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Junior Scientists Immersed in CREativity

The CREativity in Science and Technology (CREST) program through the CSIRO is a non-competitive awards program supporting students to design and carry out their own open-ended science investigation or technology project.

The CREST Awards in our Junior School immerses students in structured Science activities leading them into the role of the decision making scientist.

Year 4 students are taken through prescribed activities at the Green Primary CREST level to ensure they have the necessary skills to progress to the Orange and Blue levels. Year 5 students complete four activities to enable them to develop interest and understanding, before they progress to choosing their own challenge task to complete for the Orange Award. Finally, Year 6 students select their own topic and process for carrying out a project for their CREST Blue Award.

All three levels of the CREST Awards develop student understanding of scientific method, collating and analysing data, identifying factors affecting their investigations and risk assessments. As students progress from Green, through to Orange and Blue, they become more self-reliant and self-confident.

The Science Students@Work Program has also enabled students to meet the criteria of the Advanced CREST Awards. In 2012, Year 10 students, Tess Price, Madeleine Steere, Georgia Sexton and Jane Yang were given a brief to create a device that would assist very young children with profound autism and other cognitive disabilities to communicate. The iTed was developed for Diamond Valley Special Development School. The electronic components were constructed and Victoria University encased these components into a teddy bear. The final product was launched at Engineer’s Australia in November 2012. This project was submitted to CSIRO CREativity in Science and Technology (CREST) Program earlier this year and the student work has been acknowledged with a Silver CREST Award. For Silver Awards, links must be made with industry or community workers for students to gain a new understanding of the role of Science and Engineering in the community; have an application to the everyday world and involve more than thirty hours in the design, construction and appraisal.

Ms Vanessa Jackson-McRae
Head of Science

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