Will You Make it to Nationals?

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby MMeteorite1 » February 2nd, 2014, 2:43 pm

Mason and Mentor looking strong as well in Ohio

SuperAJ wrote:Our team would have to beat Solon or Centerville. We can do it!

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby meteorology125 » February 3rd, 2014, 1:02 pm

We can probably get 4th at states. To get to nationals, we would have to beat Magsig and Mentor Memorial, which is improbable.
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Cheesy Pie » February 5th, 2014, 10:44 am

We will probably not. IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) often gets third at States, because we have New Trier and Stevenson. Enough said.
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby emescferrall » February 5th, 2014, 11:28 am

Hahahahahaha . . . yeah, right!! The best our school has ever gotten at State was 2nd, but we've never won
I took first at 2013 States as a 6th grader in Meteorology!!!

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby kentuckyfan1001 » February 5th, 2014, 1:57 pm

I just wanted to say, after reading a few of these negative posts about how your team has no chance because some "powerhouse team" is going to make it out from your state doesn't really make any sense to me. Every year is a new year, period. This means that previous results mean nothing - they're merely a (weak) predictor of future results. Be the change you want to be! There have been so many "upsets" in the past few years at states that anything is bound to happen.

Do you guys know what place Solon Middle School got at nationals the year before they first won in 2008? Well, they didn't even make it to nationals in 2007. Just think about that for a second. People think that Solon has been such a powerhouse in the past few years that they forget that every team has to start somewhere. I remember in 2007 the sinking feeling after getting 3rd at states, and I never wanted to feel that again.

Other schools have done the same; just look at Marie Murphy, Daniel Wright, and Meads Mill all rising to the top relatively quickly. Meads Mill hardly even had a Science Olympiad team in the ages before, and now they're suddenly a top 5 contender at Nationals again. Division C is similar - look at Mounds View and Adlai E. Stevenson improving quickly so fast (credit to Luo!), So, getting better as a team, at whatever level, is far from impossible.

A word of advice to those who want this change to happen practically: events come in and out every year, but the culture of an SO program lasts. Studying for events as an individual takes you only so far, because you can only do so many events. What truly matters is changing the attitude of the team as a whole; if you can get all 15 people motivated to do their best in each and every event, you will see improvement. This won't make you a national title winner overnight, but if you set realistic goals and keep your team motivated, your team will do better. There aren't too many secrets in constructing a successful team.
-JZ Solon '12, Penn '16
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Luo » February 5th, 2014, 2:55 pm

kentuckyfan1001 wrote:Do you guys know what place Solon Middle School got at nationals the year before they first won in 2008? Well, they didn't even make it to nationals in 2007. Just think about that for a second. People think that Solon has been such a powerhouse in the past few years that they forget that every team has to start somewhere. I remember in 2007 the sinking feeling after getting 3rd at states, and I never wanted to feel that again.

Other schools have done the same; just look at Marie Murphy, Daniel Wright, and Meads Mill all rising to the top relatively quickly. Meads Mill hardly even had a Science Olympiad team in the ages before, and now they're suddenly a top 5 contender at Nationals again. Division C is similar - look at Mounds View and Adlai E. Stevenson improving quickly so fast (credit to Luo!), So, getting better as a team, at whatever level, is far from impossible.

Thanks for the shoutout. Similar to your experience with Solon in 2007, Mounds View's success was motivated in large part by our disappointing 7th place finish at state in 2010. Everyone was steadfastly determined to take the state title the next year, and after we did, the prevailing attitude of the team for the next three years shifted to be much more driven and focused on doing the best we possibly could at nationals. I'm immensely proud of how Mounds View improved from 7th at state my freshman year to 7th at nationals my senior year. An attitudinal shift was all it took, and it's all I think it would take for many teams to become national contenders.
Proud alumnus of Mounds View High School Science Olympiad, Arden Hills, MN
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Cheesy Pie » February 5th, 2014, 3:23 pm

Luo wrote:
kentuckyfan1001 wrote:Do you guys know what place Solon Middle School got at nationals the year before they first won in 2008? Well, they didn't even make it to nationals in 2007. Just think about that for a second. People think that Solon has been such a powerhouse in the past few years that they forget that every team has to start somewhere. I remember in 2007 the sinking feeling after getting 3rd at states, and I never wanted to feel that again.

Other schools have done the same; just look at Marie Murphy, Daniel Wright, and Meads Mill all rising to the top relatively quickly. Meads Mill hardly even had a Science Olympiad team in the ages before, and now they're suddenly a top 5 contender at Nationals again. Division C is similar - look at Mounds View and Adlai E. Stevenson improving quickly so fast (credit to Luo!), So, getting better as a team, at whatever level, is far from impossible.

Thanks for the shoutout. Similar to your experience with Solon in 2007, Mounds View's success was motivated in large part by our disappointing 7th place finish at state in 2010. Everyone was steadfastly determined to take the state title the next year, and after we did, the prevailing attitude of the team for the next three years shifted to be much more driven and focused on doing the best we possibly could at nationals. I'm immensely proud of how Mounds View improved from 7th at state my freshman year to 7th at nationals my senior year. An attitudinal shift was all it took, and it's all I think it would take for many teams to become national contenders.

Stevenson and New Trier's JV teams are better than our varsity teams (We know from invites THIS YEAR.)
100% of deaths are somehow caused by science.
Don't be a statistic.
Don't do science.

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Crazy Puny Man » February 5th, 2014, 4:13 pm

Luo wrote:
kentuckyfan1001 wrote:Do you guys know what place Solon Middle School got at nationals the year before they first won in 2008? Well, they didn't even make it to nationals in 2007. Just think about that for a second. People think that Solon has been such a powerhouse in the past few years that they forget that every team has to start somewhere. I remember in 2007 the sinking feeling after getting 3rd at states, and I never wanted to feel that again.

Other schools have done the same; just look at Marie Murphy, Daniel Wright, and Meads Mill all rising to the top relatively quickly. Meads Mill hardly even had a Science Olympiad team in the ages before, and now they're suddenly a top 5 contender at Nationals again. Division C is similar - look at Mounds View and Adlai E. Stevenson improving quickly so fast (credit to Luo!), So, getting better as a team, at whatever level, is far from impossible.

Thanks for the shoutout. Similar to your experience with Solon in 2007, Mounds View's success was motivated in large part by our disappointing 7th place finish at state in 2010. Everyone was steadfastly determined to take the state title the next year, and after we did, the prevailing attitude of the team for the next three years shifted to be much more driven and focused on doing the best we possibly could at nationals. I'm immensely proud of how Mounds View improved from 7th at state my freshman year to 7th at nationals my senior year. An attitudinal shift was all it took, and it's all I think it would take for many teams to become national contenders.


I agree with this. Before, SO was an activity that kids at my school hardly took seriously. A lot of the kids would just play Starcraft during practice :roll: Then, our attitude began changing in my 9th grade year, and we became more focused (I was still on the Division B team that year), but they finished 6th that year, which was disappointing for both the middle school and high school teams. The year after, we became even more determined to qualify for nationals, and we took the title from Bloomington (we were quite shocked too). Indeed, ANY team can become a rising star, and ANYTHING can happen; in 2011, Bloomington North was 4th, and didn't qualify for nationals that year.

On the note of shout-outs, I think Ward Melville and Seven Lakes deserve them too :)

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Bozongle » February 5th, 2014, 7:23 pm

kentuckyfan1001 wrote:A word of advice to those who want this change to happen practically: events come in and out every year, but the culture of an SO program lasts. Studying for events as an individual takes you only so far, because you can only do so many events. What truly matters is changing the attitude of the team as a whole; if you can get all 15 people motivated to do their best in each and every event, you will see improvement. This won't make you a national title winner overnight, but if you set realistic goals and keep your team motivated, your team will do better. There aren't too many secrets in constructing a successful team.



I agree with this, however that's a problem, in my opinion for our team. Being a Division B team, you have middle schoolers who aren't that matured yet and don't take science olympiad that seriously. On my team we have a few people who really work hard for Science Olympiad everyday and keep it as one of their priorities. Especially for 6th, 7th, 8th graders, middle school isn't that challenging/busy to make it so studying for SO tough, it's just hard to get everyone motivated to study really hard, because normally it's not something you do on a regular basis around that age.

I wish it was easier to get the whole team working at an equal level and pace, and completely determined to do extremely good at every event. I believe that is one of the reasons we lost our nats spot last year in 3rd place, people didn't take the program seriously. In fact one of my partners did not do ANYTHING at all over the course of a few months, and barely knew Ohm's law by competition time for shock value.

Using this year as an example, at our most recent invitational, I along with my partners, were the only ones to get golds at competition for our team. I don't mean to brag in ANYWAY, but I want to make a point that the rest of the team isn't on top of their game, and that shouldn't be happening even if it is an invitational. We didn't even compete in two building events because we were unprepared.

Crazy Puny Man could probably attest to this (we both go to the same school district, he's on Division C, i'm on Division B) in the fact that not everyone is up to par in terms of studying/focusing as they should for the level of state competition we will be facing this year. Hopefully that changes by regionals time.

What's a good way to get the rest of your team motivated to do their best?

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Luo » February 5th, 2014, 8:38 pm

Bozongle wrote:What's a good way to get the rest of your team motivated to do their best?

Establish a culture of high expectations from everyone on the team for everyone on the team. At Mounds View, for the last three years I was there, everyone on the team wanted to do well (and worked their butt off to do well) so that they wouldn't let down their teammates.
Proud alumnus of Mounds View High School Science Olympiad, Arden Hills, MN
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby SWAnG » February 5th, 2014, 8:58 pm

First off, you need to get your team to love science olympiad. In some cases, pushing them may make it worse (they'll think it's like homework or even a chore). What makes a great team is not only ambition, but passion. Maybe try and inspire them with the cool designs of building events, or the incredible possibilities or places where the knowledge they acquire can be applied, or even the connections and networking that's all possible through science olympiad. After that I think a culture of competitive spirit and high expectations will be able to be cultivated. At MV, the people each want to get better, and hold the best medals. As Luo mentioned (and put a lot of effort into implementing at MV), a culture of high expectations is what creates this. Everyone wants to do well. No one wants to disappoint the team. On our team right now, if you don't get first, you're not happy, and if you get first, you only want to do better to get more firsts.

Of course I'm not a professional, neither am I the most experienced so in no way are my opinons something that should be modeled after :D

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Crazy Puny Man » February 5th, 2014, 9:02 pm

For this group, I think that's easier said than done. There are a handful of individuals who aren't exactly...afraid to rack up a few points, and/or simply do not do a lot of work for SO at all. All of us have high expectations of you guys - the coaches, the high schoolers; I'm just not sure some of you guys have those same expectations. SWAnG is right - you need fire.

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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Cheesy Pie » February 6th, 2014, 10:28 am

Yes. Sophomore boys on JV teams are well known for screwing around at my school. They have created the stereotype that Scioly meetings are just slackfests.
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby kentuckyfan1001 » February 6th, 2014, 2:49 pm

Crazy Puny Man wrote:For this group, I think that's easier said than done. There are a handful of individuals who aren't exactly...afraid to rack up a few points, and/or simply do not do a lot of work for SO at all. All of us have high expectations of you guys - the coaches, the high schoolers; I'm just not sure some of you guys have those same expectations. SWAnG is right - you need fire.


Definitely. This is it. I will say that how we made it fun is that we went to several overnight competitions, and for middle schoolers that was incredibly fun (and not too stressful because middle school wasn't too difficult). However, I know this isn't possible for all schools, depending on location and what your school districts allow you to do. I can tell you this, though: when a school reaches a higher level (like states or nationals for the first time), people can either get discouraged or inspired. It's about leadership at that point - how you speak to your team.

Passion can come also from things as simple as bonding activities; our SO team often had parties during winter break and before summer let out because we liked to have fun together. I don't know if this is the case for you guys, but being simply good friends is a self-motivator. I suspect that a lot of people assume the powerhouse teams study all the time. I can only speak for Solon, but that is definitely not the case - we do like to have fun, and that's a big part of why we do well. In fact, the night before states, we go out to have fun and BOND as a team playing laser tag and other arcades. We do this so we can enjoy each other's company. Once SO moves past the step of being a loose group of individuals to almost a family (which is what we call it), then people will be naturally motivated. And another plus: you'll start to enjoy SO even more!
-JZ Solon '12, Penn '16
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Re: Will You Make it to Nationals?

Postby Zoobanks » February 9th, 2014, 5:37 pm

Honestly, I'm amazed we made it to state this year, and we only did so by the skin of our teeth. Our team has five seniors, one junior, and seven sophomores. Only one member has had any of the AP science or math classes other than bio; we are just too young at this point to compete in the nonbio and nonbuild events.


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