Everyone loves crystals. From snowflakes to diamonds to sugar, we see crystals everyday and we love them for being beautiful, shiny and symmetrical.
Crystals are extra special to scientists because they are made up of repeating patterns of atoms and molecules. These patterns allow scientists to use a special technique called 'crystallography' to work out how those atoms and molecules are arranged and what they look like. This has been one of the most powerful tools in science to understand how nature works, like in discovering the double helix structure of DNA, to making useful new things, like new medicines and materials.
Australia also has a special connection to crystallography because one of it's creators, Lawrence Bragg, was Australian. When Lawrence was only 25, he and his dad (William Bragg) won the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery.
As part of the International Union of Crystallography conference coming to Melbourne in August, there will be a free interactive educational event (Crystal-A-Con) for kids, particularly those aged 9-14.
It's all about crystals - their properties, patterns and structures. There will be fun interactive activities, and kids will get a passport to collect stamps at each of the activity stations. Help make a giant diamond, talk to real life crystallographers from all around the world, and build your own patterns and molecules.
Book online. Bookings by teachers for school groups or by parents for a one-of-a-kind family day out are all welcome.
There are two sessions available on Friday 25 August (morning & afternoon), and a morning session is open on the morning of Saturday 26 August.