Release Date: September 15, 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Crystals are a vital part of our everyday lives. They fall from the sky as snowflakes. They flavor our food in the form of sugar and salt. They help drive technologies that range from computers to wristwatches.
And this fall, K-12 students and teachers across the country will have the chance to try their hand at growing their own large, single crystals through an annual contest coordinated by professional chemists across the nation.
The 2022 U.S. Crystal Growing Competition begins on Oct. 17. Starting that day, participants will have five weeks to cultivate crystals using materials provided by organizers.
“From snow to salt to computers, crystals are all around us and impact many aspects of our daily lives,” says contest founder Jason Benedict, PhD, associate professor of chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. “The U.S. Crystal Growing Competition gives parents, educators and children all across the country the opportunity to watch these incredible objects grow right before their eyes, learn about the science of crystals, and win awesome prizes.”
The contest’s organizers — known as the Crystallites — include Jason Benedict and Tasha Benedict at UB; Karah Knope, PhD, at Georgetown University; Michael Nippe, PhD, at Texas A&M University; Jeff Rack, PhD, at the University of New Mexico; and Fernando Uribe-Romo, PhD, at the University of Central Florida.
The U.S. Crystal Growing Competition is sponsored by the American Crystallographic Association (which is based in Buffalo); the U.S. National Science Foundation; VWR and Ward’s Science; the UB Department of Chemistry; Georgetown University Department of Chemistry; the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry; the University of Central Florida Department of Chemistry; the University of New Mexico Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology; the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; the Western New York section of the American Chemical Society; Bruker; Krackeler Scientific; Rigaku; and individuals who have made donations.