Students often grow crystals in school or as home science projects to understand how crystals grow in nature. The usual materials--alum, salt and sugar--are non-toxic and grow simple, pretty crystals. However, older students and adults wishing to further explore crystal growing can make copper sulphate crystals. These crystals grow into brilliant, clear blue points with more clarity than other simple crystals.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Measuring cup
- Copper sulphate granules
- Wooden spoon
- Small porous rock
- Deep plastic container
Heat 1 cup of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Let it cool for about five minutes until it is just warm to the touch.
Pour ½ cup of copper sulphate granules into the water. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until all of the granules dissolve--the mixture should turn a cloudy blue colour.
Set a small, porous rock in the bottom of a deep plastic container. Granite, volcanic rock and pumice work well.
Pour the copper sulphate solution into the plastic container over the rock.
Place the plastic container in a warm, sunny spot and wait about a day. Bright blue crystals should begin to appear on your base rock. Let the container sit until most of the liquid evaporates for the best crystal formations on your base rock.
Tips and warnings
- Do not use any of your containers or tools to prepare food after making crystals with them. Copper sulphate can be toxic if ingested.
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