Pictured at the award ceremony at the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, 2016 winner, Kieran Barrett from Clongowes Wood College SJ. Photos: Oisin McHugh True Media
The SSPC National Crystal Growing Competition is an important element of SFI’s public engagement remit. The aim of the competition is to have fun with science and to inspire young minds to explore careers in the field. The competition was open to primary and post-primary schools in Ireland and aimed at students challenged to grow a single crystal from a variety of compounds such as Salt (Sodium Chloride), Alum, Sugar, or Copper Sulphate.
The competition originated in 2014 with the IUCr Crystal growing competition, as part of the celebrations for the International Year of Crystallography. It has since grown from strength to strength and is a great addition to the many SFI outreach programmes hosted in Ireland.
The aim of the competition is for an individual student to grow a single crystal using either Salt (Sodium Chloride), Alum, Sugar, or Copper Sulphate (to be used only with instructions from your teacher in school), which will be judged by SSPC experts on crystallisation and crystallography.
Who can participate?
The SSPC competition is open to primary and post-primary schools in Ireland. Teacher supervision is required for crystallisation of compounds other than salt or sugar.