Cobb County

Crystal Growing Competition

A competition of experimentation and creativity

Image: Aluminum potassium sulfate crystal grown by STARS leader, Susanna Huang, with UV light-activated glowing highlighter molecules crystalized inside


Crystallizing Student-Interest in Science and the Scientific Method

Nuanced observation skills are essential for the critical and analytical thinking of scientists. Recording data, drawing conclusions, they hone these skills and become ever the more compelling in their research findings.

While these ideas may seem complex, we firmly believe that young scientists too can explore the intricacies of science. By hosting this competition, we hope to foster scientific learning in the students of our community. Participants can test different variables, such as temperature and solution concentration. They can test the relationships between humidity and rate of crystallization. Or they could even simply test to see how the solution would change overtime. No matter how your student tackles the objective to grow the largest, highest-quality crystal, they can learn invaluable skills of a scientist simply by setting up an experiment and observing its trajectory over time. 

The most important part? They can do all of this while experiencing the exhilaration of growing beautiful crystals.


2022 Cobb County

Crystal Growing Competition


Sponsored by ACA

The international, most prestigious crystallographic association, boasting more than 40 Nobel Prize Laureates and over 1,300 members from 37 countries worldwide.

In fact our competition is even on their homepage spotlight!


Prof. Ada Yonath

Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Ada Yonath is our role model; she pioneers the crucial crystallographic techniques and discovers the ribosomal structure through X-ray crystallography. 

Her research efforts and momentous crystallographic discoveries have inspired STARS to host this crystal growing competition and to explore our future research in macromolecular crystallography.


2022 Cobb County Crystal Growing Competition Registration Form

This is the registration form for the 2022 Cobb County Crystal Growing Competition which is open to all students. Any student can register for this competition. Note that as per competition rules (, each student or teacher can submit one overall crystal and one coolest crystal.

Crystals are submitted virtually through photo or video format. The higher the quality of the photos and videos, the easier the judges are able to judge your crystals.


What is a single crystal?


How to Set Up a Crystal Solution 


Crystal Growing Tips


What is a lab notebook?



Girls in the Library

Cobb County Crystal Growing Competition Rules

Full rules:

1. Each K-12 student will submit photos and a video of one crystal of salt (for the Salt Crystal Division) and/or one crystal of any safe crystal growing material for the Creative Crystal Division along with a Crystal Journal for each crystal submission.

2. Any student can register for this competition for free.

3. Submissions will be ranked based on crystal score as well as Crystal Journal score.

4. Explore science and have fun!



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ratio for how much salt and how much water you need to use for making your solution?

Usually, you can create a saturated solution by slowly mixing salt into the water while keeping track of how much salt and water were used so far. When no more salt can be mixed into the solution (no matter how much further you crush the salt at the bottom of the cup and no matter how much more you stir the solution), that means your solution is saturated. When your solution is saturated, salt crystals will easily crystallize out of solution.

For example, for one of our past salt crystal experiments, we added 10 grams of salt into 30 mL of water, and the solution reached saturation point (but this was when the room temperature was 59 degrees Fahrenheit, so the amount of salt required might be different depending on your current room temperature. Usually more salt is required to attain the saturation point at higher room temperatures).