ZekeBud wrote:charterschoolkids: Be sure to carefully examine the rules for the event. While I probably wouldn't see major changes, those new to Experimental won't be so quick to pick up on the requirements.
Along those same lines, make sure you do what is asked. When writing a problem statement, be sure that it isn't a simple yes/no question. Furthermore, make the problem guide the whole rest of the lab. While the number of points for a good statement of problem may not seem too important, the very process of getting you "into" the experiment is dependent on this step.
As for general tips, the key word is practice. Force someone else (coach, teammates, well-trained pets) to gather some semi-related materials. Then, find a way to perform some sort of experiment with the supplies. This is very open-ended, but it allows for creativity and spontaneity to flow.
Some examples of materials I've seen: a basin, tubes of varying diameters, and water; balloons, fabrics, and confetti; a toy soldier, string, paper, and scissors; a spring, a ring stand, a clamp, and slotted masses.
Don't be sure that you'll be given problem guidance. Use such freedom to your advantage: it'll be easier when they tell you what to do, and you'll be ready either way.
Finally, practice as a team. Know what your tasks are, and know how to step up and fill in if things go wrong. Remember, you need to rely on your partners to get this done.
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