© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Crystal growing competition sparking interest in science

from UB website

In just its second year, the U.S. Crystal Growing Competition has drawn student entries from 20 different states.

The competition is the brainchild of University at Buffalo chemist Jason Benedict.

"I think it's a lot of fun and the feedback that we got from participants last year reflected that," Benedict told WBFO.  

"We got a huge number  of letters from people saying, 'Thank you, the kids had a lot of fun.'"

According to Benedict, Canadians have been conducting a crystal growing competition for many years prior to the emergence of his nationwide competition.

Sixty teams from elementary and high schools have entered the competition. With cash prizes on the line for the winners, Benedict believes the contest is helping to build a wider interest in science.

"We all want to put an emphasis on STEM education and getting kids interested in science," Benedict said.

"When you grow one of these crystals, [and] it's pretty easy to grow a crystal the size of a golf ball, when you just hold one of these things, it's really marvelous."  

Teams begin growing the crystals this week. In five weeks, those crystals will be shipped to UB where Benedict and a panel of experts will determine the winners.

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.