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The 2014 Kidz Lab Challenge

2014 is the 100th anniversary of X-ray diffraction, which has allowed the detailed study of crystalline materials, and to celebrate the United Nations has declared it the International Year of Crystallography!

The Challenge: How do your crystals grow?


Create a crystal classic by preparing a saturated solution and using it to make a precipitation creation. You can start with one of the ideas we've provided or come up with one of your own.

Here is some cool information about crystals:

Some crystals, like diamonds, are really just one giant molecule made from lots of atoms of a single element.

When an electric current is sent through some crystals they vibrate at a very precise frequency. Quartz crystals are used in watches and other electronics to keep and accurate time.

There is a 'designer snowflake lab' at Cal Tech (in sunny California) where they study the physics of crystal growth by creating designer snowflakes. They have identified 35 common types of snowflakes. Snowflake guide is available here.

The contest is open to all students who live in Scientists in School areas in Ontario and Alberta. All entries must be submitted by May 23, 2014.

Kidz Lab Entry Package (includes rules and regulations)

Dictionary of Terms

2013/14 Bookmark Activities

Elsie MacGill, Aeronautical Engineer and Airplane Designer

Elsie MacGill bookmark

Some modern day physicists are making a real impact on the study of this science. Here's some interesting information about accomplished 21st century physicists.

Looking for some fun air and flight activities? Check these out!

Take The Plane Game Quiz to test your knowledge about air and flight

Fly an airplane all by yourself!

Design your own airplane and see if it will fly

Galileo Galilei, Astronomer, Physicist, Mathematician, Philosopher and Inventor

Galileo Galilei bookmark

Interested in learning more about other famous astronomers? Check out this website about 20th century astronomer Edwin Hubble or these famous 21st century astronomers.

Looking for some fun earth and space systems activities? Check these out!

Build your own refracting telescope

Search the night skies with these awesome star finders

Take a challenging astronomy quiz designed by students for students!

Sir Isaac Newton, Physicist, Astronomer, Philosopher, Mathematician, Alchemist and Theologian

Sir Isaac Newton bookmark

Did you know that Bill Nye, the Science Guy is a mechanical engineer? Read more about Bill Nye and other famous 21st century mechanical engineers.

Benjamin Franklin, Inventor, Innovator, Publisher, Musician, Author and more

Benjamin Franklin bookmark

Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is a form of electrical energy and opened the door for other inventors like Thomas Edison to invent electrical products and materials that we use in our everyday lives.

Get charged up by these fun electricity activities provided by Ontario Power Generation.

Looking for some fun physics activities? Check these out!

Build your own air pressure powered racing cars

Race your online car against your computer to win the Grand Prix

Take a quiz about Newton's Three Laws of Motion!

Check out the 2012/2013 Kidz Lab Challenge Winners!

The Challenge: Invent an original item to help Chris Hadfield with his mission in space. More than 200 kids participated in the 2013 Kidz Lab Challenge, designing and building gadgets to be used in space. The competition was fierce and over three days and two rounds of judging, our scientists had their own challenge - picking the winners!

And the winners are:

Winner! for Creativity: Space Hockey

Space Hockey

Jessica E., Aaron D., Jacob W., Annika W., and Joshua O. - Grade 6 - St. Sylvester Catholic School, Scarborough - Barbara Stoner, Teacher.

The St. Sylvester group designed, built, and tested a toy so that Chris Hadfield could play hockey in space. Their invention includes a retractable puck!

Winner! for Originality: Mike Williams' Grade 4 Class, Park Meadows School, Lethbridge

15 separate entries from Mr. Williams' Grade 4 students at Park Meadows School in Lethbridge combined to bring home the win for Originality. Inventions included: robot companions and assistants; a DJ machine; a device for time travel; and machines to dispense ice cream and pizza!

Winner! for Innovation: AstroBox

Tyra K. - Grade 4 - Stornoway Crescent Public School, Thornhill - Daniella Abramowitz, Teacher.

Tyra's AstroBox provides a solution to the one of the problems associated with brushing your teeth in space. The AstroBox collects tooth-brushing spit so that astronauts like Chris do not have to swallow their toothpaste.

Winner! for Usefulness: Stick Space Pot

stick space pot

Zo W. - Grade 5 - Paisley Road Public School, Guelph - Colin Sutherland, Teacher.

Zo's Stick Space Pot helps astronauts like Chris Hadfield organize their scientific specimens. Using magnets, the collection pot ensures that the specimens do not float away in microgravity.

Winner! Special Judges' Prize for Imagination: The Unicorn 100

Lexie M. - Junior Kindergarten - David Bouchard Public School, Oshawa - Marcia Parker, Teacher.

Lexie's design for a space hammer that can also fix "unicorn robots" so captured the imaginations of our judges that they created a special judges' award to recognize her work. Lexie designed, sanded, decorated, and tested her device while her dad helped out with the wood-cutting.

Honourable Mention

Picking the winners proved to be a difficult task (even with adding a 5th award). The judges would like to acknowledge the following students who submitted entries worthy of Honourable Mention:

  • Elle G. - Grade 2 - for her Magnet Sleep, Masters Academy, Calgary
  • Brandon and Riley - Grade 2 - for their Space Helmet 9000, Winchester PS, Whitby
  • Riyan K. - Grade 3 - for his Super Suit, Richmond Rose PS, Richmond Hill
  • Harry T. - Grade 4 - for his ISS Rover, Roy H. Crosby PS, Markham
  • Robert B. - Grade 6 - for his Renal Stone Analysis Kit, Donview Middle School, Toronto
  • Zachary B. - Grade 6 - for his FanBelt, Princess Elizabeth PS, Orangeville
  • Rachel B. - Grade 7 - for her Hydraulic Arm, Notre Dame CES, Cobourg
  • Simret, Lisa, and Manpreet - Grade 7 - for their Optical Radiation Suit, Cheyne Middle School, Brampton
  • Sarah A. - Grade 7 - for her SpaceOrb, Northlake Woods PS, Waterloo
  • Katrina and Jesse - Grade 8 - for their Hand Held Claw Lancer, St. Patrick CES, Schomberg