Technical Problem Solving C

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Technical Problem Solving C

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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by qwerrecd » September 24th, 2011, 3:28 pm

What was the event like last year? When I did it at regionals (got switched to towers for state), they had "technical difficulties" and jet gave us a sort of jack-of-all-trades test. I'll probably be on it again this year, too.

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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by Phenylethylamine » September 29th, 2011, 6:51 pm

qwerrecd wrote:What was the event like last year? When I did it at regionals (got switched to towers for state), they had "technical difficulties" and jet gave us a sort of jack-of-all-trades test. I'll probably be on it again this year, too.
It's basically a series of short labs- usually physics, sometimes simple borderline-chem stuff (e.g., specific heat), and you have to take measurements, write down the formulas you're going to use, and then use your data and those formulas to come up with an answer to whatever question they're asking. For example, they could give you a wood cylinder, a balance, and calipers, and tell you to find the density of the wood. You'd have to write down measurements for each dimension of the cylinder and the mass of the cylinder, as well as the formula for volume of a cylinder and the formula for density. Then you'd show your calculations, and write down the answer.

Last year there were around 5-8 stations at each competition, but this year's rules say only 3 stations, so I'm guessing they'll be a bit longer or more complicated. The rules also emphasize the use of those TI probes (which showed up on last year's National event, so that's not altogether surprising).
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by cngu23 » October 10th, 2011, 12:04 pm

Phenylethylamine wrote:
qwerrecd wrote:What was the event like last year? When I did it at regionals (got switched to towers for state), they had "technical difficulties" and jet gave us a sort of jack-of-all-trades test. I'll probably be on it again this year, too.
It's basically a series of short labs- usually physics, sometimes simple borderline-chem stuff (e.g., specific heat), and you have to take measurements, write down the formulas you're going to use, and then use your data and those formulas to come up with an answer to whatever question they're asking. For example, they could give you a wood cylinder, a balance, and calipers, and tell you to find the density of the wood. You'd have to write down measurements for each dimension of the cylinder and the mass of the cylinder, as well as the formula for volume of a cylinder and the formula for density. Then you'd show your calculations, and write down the answer.

Last year there were around 5-8 stations at each competition, but this year's rules say only 3 stations, so I'm guessing they'll be a bit longer or more complicated. The rules also emphasize the use of those TI probes (which showed up on last year's National event, so that's not altogether surprising).
Somehow, last year for regionals, we didn't even have lab stations to do. It was just a packet with 5-6 chemistry and physics problems.
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by Phenylethylamine » October 12th, 2011, 6:45 pm

cngu23 wrote:Somehow, last year for regionals, we didn't even have lab stations to do. It was just a packet with 5-6 chemistry and physics problems.
There are always competitions that don't exactly adhere to the rules, especially Regional and Invitational tournaments. But you should still expect labs, particularly at levels higher than Regionals. And maybe now that the rules say only three stations, the supervisor will be able to actually set up labs.
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by cngu23 » October 12th, 2011, 7:12 pm

Phenylethylamine wrote:
cngu23 wrote:Somehow, last year for regionals, we didn't even have lab stations to do. It was just a packet with 5-6 chemistry and physics problems.
There are always competitions that don't exactly adhere to the rules, especially Regional and Invitational tournaments. But you should still expect labs, particularly at levels higher than Regionals. And maybe now that the rules say only three stations, the supervisor will be able to actually set up labs.
I haven't attended a competition with labs, but for those with them, do the labs tend to be more chemistry based, physics based, or just general math concepts. From what I've heard, most labs tend to be math questions.
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by quizbowl » October 12th, 2011, 7:54 pm

cngu23 wrote:
Phenylethylamine wrote:
cngu23 wrote:Somehow, last year for regionals, we didn't even have lab stations to do. It was just a packet with 5-6 chemistry and physics problems.
There are always competitions that don't exactly adhere to the rules, especially Regional and Invitational tournaments. But you should still expect labs, particularly at levels higher than Regionals. And maybe now that the rules say only three stations, the supervisor will be able to actually set up labs.
I haven't attended a competition with labs, but for those with them, do the labs tend to be more chemistry based, physics based, or just general math concepts. From what I've heard, most labs tend to be math questions.
Not exactly. Here's a sample station from a New York Test.
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While it is not a pure math question, considering you have to first find the periods of each pendulum, it is highly math-based, as in deriving the formulas and determining the answer.
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by ichaelm » October 13th, 2011, 3:06 am

Just keep in mind, they will provide you with any formulas you might need, so you don't actually need to memorize them.

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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by cngu23 » October 13th, 2011, 6:41 pm

quizbowl wrote:
Phenylethylamine wrote:
Not exactly. Here's a sample station from a New York Test.
New York State wrote:Given two different pendulums, determine the gravitational acceleration of your exact location.
While it is not a pure math question, considering you have to first find the periods of each pendulum, it is highly math-based, as in deriving the formulas and determining the answer.
Isn't it possible to determine the gravitational acceleration using only one pendulum? I remember doing a lab like this in Physics last year, where we only had to measure the length of the pendulum, and the period/ frequency.
I guess the second pendulum could be used to validate the results of the first one?
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Post by chalker » October 13th, 2011, 6:46 pm

cngu23 wrote:
Isn't it possible to determine the gravitational acceleration using only one pendulum? I remember doing a lab like this in Physics last year, where we only had to measure the length of the pendulum, and the period/ frequency.
I guess the second pendulum could be used to validate the results of the first one?

It's very possible, and in fact according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendulum#G ... easurement) this is how gravity was typically scientifically measured up until about the 1930's. The formula is actually quite simple: Period = 2 Pi * squareroot (length / g)

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