Science Foundation Ireland has announced the 2021 National Crystal Growing Competition for primary and post-primary school students.
Revealed at this week’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, the popular competition will challenge students to grow crystals using ingredients readily available in the home, pharmacies, and hardware stores.
Research centres: iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre for Applied Geosciences, SSPC, and the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals will be judging the competition.
This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the competition has been specifically designed for parents struggling to find appropriate science activities while their children are home-learning.
Elspeth Wallace, education and public engagement officer for iCRAG said: “We are delighted to be once again working with SSPC to run such an innovative competition.
“At this moment in time, it is so important to find ways to engage with Irish students at home through which we can continue to encourage and develop their scientific interest.
“The National Crystal Growing Competition is an exciting challenge for both primary and post-primary level students.”
Dr Sarah Hayes, associate director academic partnerships and public engagement for SSPC said there are always “very high quality crystals submitted to this competition and a high level of energy and dedication shown by the students and their teachers.”
“As someone who appreciates the beauty and importance of crystals, it excites me to see the competition back in action.
“I can’t wait to see what the fantastic young scientists out there come up with,” she said.
According to the organisers, the “aim of the competition is to have fun with science and also inspire young minds to explore careers in the field.”
The competition is open to primary and post-primary students in Ireland and aimed at students who were challenged to grow a single crystal from a variety of compounds such as: Salt (Sodium chloride or Potassium chloride), Alum, Sugar, or Copper sulphate.
To enter the competition, participants must send a picture of their crystal to experts at iCRAG and SSPC before the closing date of April, 16. More information, including crystal recipes and growing instructions can be found on the National Crystal Growing Competition website, bit.ly/crystalcomp.