Current crystal-growing competitions

A number of regional or national competitions have been run successfully in recent years and may provide a useful model for similar new initiatives. 

Australia - Australian Capital Territory Competition - New South Wales Competition - Queensland Competition - South Australia Competition


The Australian Competitions are organized by Branches of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. The aim of the competition is to grow your very own alum crystals in six weeks, but there is an open division for growing any crystal. Crystals are judged on size, shape and clarity.

Timing: depends on Branch

More information: (English) 

Belgium - Belgian Crystal Growing Competition


Since 2000 the Belgian National Committee for Crystallography organizes a national crystal growing competition for pupils in secondary schools. During a period of four to five weeks they grow their own crystals in the class room (instructions available on the website, limited amount of starting material is send to school). Each class is encouraged to send their best single crystals to the local coordinator. Submitted crystals are judged by a national jury. Participating schools receive a certificate and the winners a trophy and price. 

Timing: February - April 

More information: (Dutch and French)

Canada - National Crystal Growing Competition


The National Crystal Growing Competition - organized by the Chemical Institute of Canada - is a fun, hands-on experience as well as an exciting competition. Schools are provided with materials and instructions on how to grow crystals and the objective is to grow the biggest and highest quality single crystal. 

Timing: October - November 

More information: (English and French) 

France - Concours de croissance cristalline de l'UdPPC Lille


The competition is organized by  the Union des Professeurs de Physique et de Chimie (UdPPC) in collaboration with several partners. It consists of growing a single crystal  starting from a supersaturated solution of a salt chosen by the jury. The aim is to grow the largest and best quality single crystal. 

Timing: January - February 

More information: (French) 

Singapore - National Crystal Growing Challenge



The Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore and the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry are jointly organizing this biennial Singapore National Crystal Growing Challenge for students. This creative and fun-giving crystal growing challenge is aimed at secondary school, junior college and polytechnic students. The challenge gives students the chance to discover the importance of relevant and good techniques in chemistry. By participating in this competition, students will learn the art and science of growing crystals. They will also have an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity in growing something of beauty. Moreover, there is also the challenge of outdoing your peers in school as well as at the National level. Judging of the crystals is based on the quality of the crystal, but also on poster and lab notebook. 


More information: (English)

Spain - Concurso de Cristalización en la Escuela


This competition aims to use crystallization to introduce 12-17 years old students to the world of crystallography and to science in general and is organized by el Grupo Español de Cristalografía y Crecimiento Cristalino (GE3C). The organizers focus on the formation of teachers (using games, webhosted simulations and leaflets) and use a kit to start the game. Four categories are available: crystallization of ADP and NaCl, formation of geodes and crystallization in gels. Judging criteria are creativity,  working plan and poster presentation during national event. 

Timing: n.a. 

More information: (Spanish) 

United Kingdom - Crystal Growing Competition for Schools - East of England region


The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre in Cambridge organize this fun competition for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils to promote science in schools. Pupils will have 5 weeks to grow the best-looking crystal of Potash Alum that they can. Key Stage 3 pupils may also grow any crystal of their choice, marks are awarded for originality!  Winning schools will be then invited to bring students to visit the MRC laboratory to see science in action. 

Timing: January - March 

More information: (English)