The most popular challenge as of late is the Scientific Challenge, and this year will be no exception. You can expect heavy competition when choosing this challenge for your team! To get ahead of the pack – you need to score higher!
When it comes to scoring, everything is already laid out in the challenge. It is VITAL that your team goes through the scoring elements and understand what is being scored. A lot of teams fail to consider how their solution will be scored, and only focus on putting together something they like. There is no point in spending all your time working on something that will not be scored! Like most problems in life, the winning solutions are the ones that are best for both your team and everyone watching. If your team does come up with a solution, make sure to go through the scoring rubric and see if it checks all the elements.
As with most years, the Scientific Challenge has three key scoring elements (with this year’s requirement in brackets):
The story (a medical condition)
A device (the Sympt-O-Matic)
A presentation requirement (Double Vision)
All these elements require your team to do some research, get creative, and present your solution effectively. Your team needs to examine each and every element and figure out how you can get the highest score.
A. Story – The highest scoring section with 110 possible points
Do some research and find a medical condition that your team can be excited about, or has a deep connection with that can help you tell an awesome story. Try to stay away from the most common conditions – unless you are certain you have something unique! You can take a look into the past to find an illness that had a big impact in history, or something that was weird or unique. Your story should be creative and entertaining to watch! However, be careful with what you portray and make sure it is appropriate for all audiences! Make sure to practise your presentation so that it flows. A great story flows well – with a clear beginning, middle and ending. I also cannot stress this enough: SPEAK LOUD AND CLEAR! If the appraisers cannot hear you, they cannot score you!
B. The Sympt-O-Matic – The device section with 80 possible points
The device always involves “Technical Methods”, which will showcase how well you understand scientific concepts. This is for the design and engineering specialist of your team – creativity is important! Make sure that your device works effectively and looks good, your device should be reliable and attractive for high scores. Also, make sure it is an important part of the story (this is a fair chunk of the score)!
C. Double Vision – This is not fine arts, but presentation is key! 50 possible points
Your team needs to research and understand the theatrics involved in Blocking and Staging to provide two perspectives of a scene at the same time. Be sure to make the theatrics meaningful in your story, and add a creative flair!
D. Team Choice Elements (TCE) – You choose, 60 possible points
The highest scoring teams usually have the best TCE scores. When choosing your TCEs, make sure it shows the appraisers three things:
How creative or original it is
How much effort your team put into it
How much it is used, or how important it is to your presentation
A lot of teams will sing a song, paint a backdrop, or make a prop that is just thrown into their presentation just to fulfill the TCE requirement. Instead, your team should take this as an opportunity to showcase your talents, creativity, or genius! This is how you can show everyone how good you are at something! Just make sure it makes sense with your story!
Good luck with your solutions! Hard work and practise always helps! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Affiliate Challenge Master!
Oh wait….. that’s me!