Pennsylvania 2014

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby chalker » May 5th, 2014, 3:55 pm

DQ's are usually reserved for cheating or similar incidents... were you looking at other people's tests?

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby JCicc » May 5th, 2014, 4:29 pm

"Any idea how you could get DQ'd in Astronomy? We have no idea how that happened...hopefully they will let us (Quaker Valley) know for future reference. Very baffled at that one..."


I am the supervisor for C division astronomy at the PA state finals. The DQ has been addressed in a private message. I will not publicly discuss it.

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby AlphaTauri » May 5th, 2014, 5:39 pm

Anyone else very skeptical of the Experimental Design Scores-- considering Harriton, Rustin, and Stoga all scored over 25th? Why are the bungee results wrong? What happened to Scrambler? Very upset with the lack of clarity and mistakes in event scoring this year. It makes all of us lose faith in the spirit of Science Olympiad.
They are fixing it... mistakes happen. My guess is that most likely something went wrong while entering things into the spreadsheet, and things will probably change when they put the final, corrected scoresheet up.

Edit: As for ExpDes, I heard from our ExpDes people that the proctor apparently got fed up with teams doing pendulums (after telling them to make a physics experiment involving gravity...) and banned pendulums about ten minutes into their block, so that might be part of the reason.
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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby computergeek3 » May 5th, 2014, 6:18 pm

Anyone else very skeptical of the Experimental Design Scores-- considering Harriton, Rustin, and Stoga all scored over 25th? Why are the bungee results wrong? What happened to Scrambler? Very upset with the lack of clarity and mistakes in event scoring this year. It makes all of us lose faith in the spirit of Science Olympiad.
They are fixing it... mistakes happen. My guess is that most likely something went wrong while entering things into the spreadsheet, and things will probably change when they put the final, corrected scoresheet up.

Edit: As for ExpDes, I heard from our ExpDes people that the proctor apparently got fed up with teams doing pendulums (after telling them to make a physics experiment involving gravity...) and banned pendulums about ten minutes into their block, so that might be part of the reason.
Did he announce to all teams after that block that pendulums were banned? That just seems odd that a proctor would outright ban doing a type of experiment.
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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby Canadianmadman » May 5th, 2014, 6:27 pm

I have removed my current post here.
Last edited by Canadianmadman on May 5th, 2014, 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby Canadianmadman » May 5th, 2014, 6:29 pm

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Last edited by Canadianmadman on May 5th, 2014, 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby ichaelm » May 5th, 2014, 6:46 pm

I would like to hope there was a miscalculation. But what has happened is pretty big. From what I hear, many of the schools who were in the Top 5/6 at states for the C Division are very disappointed in what is going on. Many coaches have been trying to contact the State admins trying to get clarification on what is going on. There is supposed to be a hotline or something that is open 24hrs a day or something after the results are released and that hotline has had no responses for many teams. I know Bayard Rustin is very confused and disappointed in how this is being handled, and I am sure that Conestoga, Harriton, and Strath Haven all have a problem with it. Not necessarily because they might move up a place, but because there have been problems like this before in PA SciOly and nothing ever gets fixed and teams and coaches must suffer.

As mean as this is to say, the controversy always seems to surround Penncrest. Why? I'm not really sure, but it seems to me from what I head from multiple participants is that there consistently have been problems with how Penncrest is involved with the state competition. Many teams just want the honest truth. If you win fair and square, good for you. Every team can accept defeat when it is fair; the team recognizes that they were out-done. However, where there are multiple problems, many of which surrounding Penncrest influenced events (I say influenced because it seems like Penncrest sort of took over some of the events that they volunteered to help other schools with, again from what I have been hearing), along with the fact that Penncrest suddenly moved up to 1st in the rankings just seems sketchy.

People have already gotten their medals and their places, yet on the results sheet, these are all changed and therefore Penncrest is moved up? Something is going on in PA SciOly and it seems to get worse every couple of years. In my opinion, something needs to happen sometime because teams are getting fed-up with the constant problems year-after-year with nothing changing and teams consistently having to put in tons of effort for no change, just because they want the truth.

I myself can't even tell if my event scores are correct. I accepted them when they came out, but with all this controversy, who is to say I can even trust my place and scores? The tests were not even collected by the State Supervisor in case there was a problem like this. It just seems all too fishy. Hopefully the truth will come out and the drama will subside until next year.
Penncrest is involved so much in running states because they volunteer to run events that would otherwise not be run. Their coaches have always put in far more than their fair share. Every team at states relies on Penncrest to pick up the slack, and we are all thankful for their massive volunteer help. It is no surprise that their are glitches, since the entire thing is run by volunteers. Things would run a whole lot smoother if there were more teams like Penncrest, or Rustin, or the few other teams that go out of their way to help as much as possible.

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby Atomicbob11 » May 5th, 2014, 6:51 pm

I can definitely agree with that. Penncrest, just like Harriton, has been involved in Science Olympiad for a long time. They have a well-oiled machine that allows them to consistently compete at a national level. Their volunteering is largely noticed. However, I think because of this, there is more support that allows them to volunteer. Smaller teams may not have as many people in Science Olympiad that allow them to volunteer their services. Nonetheless, it is volunteer work and definitely very much appreciated, coming from a competitor myself.
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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby Jdogg » May 5th, 2014, 6:53 pm

I have the utmost respect for Penncrest. Whenever teams switch places due to scoring errors, it raises serious questions. I don't know if Penncrest got first or second, or what events they helped out with. But after being involved with running an event at states this year, things constantly are brought to question. Supervisors are placed in situations were they have to be fair to all teams, stick to the rules and draw a line on ambiguously phrased rules.

At every tournament across the nation, especially nationals, scoring mistakes occur (sometimes corrected, sometimes not).

The controversy for competitions usually revolves around the teams that makes nationals. Since the 2nd place team is usually very close to the third, every year coaches etc try to appeal events in the attempt to change the results. It's a consequence of how many teams make nationals. If three teams made nationals every year. I beat the third place team would be in the controversial spot.

I remember last year (or two years ago) Harriton was asked not to supervise Forensics since several teams thought that it was rigged. Due to the fact that Harriton wins the event almost every year. Yet when a different coach wrote the test, Harriton once again received first place at the state tournament in forensics and has done very well at the national tournament as well.

All I have to say is that coaches and supervisors want what is best and fair for their students. I doubt that any judge or supervisor unfairly grades the results just to gain a edge in a event. The coaches and supervisors that judge these events try to be as fair as possible. I know for scrambler, the main supervisor wouldn't time or judge his own team. He wanted to make sure that they were treated fairly and equally, making sure that they weren't at all given special treatment.

Congrats to Everyone that competed in the Scrambler event. I saw some crazy awesome vehicles that really blew me away. I know how much time every single team put into their device, I know that PA will be represented very well by Penncrest and Harriton at Nationals. I wish both teams best of luck.
I would like to hope there was a miscalculation. But what has happened is pretty big. From what I hear, many of the schools who were in the Top 5/6 at states for the C Division are very disappointed in what is going on. Many coaches have been trying to contact the State admins trying to get clarification on what is going on. There is supposed to be a hotline or something that is open 24hrs a day or something after the results are released and that hotline has had no responses for many teams. I know Bayard Rustin is very confused and disappointed in how this is being handled, and I am sure that Conestoga, Harriton, and Strath Haven all have a problem with it. Not necessarily because they might move up a place, but because there have been problems like this before in PA SciOly and nothing ever gets fixed and teams and coaches must suffer.

As mean as this is to say, the controversy always seems to surround Penncrest. Why? I'm not really sure, but it seems to me from what I head from multiple participants is that there consistently have been problems with how Penncrest is involved with the state competition. Many teams just want the honest truth. If you win fair and square, good for you. Every team can accept defeat when it is fair; the team recognizes that they were out-done. However, where there are multiple problems, many of which surrounding Penncrest influenced events (I say influenced because it seems like Penncrest sort of took over some of the events that they volunteered to help other schools with, again from what I have been hearing), along with the fact that Penncrest suddenly moved up to 1st in the rankings just seems sketchy.

People have already gotten their medals and their places, yet on the results sheet, these are all changed and therefore Penncrest is moved up? Something is going on in PA SciOly and it seems to get worse every couple of years. In my opinion, something needs to happen sometime because teams are getting fed-up with the constant problems year-after-year with nothing changing and teams consistently having to put in tons of effort for no change, just because they want the truth.

I myself can't even tell if my event scores are correct. I accepted them when they came out, but with all this controversy, who is to say I can even trust my place and scores? The tests were not even collected by the State Supervisor in case there was a problem like this. It just seems all too fishy. Hopefully the truth will come out and the drama will subside until next year.
Last edited by Jdogg on May 5th, 2014, 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby StogaSciOly » May 5th, 2014, 6:56 pm

Hey, do you happen to know why Scrambler wasn't included in the results? We're all super confused. Thanks!!

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby AlphaTauri » May 5th, 2014, 6:58 pm

Anyone else very skeptical of the Experimental Design Scores-- considering Harriton, Rustin, and Stoga all scored over 25th? Why are the bungee results wrong? What happened to Scrambler? Very upset with the lack of clarity and mistakes in event scoring this year. It makes all of us lose faith in the spirit of Science Olympiad.
They are fixing it... mistakes happen. My guess is that most likely something went wrong while entering things into the spreadsheet, and things will probably change when they put the final, corrected scoresheet up.

Edit: As for ExpDes, I heard from our ExpDes people that the proctor apparently got fed up with teams doing pendulums (after telling them to make a physics experiment involving gravity...) and banned pendulums about ten minutes into their block, so that might be part of the reason.
Did he announce to all teams after that block that pendulums were banned? That just seems odd that a proctor would outright ban doing a type of experiment.
I have no idea. All I know is what I heard from our ExpDes people. And well, as for pendulums and ExpDes... pendulums are often a go-to experiment because they're easy to construct and the experimental relationships are already known from simple physics. Thus many teams do them when possible, so they can concentrate on the write-up and analysis. Proctors don't like to read 36 labs about pendulums. (Though to me, that's a problem inherent in the event because of the way the grading works...)
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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » May 5th, 2014, 6:59 pm

There is a degree to which competitions are not going to be perfect. Always has been the case in Science Olympiad, always has been. For some reason, this year there seem to have been more appeals or questions regarding the integrity of the competition. This, to me, is a real shame, because nobody gets paid to spend their time working at states; like ichalem said, it is all volunteer work. If we want to make tournaments run without any of these minor glitches, that have always happened but are usually accepted as part of the game, everyone needs to pitch in, not just a couple of teams (thankfully Penncrest is one of the teams that does so).

It is easy to get caught up in the competitive nature of Science Olympiad. Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at what it really is: a way to explore science, and to celebrate the exploration of science with others. We can quibble over whether a team deserved a higher or lower place, but this is why we have 23 events. In the end, hopefully, everything evens out and the teams that advance are the teams that performed the best. In the meantime, however, it does nobody any good to point fingers and say that this team cheated, or that team didn't run their event right. In the grand scheme of things, what is more important: that the event is run perfectly and you absolutely sure nothing went wrong, or that you were able to delve into interesting aspects of science and engineering that, without Science Olympiad, you otherwise may not have experienced?

EDIT: Also, atomicbob, ichaelm went to Harriton. Why would he have Penncrest bias?
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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby Canadianmadman » May 5th, 2014, 7:01 pm

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Last edited by Canadianmadman on May 5th, 2014, 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby JCicc » May 5th, 2014, 7:06 pm

This is for Canadianmadman. What controversy surrounds Penncrest? The event in question here was WON, fair and square, by Penncrest, for which the team got 23 points in the official score sheet. How is it "sketchy" that the proper scores were updated, resulting in a change of placement? Penncrest was not involved in the administration of this event, nor in the change of scoring.

What "multiple problems" are you speaking of? Name one. There were no problems with any events Penncrest was involved in this year, or last year, or the year before. Penncrest was not involved in experimental design, bungee drop, or scrambler.

What you are suggesting, young sir, is that the integrity of Penncrest's team coaches and volunteer event supervisors is in question. I object. "Many teams just want the honest truth." The honest truth here is that Penncrest lost the opportunity to receive a first place trophy because the score sheet was initially inaccurate. Fixing the score sheet is "sketchy"? NOT fixing it would be sketchy.

Don't you dare question my integrity ever again. It's offensive and insulting.

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Re: Pennsylvania 2014

Postby StogaSciOly » May 5th, 2014, 7:08 pm

The sheer belief in the Science Olympiad organization in Pennsylvania is humbling. We've all put in so much effort this year. Hopefully everyone has been honest and fair-- true to the spirit of the organization. We will find out what will happen tomorrow-- hopefully, next year.. there will be no questions to this extent. Whatever happens-- let's make sure PA can have two teams in the top 10 at the National Tournament. We deserve it!!


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