Raising the profile of crystallography in the modern world

IUCr Crystal growing competition for schoolchildren

The IUCr Crystal growing competition is open to all schoolchildren and aims to introduce students to the exciting, challenging and sometimes frustrating world of growing crystals. This initiative was originally launched in 2014 as part of the celebrations for the International Year of Crystallography.
The winners will be those who most successfully convey their experiences to the panel of judges in a video report.

Coordinator of the IUCr Crystal growing competition: Prof. Luc Van Meervelt

Learn with Johanna in this movie from Quidos about how to grow a single crystal. Do you want to know more? Then download the brochure and visit the section "running a competition", which includes useful information on growing and judging the quality of crystals, and links to the IUCr Teaching Pamphlet in a number of languages. Then enjoy the winning videos from previous competitions.

IUCr Crystal growing competition - Edition 2024


How to participate?

The aim of the competition is to convey your experience of growing crystals through a video.

Each contribution should clearly show or mention the experimental work carried out by the participants during the growing of their single crystals (compounds and methods used are free of choice). Furthermore the contribution should reflect in a creative way on the experimental work and theoretical background and/or applications. It is strongly recommended to use English subtitles when applicable, and to provide the name and age of the participants, along with their photos, as well as the name of the school at the end of the video.

Click here to submit your entry.

Important dates

  • Closing date for submissions: 29 November 2024
  • Notification of winners: week beginning 27 January 2025


  • The competition is open to students of primary or secondary schools; maximum age 18.
  • Videos submitted to local competitions during 2023 may be also submitted to the IUCr competition.
  • Duration of video: strictly no longer than four minutes.
  • Format: mpeg, avi or mov, or hosted on a public video platform (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Language: mother language of participant or English.
  • A maximum of two entries per category per school is permitted.
  • The judging panel will be nominated by the International Union of Crystallography. The decisions of the judging panel are final.


  • under 11 (primary school)
  • 11-15 (high school middle forms)
  • 15-18 (high school upper forms)


The winning contributions in each category will receive 'Young crystal growers' certificates and medals.

Criteria for evaluation

A panel of judges will evaluate the entries. The following six criteria will be used: creativity, aesthetic value, description of working plan and experimental work, clarity of explanations, scientific background, and safety.

Promoting the competition

Organisers of local/national/regional crystal growing contests adhering to the IUCr network may use the competition logo to advertise the event.