Polygence blog / How to Conduct and Showcase Research

How to Apply and Win the CREST Award

4 minute read

One way to showcase your passion, creativity, and excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is by participating in the CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology) Awards. These awards recognize your efforts and provide a platform for you to make a meaningful impact on the world through your scientific endeavors.

Understanding the CREST Award

The CREST Awards, offered by the British Science Association, are designed to inspire and reward young scientists and engineers. These awards encourage students to take on real-world scientific and technological challenges, fostering a spirit of inquiry and innovation. There are various levels of CREST Awards, ranging from Discovery to Gold, each offering unique challenges and opportunities for students to explore.

Choosing Your Project

The first step towards winning a CREST Award is selecting a project that aligns with your interests and addresses a real-world problem. Whether exploring environmental issues, designing a new technology, or investigating a scientific phenomenon, your student-led project work should reflect your curiosity and passion for STEM education and applications. 

Start by brainstorming ideas that genuinely intrigue you. Consider issues in your community or globally that you are eager to understand and potentially contribute to. Your CREST project should not only demonstrate scientific knowledge but also showcase your ability to think critically and creatively.

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Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own.

Forming a Team

Consider forming a team with like-minded peers who share your enthusiasm for the project. You can do this with classmates, and teachers, start a school club, or embark on a Polygence project with one of our many mentors. Collaborating with others not only allows you to pool your collective skills and knowledge but also fosters a collaborative spirit that is highly valued in the scientific community.

Steps to Completing and Submitting Your CREST Project 

1. Pick Your Team

Break down the project into manageable tasks, set realistic timelines, and allocate responsibilities among team members. A well-thought-out plan not only keeps your project on track but also demonstrates your organizational and project management skills.

2. Conducting Background Research

Before diving into your project, conduct thorough background research to understand the existing knowledge in your chosen field. This will not only help you build a strong foundation for your project but also allow you to identify any gaps or areas where you can make a unique contribution.

3. Creating a Hypothesis

Based on your research, formulate a clear and testable hypothesis for your project. A hypothesis is a statement that predicts the outcome of your experiment or investigation.

4. Designing Your Experiment

With a solid hypothesis in place, design and plan your experiment or investigation. Clearly outline the materials and methods you will use, ensuring that your approach is both ethical and scientifically rigorous. Consider any potential challenges or variables that may impact your results and devise strategies to address them.

5. Collecting and Analyzing Data

As you conduct your experiment, meticulously collect data and record your observations. Use appropriate tools and technologies to gather accurate and reliable information. Once your data is collected, employ statistical and analytical methods to analyze the results and draw meaningful conclusions.

6. Creating Your Project Report

This report should document every aspect of your project, from the initial idea to the final results. Include a clear introduction, detailed methodology, results, and a comprehensive discussion of your findings. Don't forget to include any challenges you encountered and how you overcame them.

7. Presenting Your Findings

Prepare a compelling presentation that effectively communicates your project to a diverse audience. Use visuals such as charts, graphs, and images to illustrate your findings. Practice your presentation to ensure clarity and confidence.

8. Submitting Your CREST Award Application

Follow the guidelines provided by the CREST website, ensuring that your submission is thorough and well-documented. Include your project report, supporting materials, and evidence of your teamwork and collaboration.

Showcasing Creativity and Innovation

The CREST Awards value creativity and innovation. Take the opportunity to showcase the unique aspects of your project that set it apart from others. Highlight any novel approaches, unexpected findings, or creative solutions you implemented during your scientific journey. If you’re looking for more specific math project ideas, or are interested in summer math programs, check out our guides!

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Exploring Research Projects

If you’re unsure where to begin, try exploring exciting research opportunities with one of our Polygence Mentors. As a mentor, I'm here to guide you through the intricacies of these internships or assist you in crafting a personalized research experience! And know that winning a CREST Award is not just about the destination; it's also about the journey. Take time to reflect on your CREST program experience, considering the knowledge and skills you will gain, the challenges you will overcome, and the impacts of your project. This reflection will not only enrich your personal growth but also provide valuable insights for future scientific endeavors.

Good luck!