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ACT Crystal Growing Competition

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, ACT is conducting its 2014 Crystal Growing Competition for Primary and Junior Secondary School students.

Why be involved?

Do you want to have fun with science? Would you like to do some simple chemical experiments? Then enter the ACT/RACI Crystal Growing Competition and learn all about growing beautiful crystals.

Crystals are everywhere. Just think of our daily lives. Sugar and salt are crystals. LCD computer and TV screens have many tiny crystals inside.

Where else can you find crystals? How about your classroom?

If you enter this competition, you can create your very own crystals.

Your school can order Potash Alum (potassium aluminium sulphate) from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

What's involved?

The aim of the competition is to grow your very own crystals in six weeks.

There are four divisions:

  1. K - Year 3 growing from potash alum
  2. Years 4 - 6 growing from potash alum
  3. Years 7 - 8 growing from potash alum
  4. an Open Division growing any crystal.

The crystals will be grown over six weeks in term 2 (28 April- July 1st). You must send your crystals to Dr Asharf Ghanem, University of Canberra, building 3, office D41, 2601 Canberra, ACT by July 4th.

Crystals will be judged on size, shape and clarity. Results will be annound during the National Science Week (August 2014).

To celebrate the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr You are also invited to enter the NATIONAL CRYSTAL GROWING COMPETITION

If you win in the ACT Crystal growing competition, your crystal will compete with others at the National level

·        One winning crystal and one runner up to be chosen for each division·        Judging to be of actual crystals (no photographs) to be sent to NSW-RACI office to arrive no later than Friday 31st October 2014·        Judges to be crystallographers nominated by SCANZ

Results to be announced on Monday 10th November.  Winners to receive trophies and framed certificates; runners up to receive framed certificates

How to register?

1. Send an expression of interest to

2. Purchase the Alum (if needed) from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI):

3. Send you crystals, reports and list of students involved by July 1st to Dr Ashraf Ghanem, University of Canberra, building 3, office D41, 2601 ACT

Alum Costs 2014 (postage and handing inclusive)

0.5kg $30

1kg $50

1.5kg $70

2kg $90

For orders larger than 2kg, simply add $20 for each extra 0.5kg.

The alum will normally be sent by surface mail to arrive by the first week in Term 2.

Entries may be by class, team or an individual but must be registered (send an email to

Cheques payable to RACI ACT Branch, Mary Pappa,Finance Officer- Royal Australian Chemical Institute, 1/21 Vale Street, North Melbourne, VIC 3051 T. +61 (0)3 9328 2033 Email:

How to grow crystals?

Visit and see videos and info therein.

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