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British Science Association CREST Award Imperial College London
On 6 October 2017, three of us, along with Miss McCaffrey, took a trip to Imperial College London to hear a talk about the British Science Association CREST Award:. The CREST Awards scheme is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people, around 40,000 students in the UK gain CREST Awards every year. It is the only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for STEM project work. We left to go to Imperial College straight after school finished, rushing to make it on time as we had to be there by 4pm. I was looking forward to the trip as we were going to get a tour of the university as well as find out more information about the award.
When we got there I was amazed, the university had a special feel to it not to mention the buildings of the university themselves were magnificent. We went into the Alexander Fleming building, the university’s medical building, which gave me some insight into the environment of a medical student studying at Imperial College, being someone who wants to study medicine at university it was a great experience for me. We were then introduced to our student ambassador, Chen, who was going to give us a tour of the university. We started at the medical building and stopped to appreciate a tower in the middle of the campus which was the only part of the school left behind from 150 years ago. After this we made our way past the library and chemical engineering building and saw the student union area. I can conclude from the tour that the university in general has an amazing atmosphere and great resources.
Once the tour was over we were taken upstairs into a lecture room where the seminar would commence. We were given a schedule for the evening which showed the groups of students that were going to present their projects from last year. As the talk commenced each group came up and presented their project to us. I personally found some of the projects like the investigation on terminal velocity and stress levels in young girls challenging but other projects like ‘Can you beat the breathalyser?’ and an investigation culturing different types of bacteria very interesting. Once the presentations were over we went into a room for pizza and drinks while looking at the different posters that each group had come up with as part of their project.
Overall I would say the launch trip was useful, not just because we found out information about the CREST award, but also because I got to visit Imperial College which made me consider it as a possible university option for when the time comes. The CREST Awards provides a framework for STEM project work that supports all students, not just future scientists, to leave school with the skills and confidence to discuss and shape scientific and technological advances in society, whatever their career choices. The whole experience was amazing – I got a real feel for what working in a science setting is like.