Crystal Growing Competition
May 20, 2022
Last Friday students of all ages had the chance to begin growing their own crystals for the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Crystal Growing Competition. My Year 9 group consisting of Eda Otman, Claire Spicknall, Charlotte I’Ons and Amelie Hampton chose to participate in growing a crystal once we heard about it.
Upon meeting at lunch there were premixtures of Copper Sulphate and water that had been prepared by our supervising teacher Dr Gollan. Students had the opportunity of grouping together or going solo in growing their own crystal. As students we were given the solution and a choice of seed, which was Copper Sulphate that had already bonded together to create a ‘beginner crystal’. After choosing your seed you pluck someone’s hair (who has fairly dark hair) and proceed to tie the hair around a paddle pop stick and let it hang above the solution. From this point on we named our crystals so that they could be easily identified and left them in the classroom.
The crystals required six to eight weeks to form into a hopefully much larger crystal, that will be monitored weekly. Lastly, when the crystal has reached the end of its growing allowance it will be submitted to the competition where it will be judged and a winner will be decided upon. The end goal of the competition is to hopefully have a winning crystal with high clarity and minimal imperfections, however the concept of creating your own crystal with a group of friends makes the competition all the more fun as it develops and enhances each student’s interest in science. I look forward to the results and final outcome of this competition and the future competitions that the science faculty will hold for more and more students over the years.