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Volunteering to Fit my Schedule (CREST Awards), Emma Wilson

CREST Awards are a national scheme managed by the British Science Association, enabling young people aged 5-19 to engage with STEM. At Silver and Gold level, students lead their own research projects, and submit a report based on their work. Projects can be done either at home, in school, or at a university as part of a Nuffield Research Placement. Students completing Awards at these levels are typically aged 14-19.

To get involved in CREST Awards, I had to complete online training which included assessing two practice projects. Once I had passed the training, I was able to start assessing projects for real.

Students can submit projects related to many different STEM subjects, and I’ve chosen to assess projects related to Biology, Maths, and Computer Science. I’m typically sent 1 or 2 projects to assess per month. The CREST Award Team are always on hand to chat to if have problems or need to adjust your availability.

Assessing a project against the Award criteria usually takes less than an hour, and I can fit it around my schedule. The marking criteria are really easy to follow, and students submit a profile form along with their report to help you mark their work.

The most rewarding thing about being a CREST Award Assessor is that I can give personalised feedback to each student. I love giving positive feedback and knowing that my words can inspire young people to pursue STEM further.

I would greatly encourage anyone who wants to volunteer but doesn’t have a lot of flexibility within their schedule to consider becoming a CREST Award Assessor


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