The Molecular Structure Laboratory of the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry is getting ready for the 2019 Wisconsin Crystal Growing Competition! The announcement is illustrated with a 98 sec time lapse crystal growth video.

What is the competition?

The objective of the competition is to grow the biggest and highest quality single crystal. Students from throughout Wisconsin compete to grow the best crystals, as judged by scientists who are experts in crystallography (the study of crystals and how atoms are arranged in solids). Instructions on how to grow crystals are provided on this site. The 2019 contest is described in more detail in the WICGC Handbook 2019.

When is the competition?

March 1 to April 30, 2019

Who can participate?

Young scientists ages 11-18. There are two concurrent contests:

  • One for Wisconsin high school students and home-schooled youths ages 14-18.
  • The other for Wisconsin middle school students or home-schooled youths ages 11-13.

How much does it cost?

There is no entry fee, this is a free contest.

What do students get out of it?

This is an exciting scientific competition as well as a fun, hands-on experience. All participants are invited to the award ceremony to be held at the UW-Madison Chemistry Department in May 24, 2019. Winners in various categories will receive prizes.


1. Read the How to Grow Crystals section and decide that you are up to the task.

2. Fill out the official registration form to inform the organizers that you will participate. There is no entry fee, this is a free contest.

3. Grow crystals. The procedure and contest are described in the WICGC Handbook 2018. Obtain the crystallization material as described in How to Grow Crystals.

4. Fill out the official Crystal/Art Submission Form (coming in Jan. 2018) and mail it along with your crystals and/or artwork to the address below.

All requests, questions, and crystals should be sent to

Dr. Ilia A. Guzei
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chemistry Department
2124 Chemistry Building
1101 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706, United States
Phone: 608-263-4694
Email: (subject line: Wisconsin Crystal Growing Competition).