Anyone with the rules already: Are the rules/materials much different from last year? Additionally, is Water Testing back, or is it still polymers and fibers?
I strongly agree. The majority of the test will in fact be powders, but you might also want to take a look at liquids and metals too, since the liquids are commonly found lying around the house, and you might have better access to them. Once you feel like you got the hang of recognizing individual powders, then you should start moving onto mixtures of 2, then 3 if you feel braver. However, the event isn't just identification. You'll have to know things like types of fingerprints (which is pretty basic), as well as what certain types of fibers and hairs look like under microscopes. Those are the most common things seen in the competition setting, and should be enough to get you started. Also, you might want to take a lot of practice tests with your partner - find out who is better at doing what. For example, my partner and I have worked out a system that allows us to use our 50 minutes of event time the most efficiently. You can either split up the work or work together, although I do recommend from previous experience to split up the work because the time you have is limited.There are a lot of things to learn. Based of past experience a majority of the test is ID of the powders and mixtures. So my suggestion is to talk to your coach about getting the needed powders and then start practicing how you can ID them. Maybe make a dichotomous key
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