SSPC is a world-leading research centre focused upon next generation medicines by developing environmentally sustainable methods for drug manufacture; increasing the range of medicines available to the public; and reducing drug-manufacturing costs. Crystals are particularly important when making medicines as one of the main objectives is to improve the performance of drug products available to the public. As a pharmaceutical research centre, SSPC has created a Crystal Drop workshop to draw students to learn the fundamentals about crystals and gravity, along with uses and examples.
The workshop asks students to design and build a device or contraption that will protect a sugar cube crystal from being destroyed when it is dropped from a height. The purpose of this activity is to show students how common crystal materials can be, while exploring their physical properties as a solid that is prone to cracking and splitting. This makes the crystal drop a difficult task for students as even the smallest impact may have catastrophic effects on their crystal.
By designing and redesigning their device, students learn about and experience the scientific method, collaboration, prediction and how to take into account variables such as the physical nature of their sugar crystal and the force of gravity.