Meeting report

4th Singapore National Crystal Challenge

[prize winners] With the prize winners of the Open level, Prof. T.S. Andy Hor, Head of the Chemistry Department, National U. of Singapore.
Large beautiful single crystals are fascinating and aesthetically pleasing. Growing crystals of a desired size and shape is still considered more of an art than a science. To stimulate student interest in the art of growing crystals, the Dept of Chemistry at the National U. of Singapore organized the 4th Singapore National Crystal Growing Challenge in September 2000 for secondary school, junior college and polytechnic students. The school provided instruction in technique and gave students an opportunity to be creative in growing crystals. This year's competition included Junior, Senior, and Open levels, with cash awards of $400, 300, 200 and 50, and trophies in each category.

At the Junior level students were challenged to grow the cubic or tetrahedral form of sodium chlorate (NaClO3) crystals. The Senior level students were challenged to grow blue-green nickel sulfate hexahydrate (NiSO4·6H2O) crystals (tetragonal) and not the heptahydrate that would usually come out of solution first. The Open level students were allowed to grow organic/metallo-organic compounds of their choice to exercise their creativity, individuality and scientific knowledge. There were 109 entries from 41 secondary schools and 11 junior colleges and polytechnics. Mr. Werner Schittenhelm, Managing Director Bruker AXS, Germany, was the guest of honor for the prize presentation ceremony. This year's competition was sponsored by Bruker Singapore Pte Ltd and Lee Foundation of Singapore. Details of the challenge and the names of the winners are available at the website: www.chemistry.nus.edu.sg/ncgc1.htm.

Jagadese J. Vittal and Yulin Lam