking by white lines to the medallion]

CREST links STEM enquiries and projects to the Australian curriculum, incorporating science enquiry skills and processes and production skills.

[Animation image changes to show symbols of planets, binoculars, a microscope, a petri dish, a beetle, a drone, tweezers, and a telescope and students can be seen working on the equipment]

It provides meaningful context for students to develop, practice and apply their general capabilities, including critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding, personal and social capabilities, and literacy and numeracy skills.

[Animation image changes to show a webpage showing the Introductory level CREST and two students can be seen on the left and text appears on the right: Students – Follow provided instructions, Make limited choices, Interpret results, Teachers – Decide topics, use inquiries from provided CREST materials, Assess inquiries]

In Introductory CREST, students undertake structured investigations and projects following the instructions provided to them before later taking more control over the equipment and procedures they use to undertake their enquiries and projects.

[Animation image changes to show a webpage showing the Intermediate level CREST and a student can be seen on the left and text appears on the right: Students – select their own topics, Conduct background research into their topics, Plan their own investigations and projects from start to finish, Create a detailed logbook tracking their progress]

In Intermediate CREST, students select their own topics for enquiry, and plan their own investigations and projects. Students are responsible for conducting the enquiry or project, and meeting with their teacher regularly for feedback.

[Animation image changes to show a teacher on the left of the webpage, and text appears on the right: Teachers – Act as a guiding hand, Provide feedback to students, Ensure projects are safe and ethical, Assess inquiries]

The teacher’s role at this stage is largely as a guiding hand, providing feedback, and ensuring that the planned investigation or project is safe and ethical.

[Animation image changes to show a webpage showing the Advanced level CREST and a student can be seen on the left, and text appears on the right: Students – Select their own topics, Conduct background research, Plan their own investigations and projects from start to finish, Create a detailed logbook tracking their progress, Demonstrate innovation]

In Advanced CREST, beyond selecting their own topics for enquiry, generating their own question, and determining their materials and methods, students must also demonstrate innovation in their work.

[Animation image changes to show text on the left and the right of the website appearing: Originality, Real-world application]

There are two ways to demonstrate innovation: Originality in enquiry or; Describing a relevant, real-world application for the enquiry’s findings.

[Animation image changes to show silver lines appearing across the words and then the words are highlighted in silver one after the other]

At the silver award level, students must demonstrate one of these criteria.

[Animation image shows both the words covered in gold on the website]

While, for a gold award, both criteria must be met.

[Animation image changes to show the webpage and a mentor can be seen on the left of the webpage and text appears on the right: Mentors – Guide students, Support investigation, Mandatory for Gold Projects, Recommended for Silver Projects]

External mentors are required for gold CREST to guide students, support their investigations and projects, and to advise on the intricacies of their investigation.

[Animation image changes to show a teacher, a mentor and two students surrounded by various pieces of scientific equipment linked by lines to a gold circle with the word “CREST” inside]

CREST is an exciting, structured way to introduce your students to enquiry learning, or giving them the tools they need to investigate the world,

[Image changes to show text on a white screen: www.csiro.au/Education/Programs/CREST, This project received grant funding from the Australian Government under the inspiring Australia Science Engagement Programme]

building the skills needed for lifelong learning.

[Music plays and the image changes to show the CSIRO logo and text appears: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]

 

 

 

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