WI Crystal Growing Contest celebrates state-wide winners

Today, the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry celebrated the 2019 Wisconsin Crystal Growing Competition (WICGC), a middle and high school competition organized by the Molecular Structure Laboratory, where students and teachers put their crystal growing and art skills to the test. Participants were judged on best overall crystal, best quality crystal, best teacher’s crystal for the crystal competition and best crystal-inspired art in the art competition.

2018-19 Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission

At the end of April, the winners of the 2018 Wisconsin Crystal Growing Competition (WICGC) had the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center and ISS US National Lab in Cape Canaveral, Florida to take part in the 2018-19 Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission. A team of several high school and middle school students designed experiments comparing the quality of Earth-grown crystals to crystals grown in microgravity conditions aboard the International Space Station. During their time in Florida, students were able to prepare and present their experiments, and upon arrival home, they were able to watch the launch of their crystals into space. The team members of the Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission included Kaitlyn Twesme, Joana Pashaj, Kristin Kiley, Joseph Quinn, and Payton Kelly-VanDomelen, and they were accompanied by their families, project leader Dr. Ilia Guzei, project scientist Dr. Galina Bikzhanova, and project coordinator Stephanie Twesme. Payton Kelly-VanDomelen, a middle school student from Sun Prairie, WI, is part of the WICGC Student Media Team, and was able to document her experience in Florida.

Young scientists and artists compete to send crystals into space

May 18, 2018, Madison, WI — Each year, students across Wisconsin compete to grow the largest, highest-quality crystal or to produce innovative crystal-inspired art in the Wisconsin Crystal Growing Competition. This year marks the fifth year of the contest, and the second year students could win a chance to work with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, to send crystals into space for further experimentation. Event organizers announced six student space contest winners and 12 others who placed in the competition, at the May 18 awards ceremony.