SSPC partners with iCRAG for National Crystal Growing Competition
Wednesday, March 14th - The Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) with iCRAG (Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences), both funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), announced winners of the 2017 National Crystal Growing Competition at the national awards ceremony today.
Speaking at the awards ceremony at University College Dublin, Dr Fergus Mc Auliffe, Education, Public Engagement and Communications Manager, iCRAG, said: “This year’s crystal entries again raised the bar for what can be achieved in school laboratories around the country. We are delighted to acknowledge the hard work of both students and their teachers today in UCD and to give the students insight into the many uses of crystals in the earth sciences.”
The University College Dublin acknowledged winners, Eve Devey 1st place, Megha Theresa James 2nd place, Emma Kinane joint-3rd place who are all from St. Paul's Secondary School, Greenhills D12 and Edel Leakey joint 3rd place from Virginia College, Cavan. At the event attendees got the chance to examing geological crystals, and received career talks and a talk on the uses of crystals by PhD researchers Fani Papageorgiou, Alex Russell and Aileen Doran.
The very successful iCRAG-SSPC National Crystal Growing Competition, now in its fourth year, has seen interest soar in schools nationally. Speaking at the awards ceremony at the Bernal Institute in the University of Limerick, Dr Martin McHugh, Education and Outreach Officer said:“2017 was a record year for entrants. The crystal growing competition really sparks student interest and teaches them how to be a real scientist. Congratulations to all the deserving winners.”
At the University of Limerick event, the crystal growing winners were, David Masterson, 1st place from Melview National School, Co. Longford, Alex Toribio, 2nd place from Cabinteely Community School, Co. Dublin and Thomas Mason also from Cabinteely Community school in Dublin.
The iCRAG-SSPC National Crystal Growing Competition is an important element of SFI’s public engagement remit. The aim of the competition is to have fun with science and also inspire young minds to explore careers in the field. The competition was open to primary and post-primary schools in Ireland and aimed at students who were challenged to grow a single crystal from a variety of compounds such as: Salt (Sodium Chloride), Alum, Sugar, or Copper Sulphate.
The competition originated in 2014 with the IUCr Crystal growing competition, as part of the celebrations for the International Year of Crystallography. It has since grown from strength to strength and is a great addition to the many SFI outreach programmes hosted in Ireland.
To find out more on how to enter the 2018 competition visit the SSPC website.