Crystal Summer School

The 2024 Crystal Summer School, funded by the National Science Foundation, offers a one-week program from July 8-12, 2024, at the Science and Engineering building (SE43) on the Boca Raton campus. This free, in-person camp, led by Professor Vivian Merk, Ph.D., is designed for K6-12 students and is limited to 10 participants. The program features lectures, educational games, lab tours, and hands-on activities, including growing geodes and exploring crystal gardens. Students will learn about crystals' environmental impact, biomineralization process, and how marine organisms build skeletal elements. They will use advanced microscopes to study corals, mollusk shells, and leaf structures and participate in STEM careers discussions. Free lunch is provided on two days of the camp.

Topics covered in the program:

  • Crystallization across disciplines (chemistry, physics, geology, engineering)
  • Biomineralization
  • Nanotechnology
  • Marine Life in South Florida
  • Nanoscale Microscopy
  • STEM Career Advising

Program Eligibility and apply

  • Applicants must be in middle or high school and submit a one-page essay on why they would like to participate in the Crystal Summer School. To apply, please send the essay and student information to Vivian Merk, Ph.D., at