How to gain research experience?
How can a high school student, such as myself gain research experience? I'm not talking about anything overly impressive. I'm just talking about possibly doing something along the lines of a research mentorship with a local university or a physicist. Am I already asking too much? How do other people that get admitted into top universities such as Cal-tech obtain research experience? I know about the summer research programs, but those seem extremely competitive. Would it be weird to email a local university professor see what is available? or would they just completely ignore me? Some background information: I'm a sophomore, and have already completed all the calculus courses available to me, have already done the physics, and am looking to get more out of my spare time.