I've done two competitions so far, both invitationals, with labs. At the first, I constructed the different crystal structures using Styrofoam balls and toothpicks, and created a stress-strain curve measuring the deflection of a wire that was stretched taught between two ring stands. At the second, I had compare (not measure) contact angles of four different liquids(distilled water, vegetable oil, motor oil, and one other) on three different surfaces (plastic, glass, and metal). I also had to compare various properties, such as ductility and fracture toughness, of three materials (silly putty, modeling clay, and play dough).I'm curious , what was the lab at the Regional Competition?
At most invitationals, I have not seen a lab and it has been only a paper test (not entirely within the spirit of the rules for the event).
When I ran it at the Northview competition, the lab portion involved measuring and plotting Young's Modulus using the cantilever method.
I'm just worried, unless event supervisors figure out some associated labs, this event will end up being only a paper test.
I would also like to know what other have done since I will run this event 2 more times this season.
Some labs will have you use equations for the various material characterization techniques, like the one with the wire above, which uses Young's modulus. The second lab would have been almost impossible to get accurate, repeatable results, so it focused on the comparison between them rather than a calculation. Usually, you will be able to piece together what to do in a lab if you have a solid knowledge of all the physical and chemical characterization techniques.