About Crystals

A material can be called "crystalline" if it is made up of tightly ordered molecules. This can form in nature (as minerals such as Quartz, Bismuth, and more), or be created synthetically (like Steel, or even Chocolate!).

For Teachers

Key Concepts

The Crystal game lets you try to place molecules of different shapes and properties into an ordered, stable configuration- a crystal! Puzzle through how certain molecules more naturally tend toward crystalline structure, and the various properties that get in the way.

Topics Addressed

  • Molecular Stability
  • Ionic Charges
  • Crystal Defects
  • Spacial Patterning

Standards Covered


The Crystal Game will support exploration of the following concepts: Every material is made up of molecules. Certain properties allow these molecules to easily form a pattern. When there is a stable, patterned arrangement, you have a Crystal. Molecular charges can add to or subtract from stability.