808rain wrote:How does this event work? Does one person do the written and the other the lab? What if we just have one person? Will they have enough time to do it all?
(comparing food science to potions) It was common for one person to do the lab and the other to complete the test, with both working closely to be able to help each other easily. However, there were some cases in which only one person was present to compete. In this case, it's completely possible to be successful, although it's generally necessary to optimize time to most effectively work towards points
1. (Responsibly and carefully) using waiting time in a lab to answer test questions (for example, waiting for water to boil in a Benedict's test in food science was valuable time that could be used for questions)
2. Prioritizing Part II over Part I - although Part II only has a 40% weight, it takes significantly less time to complete. Therefore, finishing the lab portion before working on the test portion can save you points in the event that you're pressured for time
3. Decreasing reliance on a notesheet - As much as notesheets are there to help, they can slow you down in many cases. Potions allows 5 sheets of notes, front and back, and looking through all of these notes can really strain time. "Desperation searches" for answers that might not even be in the notes take precious time that could instead be used to answer easier questions that are worth just the same amount
In most cases, for potions, you will have a partner. I personally don't believe in splitting the event into test for one partner and lab for the other, although others exercise this strategy at every competition.
Splitting knowledge is more effective IMO, as it focuses on on depth of information as well as question accuracy. With two partners, it is less common to get stuck on a question, as both partners have some level of information exclusive to themselves, as well as increased confidence and security on having someone else to work with. My strategy is to split the knowledge into sections of plants and chemicals, while both doing some research on environmental toxins. From what I've seen so far, competitions don't test as much on the environmental toxins, so it is safe to leave this category as a second priority. After completing the test, the lab goes much smoother with two partners.
R.C. Murphy JHS Science Olympiad
my events tend to deal with really big things or really tiny things