ENGAGING STUDENTS: IGGS students prepare to make a fresh batch of crystals with a copper sulphate mixture.
ENGAGING STUDENTS: IGGS students prepare to make a fresh batch of crystals with a copper sulphate mixture. Gary Worrall

Ipswich girls are queens of crystal

DIAMONDS might be a girl's best friends, but Ipswich Girls Grammar (IGGS) students are tops at growing crystals.

The students, from Year 7 through to Year 12, dominated the recent Royal Australian Chemical Institute Crystal Growing Competition.

Paul Keillor, head of science at IGGS, said the competition is about engaging students in science, giving them the opportunity to carry out practical experiments.

"We first had a go in 2015, and won the State competition, we then went on to be judged at a national level, against the best entries in Australia,” Mr Keillor said.

For 2016, the school expanded its involvement to include Year 7 through to Senior levels, with the students dominating the Queensland judging.

"We won every year level, in both Alum, which produces a clear crystal, and also copper sulphate that grows a blue one.”

The Senior girls entered the Open competition, producing a crystal with multiple colour gradients, Mr Keillor said.

"That was genuine science, we had no idea what the outcome would be, the girls tried some different compounds and created a crystal with a purple centre that finishes translucent in the outer layers.”

The national judging takes place in October.



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