Tuesday 3rd June 2008 by C. Freeman
Students have been given bronze accreditation and certificates for their Year 9 DT coursework. Around 140 students signed up for the BA CREST Award scheme where work is officially accredited by external assessors.
The BA CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology) accreditation scheme is aimed at secondary level and is split into bronze, silver and gold categories. Brooke Weston is the only school in Northamptonshire to have Year 9 work assessed for the bronze award on such a large scale. The students had 16 weeks to design and produce either a can crusher, a bag made from recycled materials or flat pack CD storage racks as part of the their engineering, textiles or product design coursework.
Julie Messenger, the assessor from Setpoint Northamptonshire said: 'This award is about motivating students, it's about exciting them and getting them interested in technology. Getting this award will raise their aspirations and self esteem, it's about the process that the students have been through and the skills they have acquired during the project. This is the first and only school that we've got doing it in Year 9 at this scale. We have just had an article published in the DATA Practice magazine which is about last year's success at this project so clearly Brooke Weston feels it has an impact on their students.'
Teacher, Nigel Barrett said: 'The students have to demonstrate that they've researched the subject, come up with design ideas, made their finished product and then evaluated the process. It's valuable design experience and they are awarded with a personalised BA CREST bronze certificate which demonstrates a level of competence and commitment.'
Ms Messenger will soon be returning to College to assess the work of the Sixth Formers who undertook the Engineering Education Scheme and worked on a real-life engineering problem with an engineer. She said: 'Setpoint is about enriching and enhancing the curriculum in science, technology engineering and maths. I manage the BA's CREST scheme in Northamptonshire from KS1 right through to post-16. It's about getting into schools and making the curriculum more lifelike and inspiring. The ultimate goal is to try and cheer some of these students on to actually do science or technology in the future.'