Global CREST challenges

...exciting new CREST awards

Global CREST challenges are based around Practical Action’s work, which uses science and technology to address global issues such as energy, water and food.  They give students a real insight into how science and technology can be used to tackle challenges faced by communities in the developing world, and how they can be part of the solution.  These awards form part of the British Science Association's CREST award scheme.

The downloads below provide information on how to get started with the CREST awards and contain a wealth of information on the five different themes which will help your students begin their challenge.  They include a number of different project ideas but your students can equally come up with their own.  There are links to technical information used by real engineers and scientists in the field. These are now available on the technical briefs area of our schools website, making them easier for students to access.

To view an example of the Global CREST challenges being used in a school go to Challenges in Schools.

Getting Started

Background information on how to get started on the CREST award scheme using Practical Action's material as a starting point for projects.


Access to energy to be able to cook, produce lighting and heating is vital in lifting people out of poverty. Projects can be designed around renewable energy sources, and how to make, store, move and use energy.


Solving housing problems is a huge task in the developing world. Projects can be around the materials used in construction or the different designs needed for flood-proof or earthquake resistant housing.


Clean water is essential to life. Diseases carried by water kill millions of people every year. Ideas for projects around getting water, cleaning it, storing it and using it are suggested


Having sufficient food is one of the major challenges facing us all in the future. Growing, processing and storing food are all areas that make really interesting projects


Transport links are essential in helping people lift themselves out of poverty. Students can work on a range of transport projects form bicycles to aerial rope ways

Global CREST challenges at the Big Bang Fair with Ursuline Academy


Squashed tomato challenge, INTECH science centre

Gravity Ropeways, Nepal


Zeer pot fridge, Sudan


Sandbar cropping in Bangladesh

Ripples of change - a multi-use water system in Nepal

Drying vegetables - training video Southern Africa


Micro-hydro in Kenya

Solar power in Peru


Renewable energy in Sri Lanka



Improved Maasi housing in Kenya


Resilient livelihoods reduce disaster n Bangladesh

Treadle pumps


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