Learning about crystals is fun for kids of all ages, but particularly for kids in elementary school and middle school. These crystal science fair projects will spark many ideas for crystal science experiments!
How to Conduct a Crystal Science Fair Project
Just growing crystals, while fun, is not a science fair project. A science fair project requires kids use the scientific method to complete their experiment.
This includes a hypothesis, multiple variation tests, and data recording.
Some questions you might ask for a crystal science fair project include:
- What type of crystal is the most durable?
- What type of crystal is the fastest growing?
- How does temperature affect crystal formation?
- How does adding a “seed” influence crystal formation?
- Do all crystals have the same shape and structure?
Tips for Making Perfect DIY Crystals
The key to crystals is in ratios and time.
Most crystals are formed with a super-saturated solution, meaning tha tmore of the crystal agent is added to the solution than it can hold.
As the liquid cools, the water evaporates and the crystal particles have nowhere to go.
If there is a seed crystal, impurity, or string in the solution, the crystal molecules will cling to that, which is how crystals form.
But, if the process is disturbed, or if you don’t follow the correct ratios, your crystals won’t form.
Each type of crystal has their specific steps to follow, but most crystal science experiments use warm water.
If the water gets too cold before you put in your seed crysal, they won’t form.
And in some cases, allowing the liquid to get to hot or too cold will also disturb the process.
As long as you follow the directions carefully, your crystals will come out beautifully every time!
Basic DIY Crystal Recipes for Science Experiments
To really explore the world of crystals, you’ll want to try making several types of DIY crystals!
These crystal experiments are some of our favorites and a fun place to get started for crystal science fair projects.
Click on the link in each section to learn how to make each kind of crystal for your crystal science experiment.
Epsom Salt Crystals
One of the eaiest crystals to start with are Epsom salt crystals. These crystals form overnight in the refrigerator and by the next day, you have a contain filled with spiky, awesome crystals.
The only trouble with epsom salt crystals is that they do melt once they are exposed to water, and they can also melt if they get too hot.
Keep that in mind if you plan to make this kind of crystal.
Salt crystals are made from evaporated water and salt.
The crsytals take just a few hours to form (but you can also get them bigger if you wait a day or two). Salt crystals are the second fastest-growing crystals and look so pretty when finished.
Salt crystals have a square shape, which is fun to compare with other crystal types.
Growing crystals with bluing and ammonia is a fun twist on salt crystals! It’s easy to make these and the look so pretty!
Borax crystals are the fastest-growing crystals and some of the most durable.
Within two hours, you can have huge crystals that look similar to salt crystals but are a little less square.
Kids will love making sugar crystals because they are completely edible.
The trick to making sugar crystals is to get the water hot enough to melt the sugar and encourage crystal formation, but not hot enough that the water turns into syrup and forms into hard candy.
In our trials, sugar crystals are the hardest to make, but they look really cool once completed! You can seed sugar crystals with a string or just have them form on the bottom of a container.
If you don’t want to mess around with making your own crystals, or want to make more than one type of crystal at once, this is our favorite crystal kit.
It is seriously so much fun to watch so many crystals growing at once.
Most crystal growing kits use alum crystals, which can have a greater variety of shapes than some of the other crsytals on this list.
Seasonal Crystal Experiments
Here at STEAMsational, we like to give our science experiments and science projects a seasonal twist.
Here are some fun seasonal variations we’ve done with crystal projects.
Winter Crystal Experiments
Try these fun winter twists on crystal science projects!
Spring Crystal Experiments
Crystal science experiments are more fun with a spring twist!
Summer Crystal Experiments
Kids will love trying these crystal activities in the summer when home from school.
Fall Crystal Experiments
Fall lovers will have a blast with these fall-themed crystal experiments!
What is your favorite way to make crystals?