The British Science Association (BSA) is delighted to announce that CREST Awards will be free for the next three years in Wales, due to funding from The Welsh Government’s National Science Academy grant scheme.
CREST Awards is a scheme run by the BSA that recognise and reward quality project work in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by students aged 11-19.
In the last three years, students from 84% of Welsh secondary schools have achieved CREST Awards. The scheme can cost between £3-20 per student, so this support will make a significant difference for many schools and their budgets. Since 2010, the Welsh Government’s National Science Academy grant scheme has subsidised the cost of CREST Awards, to 30% of the UK cost, for Welsh students. Thanks to the Welsh Government’s funding, Wales has a higher number of CREST Awards per capita than in any other region in the UK.
The funding will enable the BSA to build on this success by developing two new tailor-made resources for Wales, aimed at key stage three pupils. The new CREST resources will support students’ journey from primary to secondary schools through illustrating the relevance of science to all areas including literacy, numeracy and important transferable life skills. This project will benefit Wales by expanding the numbers of students engaged with the already successful CREST Awards programme, raising the interest of STEM in 11-14 year olds, developing cross-curricular skills, and increasing the networks of professionals in Wales, contributing to STEM activity.
The ‘Qualified for Life’ and ‘Curriculum Cymraig’ developments in Wales provide exciting opportunities to apply the CREST Awards in creative new ways which ties in with the BSA’s vision for science to be seen as part of culture and society. Adrian Fenton, Head of Education at the British Science Association, said: “The Welsh government was hugely impressed with our previous success and ambitions for the future of CREST in Wales. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Welsh Government, which will enable us to work with new cultural organisations as partners, thus expanding our reach to new Welsh schools and students, building upon the fantastic scientific heritage the country has.”
The BSA is currently looking for focus group participants and schools to pilot the new resources, so are keen for teachers across Wales to get in touch. The BSA Education team can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.