CREST Awards – for ages 11-19

Design your own science project, collect real data, learn new skills and earn a valuable scientific award.

Schoolgirls taking part in OPAL surveys


CREST is Britain’s largest award scheme for project work in science and technology, and is suitable for everyone aged 11 to 19.

The awards are widely recognised and can be used to enhance applications to colleges, universities and employers.

Earn your award with OPAL surveys

OPAL surveys are a fantastic resource to help you earn your CREST Award.

Think of a scientific question you’d like to answer, then use the OPAL survey guides to help you collect data for your CREST project.

By using OPAL resources or surveys as part of your CREST project, you will also receive an OPAL certificate.

  • Case study: Nottingham - Find out how a school in Nottingham used the OPAL Air Survey to gain their CREST Awards

Project ideas

CREST Awards logo

Here are some ideas to get you started. If you have any questions, please contact

Soil and Earthworm Survey

  • Does the abundance of earthworms differ between two different habitat types, such as grassland and woodland?
  • Do different habitat types have different soil pH values?

Air Survey

  • Do trees close to roads have more nitrogen-loving lichens than trees that are further away?
  • Is lichen diversity related to tree girth?

Water Survey

  • Do ponds stocked with fish show less aquatic diversity than those without fish?
  • Is the size of a pond related to its aquatic diversity?

Biodiversity Survey

  • Do neatly trimmed hedges house fewer invertebrates than hedges not cut so frequently?
  • Do hedges that include mature trees have greater numbers and more diversity of invertebrates than hedges without trees?