Gold CREST Award Science Success

Senior School Science

It has been another successful year at Bablake for Gold CREST Awards with 22 students completing a placement.

Gold CREST Awards allow students to conduct real research before they head to university. They are longer-term projects that require around 70 hours’ work and are typically completed by 16-19 year olds. At Gold level, the students work should contribute something new to the scientific or technological community or to a particular field of study.

Most students completed their placement at the University of Warwick in the summer holidays and a small number went to other universities such as Coventry University, University of Nottingham and Imperial College. They completed placements in all areas of science ranging from polymers to astronomy. Students needed to produce a written report and complete a student profile which are then externally assessed.

Bablake student Jakevir Shoker said;

‘Over the summer, my group was able to complete a Gold CREST Award under Professors’ Haddleton and Perrier of Warwick University’s Chemistry Department. The award allowed us to explore an area outside our A level syllabus in more depth, as well as gain an insight into cutting edge academic research. For us personally, we wanted to learn more about polymers, the mechanisms they are made by and what some of their applications are. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We got to carry out graduate level laboratory experiments and use a variety of different analytical machines ranging from NMR machines to X-ray Crystallography machines. All of the students and professors were incredibly friendly and were always happy to help explain new concepts to us. We would give a special thank you to Professors’ Haddleton and Perrier for giving us this incredible opportunity’.

Anna Elkins who completed her placement at the University of Nottingham also commented, ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed the project. Not only have I found it interesting but it has also made me appreciate the time, effort and work that goes into scientific research. Seeing first-hand the importance of research and how it relates to everyday life was really inspiring.'

Students are always full of excitement after their placement and gain many valuable skills. We often hear back from Academics who tell us how impressed they have been with our students. The process starts again in January with the Lower Sixth writing emails to academics hoping to secure a Gold CREST placement next summer. We wish them luck as they start their Gold CREST journey.

Bablake students on their university placements this summer.

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