Select a topic to explore.
After you have your team and your coach, it’s time to choose a topic. You might pick something that you’ve always wondered about (“Why doesn’t X do this?”) or that has always interested you (“How could I build a better X?”). As a team, brainstorm some ideas and see if there are any ideas or areas of study that stand out. Consider these tips when selecting a topic:
- Get ideas from everyday life. Look at the tools and technologies people use every day — it could be as simple as a pencil or as complex as a quantum computer.
- Solve a problem. Identify a problem that a current technology does not solve, then imagine possible solutions.
- Talk with your teacher. Your coach might have some great ideas based on scientific or news trends. He or she might also know the strengths of your team members and be able to tell you what resources or equipment are available at school.
- Think about who your mentors could be. If someone on your team has a family friend who works in a laboratory that makes flavorings for potato chips, for example, it would be smart to pick a topic about flavorings so you could draw on that person’s expertise.
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