CORE crystal growth competition

CORE Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) have organised a European crystal growth competition for high schools in the neighbourhood of the ESR host institutions  (France, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland).  High school students have been invited to the host institute for an introduction about the CORE Project, MSCA and their scientific work in crystallization and a lab tour. The students have been provided with the materials and methods to grow Sodium Bromate ( NaBrO3) crystals under safe conditions. Sodium bromate is a compound that allows growing large single crystals from water solutions with a simple natural cooling procedure of a hot clear solution. NaBrO3 is an achiral compound but forms chiral crystals of which the handedness is relatively easily determined using a polarized microscope.

Sufficient materials have been provided to make crystals large enough to use normal photography for a good impression. After their crystallization experiments a selection of high school students was invited to analyze their crystals at the host institute under supervision.

The crystal pictures can be viewed in the gallery on the CORE website and a winning artistic and scientific picture will be chosen during the midterm #BIWIC2018 conference 6-7 September 2018 in Rouen. Photographs from the visits are available at 

We are using the hashtag #CORECrystalGrowth . 

Participation: 5 countries, 7 high Schools, 60 students, 37 photo entries

University of Rouen, France – 27 March, 13 April and final visit in May 2018 (18 students from Lycée Camille Saint-Saens, France) 
Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands – 17 May and 1 June 2018 (8 students from Canisius College, Mondial College and Ludger College, The Netherlands)
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland – 5 June 2018 (8 students from Springburn Academy, Glasgow UK)
Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany – 11 June 2018 (7 student from Werner-von-Siemens-Gymnasium, Magdeburg, Germany) 
Friedrich - Alexander University Erlangen - Nürnberg, Germany – 21 June and 5 July 2018 (16-20 students from the Willstätter Gymnasium of Nürnberg, Germany).


The Criteria for the competition was agreed as

  1. Most perfect / aesthetic
  2. Most interesting / creative


All participants (high school students) will receive a certificate of participation.  There will be three winning prizes in each category 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  The winners will each receive a certificate, medal and a framed photo.

2018 Crystal Growth Competition