The British Science Association’s (BSA) CREST Awards aim to engage school-age pupils in STEM projects, broadening their interest in science and encouraging them to continue with STEM subjects. BSA wanted to know whether participation in the Silver CREST Award programme impacted on attainment in GCSE Science, and whether in increased the likelihood of pupils continuing STEM subjects to AS Level.
The report by volunteer economists used the National Pupil Database (NPD) compiled by the Department for Education (DfE), which contains records of all pupils in English state schools who took their GCSEs between 2010 and 2014.
The report suggests that students who took Silver CREST achieved half a grade higher on their best science GCSE result compared to a statistically matched control group; students who undertook a CREST Silver Award were 21% more likely to take a STEM AS Level (82% of Silver CREST students took a STEM AS Level, compared to 68% of a statistically matched control group); and also showed improved grades and increased uptake of science subjects amongst students eligible for free school meals.
This report was launched at the House of Lords by Rt Hon the Lord Willetts on Wednesday 27 January.
A blog from the volunteers can be read here.
We would would like to thank Tom Annable, Zoë Billingham, Cee MacDonald and Rosie Stock Jones for their hard work in producing this report.