EASTstroudsburg13 wrote:I'd like to say that unless NSO implements wild card tournaments like this or something similar, states should not start sending 3 teams. It's hard enough trying to figure out the cutoff between 2 and 1; once you add 3 in there, there will be questions about the methodology all over the place.
Cjkowalcz wrote:Who plan's on doing entomology next year (even though it is tentative).
JCicc wrote:Thank you for some very nice comments regarding the PA 2013 Astronomy exam. Watch for it on the test exchange, it will be up soon (several of my old exams are also up there). I thought maybe this was a good time to talk a little about my philosophy when it comes to supervising events; astronomy in particular, as I have supervised this event about 15 times (between the PA Southeast region and the state tournament).
When I write an exam for a Science Olympiad event, I am not interested on bolstering anyone's self-esteem. I don't need to have the scores match some preconceived idea of the "proper" distribution. What I do need is to be able to differentiate 35 or 36 teams beyond any doubt. So my exams are typically too long, too hard, and virtually impossible to score 100% on in a 50 minute time period. Any veterans of my exams can tell you that the scores don't tell me anything in and of themselves other than which team is the best, which team is 2nd best, and so on down the line. I submit that these exams do just that.
Let's be totally frank. Some teams, even at the state level, come into the room with no resources at all. Those teams do not have a prayer. In my estimation, the team that wins should be the team that prepares the best, does the most in-depth research, goes deeply into the content (for example, into subclasses of Type II supernovae and their progenitor stars), and gets contributions from both members of the team. The teams that receive medals will fit these categories.
At any rate, I would like to hear feedback from anyone who took the actual test at states this year (or any other year, for that matter), or anyone who gets a look at it on the test exchange. It has been suggested that perhaps I should put some more questions on the test that are "easy," specifically because sometimes there are scores in the single digits (out of 100 for most exams). I don't like to see scores like that, but to me that just means a team did not prepare for the event at all. Even if you restrict yourself to the object list and spend a day looking up material on each one, you should be able to do well on the first third of the test by putting in a solid two weeks of research time.
I know that my exams are hard. I put a lot of time and effort into making each one, and administering the state astronomy exam is something I look forward to each year. I'll be doing it into the foreseeable future, as far as I can tell at this point. One more thing - typically, the PA representatives at nationals tend to do well in astronomy. One year (I think it was 2005), the PA teams came in 1st and 2nd at nationals, and I will never forget Dr. Putz saying "they must be doing something right in Pennsylvania, because the gold medal is ALSO from the state of Pennsylvania."
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests