Elastic Launched Glider C

Jdogg
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Re: Robot Arm C

Postby Jdogg » May 21st, 2013, 4:32 pm

ok. I happen to know for a fact that there was not a fair playing field for gliders. The two hours in the morning were spent entirely standing around waiting after the fans blew my #1 glider into a vent, resulting in irreversible damage to the glider. The #3 glider was warped by the humidity, which caused a wing to crack, and the tail of the #2 glider was slightly altered. I made the decision not to fly in the gym due to these conditions and the likelihood of another break. Meaning that I had to hope to be able to trim glider #2 during the "Lunch Break" immediately before my time slot. In the meantime, the local schools didn't have any need to worry about the air because they had absolutely no change in humidity or air density to deal with, they just had to trim to height, which takes significantly less time than trimming for the air.
First off can we move this discussion to the ELG tab.
Second off, I think everyone had the same problems in the morning with the air vents still being on so it was in fact a equal playing field. Teams like centerville might have had a advantage because of the close proximity of the event and being able to test in the same conditions but weather changes, humidity changes... All other teams are 100's of miles away, changing the atmosphere and humidity significantly. I understand your frustration with being at a different level of elevation at home, but what about when nats was held in colorado. I remember my coach talking about how all the teams for bungie egg drop ended up hitting and smashing their egg against the floor due to the different air densities. It's a issue that everyone ends up having and since nationals is moved around a lot.I understand your frustration, but part of scioly is about being able to make those adjustments and figure out a solution to these types of problems. You still ended up getting first and still wow'd the crowd.
As for transportation, my gravity vehicle broke in transit on the way down to nats last year. The long trip damaged the gravity vehicle and I ended up getting a place I wasn't happy with. But things happen and you have to figure out ways to manage and not let them happen again.
Harriton Class of 2013
Vice-Deputy of Avionics and Control for Lunar Lion
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iwonder
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Re: Robot Arm C

Postby iwonder » May 21st, 2013, 7:48 pm

I think what the national officials are try to say is that it wasn't something that could have been prevented. They tried their best to get the a/c turned off early enough, but there was a miss communication. They also weren't able to secure time in the gym before the event because the college allowed students to use the gym on weekdays.

To say that the issues are due to someone's negligence after someone put an entire year of time and effort(and more, in some cases) into putting this on, from talking to the college officials, to writing rules, hosting the summer clinic, answering all our endless(and probably repetitive and vague) questions, getting all the supplies for the event, scoring, breaking ties, putting all the scores together, organizing the awards, and a whole lot more that we probably won't ever see, just comes across as insulting. I've put on tournaments before and nothing's ever perfect, even nationals. I'm sorry it had to effect you so greatly, but it wasn't meant to happen, and venting about it online to people that already probably devote most of their lives to SciO isn't going to get you anywhere.

It can be frustrating, but I'm sure all efforts were made to make the event fair(as erikb said), and nothing can be done about it now. Perhaps next year it would make sense to bring up securing another venue(local civic center or high school gym) for teams to use that night to trim their gliders, but accusing the supervisors of negligence won't help your case, it just makes it harder to get them to see your view.

Regardless, I know how much work it is to put on tournaments half the size of nationals in a local highschool, and I can imagine how much planning it takes to do something twice our size on a college campus, so thanks to everyone who gave us all a little part of their lives to put this on, it's a lot of fun!
'If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room' - Unknown

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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby chalker » May 21st, 2013, 8:39 pm

I'd like to post what I doubt will be the truly final comment regarding the thread that hijacked Robot Arm (http://www.scioly.org/phpBB3/viewtopic. ... 05#p241809), but hopefully will at least be the final comment needed by me regarding this matter.

First, I think this has been a very civil and interesting conversation so far. I haven't taken anyone's comments so far as rude or inappropriate, just passionate about the issue and a bit frustrated about trying to get certain points across.

Next, I hope erikb and everyone else realize that when I say I understand what they go through as competitors, I'm not just throwing out trite platitudes. I too was a high school competitor for a few years (2 decades ago). And I'd like to think I too was among the best of the best in my events (as evident by my 3 national gold medals I still have to this day). And I too was concerned about the 'fairness' of the location, such as in 1993 when Nationals was at the U. of Southern Colorado, which is at nearly a mile of elevation and located essentially in the middle of a desert (which resulted in me 'only' placing 3rd in bridges). So please believe me - I get it.

But I also have the experience of the subsequent 20 years of various levels of involvement in SO, leading to my various roles today at the National Level. And in that time I've seen the amazing amount of time, talent, and treasure that people in this almost entirely volunteer driven organization put into it time and time again to help fulfill the mission and goals of Science Olympiad. Like in any human endeavor, mistakes and errors are sometimes made, which sometimes result in specific teams being treated unequally or unfairly. When that happens, we do our best to correct them as quickly and fairly as possible (witness for example what happened at the end of the awards ceremony this year when we had to announce a 4th place tie and call 2 students back up to give them medals).

Thus, I'd like to think I have a good feeling for when we as supervisors and directors 'deny an opportunity' to someone (which does occasionally happen), and I truly believe this is not the case here. I'm also not trying to be pedantic about the word choices, as my concern is with what seems to be the viewpoint that somehow as a result of our choices and actions (or inactions) students were unable to fairly compete. As wlsguy has already detailed, all students were indeed given the same parameters and environment under which to prepare, practice, and compete to the best extent possible. There will always be variations though due to things like scheduling at different times of the day. However, as result of the choices competitors made, some were more successful that others. Choices like heavier versus lighter, number of gliders to bring, how much time it takes and when to trim, etc... etc.. And these are the types of choices and situations scientists and engineers are faced with in the real world every day.

Thus, the bottom line / TL;DR version: I know and understand the feeling of being unhappy with a result. But I'd request you blame it on fate, or luck, or the weather or insufficient preparation for all contingencies or other competitors being better. Just in the majority of situations, including this one, I'm concerned when blame is directed at the event supervisors or tournament directors and feel obligated as a result of my passion for the mission and goals of SO to try to adjust that.

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erikb
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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby erikb » May 22nd, 2013, 7:36 am

I get the feeling that the event staff is a little defensive from everyone blaming them for everything. So let me say this in bold and underlined.

No one at Poudre blames the event staff in any way for what happened. Don't make me do it in all caps. Cause i will.

I know that if the event staff will do everything they can to make these events fair. Don't make me bold and underline that also.


My first point and the important one. This event is a duration event. The very goal of this event is to make the lightest most fragile glider you can that can be launched. Anyone that made the "choice" to make a heavy glider intentionally made the choice to not be competitive. That just does make sense to me. I can't wrap my head around it.

Since the goal is to make the lightest most fragile glider, those gliders have little inertia and at the mercy of the air. strong perpendicular currents will push them into the ground damaging the gliders.

I really don't understand how an event can be set up with the ideal goal being punished and then the event is called fair. I really don't get it.

The other issue i am having right now is the dismissal of the kids feelings and in addition to the justification of the events to say that it was fair.

The issue is not that things happened. the issue is putting further blame on the kids for not reaching their potential in an event where the ultimate goal was punished.

From this conversation what i am looking for is a "you're right it sucked. (validation of their feelings) and in the future we will keep in mind that the duration events need a place that is big enough and with enough time to accommodation those kids who are pushing towards the goals we defined for success."
--
Poudre High School, Fort Collins CO.

jander14indoor
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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby jander14indoor » May 22nd, 2013, 2:16 pm

Hmm, been biting tongue (figuratively), but what to say that's constructive.

I’m going to say ‘we’ because I’ve been a flying ES in the past, authored the helicopter event, and continue to help write these rules. And this did start on the Robot Arm page...

Defensiveness. I recognize you aren’t ‘blaming’ us, PLEASE DON’T USE CAPS (meant to amuse, I hate smiley faces). We just don’t agree that it was unfair. This may come across as defensive.

Goal of event. This is probably the ultimate source of the disagreement. For the authors it is NOT about the longest flight or lightest glider (at least for some of us, we’ve discussed this explicitly). It’s about teaching students to take data and use it. The student should be able to both to optimize a system and adjust it to conditions. The fact that the system is a flying device is just fun, showy, and our personal passion. The measure of success is flight time against the competitors ON the day of a competition in conditions not known ahead of time. An implicit part of the event is to make choices based on data vs conditions real time.

Why build a ‘heavy’ glider (ideally in addition to a light glider). This goes back to the goal as I described it. Smooth air is NOT guaranteed. Sometimes we can’t get the air off. And sometimes rough air is not caused by AC system but by external climate. And sometimes that can change through the day. These are part of the conditions students are expected to handle. None of those things makes the contest unfair. The competitor is expected to make choices and adjust to the conditions. The winning strategy in that case may be to fly a sturdier glider, accept the lower but highly likely good time instead of possibility of a better time with high risk of a bad time. Or fly a heavy glider for a sure OK time, and a light one to try for that top time.

Hmm, that sucks. You are right, it sucks when you don’t have the success you’ve worked for. That doesn’t mean the contest wasn’t fair. It’s true if your device was destroyed in transit, changed by climate or the student makes a choice in the course of a competition that results in a bad score. Note, I didn’t say bad choice, sometimes the choice is right, but the result is bad. It sucks either way. And for me (and I expect all of us), I do sympathize with the students I don't blame them.

Regards,

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI

erikb
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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby erikb » May 22nd, 2013, 3:00 pm

@jander14indoor

You're right. We have competed too much with the AMA folks. It's not the same events. Our mind set is the best possible time. In the best possible conditions.
--
Poudre High School, Fort Collins CO.

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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby chalker7 » May 22nd, 2013, 5:00 pm

As usual, Jeff comes in and states my thoughts precisely and much more eloquently than I would manage.
To me, fairness isn't about providing every team with the conditions to get the absolute highest performance possible, that will vary based upon each teams' individual setup (an extreme example would be one team being best suited for a 25' gym while another with a heavier glider is best suited for a 65' ceiling.) Instead, fairness is about providing as close to identical environmental and day of competition logistics as possible. What you do with those is what the contest is about.
I think it's informative to note that there are not records in SO events. The rules change too often and the stopwatch is less important than the learning. It's great if you get an awesome time, and I totally encourage you to take these skills over to compete in real AMA events, I'm sure you'll beat some of the current Junior and Senior records! But, as erikb stated above, SO is not the AMA, they have dramatically different goals. We care more about the learning while the AMA cares more about the stopwatch.
Also, not to be difficult, but we are talking about the team that won the national tournament in this event. While I'm sorry you aren't as happy with your times as you might have been otherwise, I'm a little disheartened to think that you aren't excited or proud to be the best elastic launch glider team in the country. Be proud of what you have done, it's a great accomplishment! I'm certainly impressed about how well everyone has done in this event, and you're the best, that's an awesome thing.
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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby erikb » May 22nd, 2013, 6:16 pm

Also, not to be difficult, but we are talking about the team that won the national tournament in this event. While I'm sorry you aren't as happy with your times as you might have been otherwise, I'm a little disheartened to think that you aren't excited or proud to be the best elastic launch glider team in the country. Be proud of what you have done, it's a great accomplishment! I'm certainly impressed about how well everyone has done in this event, and you're the best, that's an awesome thing.
First you have to remember i am just a coach. All i have done is get them the resources and time to compete.

Next, this issue is me defending how my kids felt. I however, did not look at the bigger picture. Ironically a picture i remind them of every day. You have to be prepared for everything they will through at you. And our motto is "we can fix it"

I was wrong. I admit that. I have talked to PS2 and reminded him also of what SO is about. I should have done it right then. But, i forgot.

Finally, yes they enjoy the gold.
--
Poudre High School, Fort Collins CO.

plaid suit guy2
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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby plaid suit guy2 » May 22nd, 2013, 6:32 pm

I was also still seeing this as an AMA event, where the spirit of the competition is different
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Nationals 2012:
Sound of Music: 8th

Nationals 2013:
Remote Sensing: 1st
ELG: 1st
MagLev: 6th

State 2014:
Boomi: 1st (scored 1824)
Circuits: 1st
Compound: 3rd
Malgev: 1st
MP: 2nd

total gold: 18
total silver: 10
total bronze: 5
6th: 1
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jander14indoor
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Re: Elastic Launched Glider C

Postby jander14indoor » May 22nd, 2013, 6:55 pm

No problem guys. Like chalker7 said, you won the national tournament, be proud.

Now go take those skills to an AMA contest and set records, you are more than capable. And you follow a long line of SO alums moving into AMA competition and turning the expectations upside down.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI


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