Typically completed by 10-14 year olds, students work collaboratively on a five hour project or challenge in self-managed groups. During the project, they use a CREST Discovery passport to record and reflect on their work. Afterwards, students communicate their findings as a group presentation.
Each pack provides teaching guides, kit lists, example timetables and suggested starter activities to help you run your day. Find out more about CREST Discovery Awards.
Quantum computing Small-scale manufacturing has improved over time to mean that we have been able to build better and faster computer microchips. However, the ways in which these components work has not changed much. One area of research that could change all of this is called quantum computing. This uses theories from quantum physics (the study of how matter behaves at a very small scale) to build a new type of computer microchip. URENCO’s Stable Isotopes division will soon begin enriching Silicon-28 for use in this new type of computer. One example being worked on by Google could operate 100 million times faster than an ordinary computer, with the potential to revolutionise the way we work and live.
Nanotechnology Fact file: Electricity generation The impact of nanotechnology in this sector generally means more electricity being produced at a lower cost and with reduced losses of energy. Solar power The most common way to generate electricity from the sun is to install large solar panels on the roofs of buildings, or on a wide flat piece of land. The light from the sun is then used to generate electricity for that building or area. Any surplus electricity can be sold to the National Grid to be used elsewhere. Nanotechnology can be used to create solar panels that are much thinner and smaller than those currently being made. This could mean that individual devices, such as phones, have their own power source as this smaller type of solar panel could be incorporated into the existing technology. Solar panels could also be put onto the surface of windows using a film made from nanoparticles. Wind power Wind turbines are gathered in locations called wind farms, usually situated on a hillside where there is a high average wind speed. The wind turns the blades of the turbine because, as the air moves past the blades, they interact via the force of friction. The design of the wind turbine blades means that they turn as a result of this force. The wind turbine structures are tall and have long blades because wind speed increases with height and the higher the speed, the more electricity generated. However, with some wind turbines over 100m high this can mean the structure is very heavy. To generate as much electricity as possible, the blades of the turbine should be light and easy to turn. Nanomaterials using carbon are lightweight and strong. These could be used as part of the structure of the wind turbines and would increase the total electricity output.