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I think it would be important to  understand your mission with the kids- is it teamwork? is it teaching robotics? is it learning how to compete with "gracious professionalism"? Understanding your goals, and their goals for their own team, will tell you what direction to take this into.
  I just know how much my team gets out of the research aspect so it's hard for me to suggest that someone ignore that portion completely.  What if, instead of an elaborate script, they did something really simple? Seriously, just sitting down and telling the judges what they know about food safety and what they think could be changed about it. 
Like someone else said, you can ignore it completely, but then, imho, they will not have been to a full tournament, and the next time they go it will still seem new and unfamiliar.
 
  If you feel you are having trouble working as a team, then try some team building excerises at the start and maybe finish of the meeting. Here are some fun, creative projects, much like the ones they'll discover in the team building judging area.
http://wilderdom.com/games/TeamBuildingExercisesWebsites.html
http://rosevilledi.bwweb.org/DataFiles/Docs0708/IC_Practice_Set.pdf

You can find even more if you google "instant challenges".  It's Destination Imganiation's  quick creative challenges.  I mix our team building up between dividing the team into two groups that compete and putting them altogether to work as one group.  Debrief at the end of the exercises to see if the team felt like they worked well together, what they thought were their strengths, and so on.  Often as much value comes from the debriefing as the actual exercise.
Good luck to your team,
Brandy


On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM, John Britto <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We are a rookie team just getting started with the 2011 tournament requirements.
In the interest of time, we may have to focus on the robot game and not work on the Project/presentation.  Is this something that is ok to do?
Our team of 7 is barely functioning together and our time may be better spent working on the game!  

Thanks,
John Britto


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