Can't Judge a Powder B

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby asthedeer » January 3rd, 2015, 6:45 pm

Not last year that I know of.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby asthedeer » January 3rd, 2015, 6:47 pm

robotarmy567 wrote:does anyone know what a "pure substance" is :?

A pure substance is a substance....that's just it....it's a substance, not flour and sugar; not water and oil; not sugar and salt. CJAP only takes a pure substance like flour, or baking soda, or salt; unlike Crime Busters, which takes mixtures of powders.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby asthedeer » January 3rd, 2015, 6:50 pm

Moxyfinkle wrote:
samlan16 wrote:To any coaches out there: we got our school's CJAP tests back from an invitational, and our teams lost points because they answered questions with more than 3 observations. When I competed in this event in B division, there was no such rule. Did the proctors goof, or is this a legitimate rule now that I missed when reading the rules?
It's not an official rule, but some proctors (especially at invitationals) do place a limit on the number of observations you can answer a question with. They're supposed to tell the teams if they do that though. It's best not to put down more than 3 observations unless absolutely necessary.I think the nats proctor also had that same limit, but correct me if I'm wrong.


I don't think there was anything at Nationals last year that had limits on the number of observations.

robotarmy567 wrote:does anyone know what a "pure substance" is :?


A pure substance it just that- a substance. It's not flour and salt, sugar and salt, baking soda and baking powder, but just flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda, unlike Crime Busters, which takes mixtures of powders.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby Fibonacci924 » January 20th, 2015, 6:09 pm

Take as many observations as you possibly can in that time period. If you think you have enough, add some more. I've been doing this event three times now, and the test always changes.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby dholdgreve » January 21st, 2015, 10:38 am

A couple of comments from an E/C:
I'll take points off if the observations are not directly related to the question (otherwise why wouldn't you just write down all observation numbers for all questions to make sure you are covered?)
Use as many observations as you'd like, just make sure they apply. Time after time, I may ask a question using terms such as cohesive, adhesive, effervescence, angle of repose, etc... Usually the ones that list 6 or 7 observations are the ones that do not understand the meaning of the term used in the question, thus the observations have little to nothing to do with the correct answer, so points are deducted... in some cases all the way down to 0. (Don't think I've ever given a negative score tho)
You are probably far better off focusing on super high quality observations than on quantity of observations... With 100 observations, you probably will not be able to find the ones you need, and they probably will not be of the quality that will land you 5 points.
Reread the rules... Answer the questions with only an observation number when at all possible... Augmenting an observation with additional write in info may actually cost you points as even a great write-in is only worth 2 points.
Quantify your observations whenever possible. Most are very good at qualifying, few quantify.
Look around the room... How can you phrase your observation that will make it just a little better than any other in the room?
Really read the question... Can it be adequately answered with a single observation, or does it require 2 or more to fully answer the question?
These tests are graded on the curve... So at the last invitational, you may have received a 5 for describing the unknown one way, and a 4 this time, using the exact same phrase... as the season progresses, the competition gets stronger... keep up or fall behind. Only the very best observations receive a 5, and its based on tests graded today, not next week or last week... Competitions with 50 or 60 teams will likely require a much higher quality observation than competitions with only 20 or 25 teams.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MyChemicalReaction » January 21st, 2015, 3:40 pm

Can somebody please give me an example and clarify the difference between a 5 point answer, a 4 point answer, a 3 point answer, etc.? It would be VERY much appreciated.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MyChemicalReaction » January 21st, 2015, 3:47 pm

Is density a observation or infrence? Because it seems like an observation to me, but this one site told me otherwise...

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby dholdgreve » January 22nd, 2015, 5:53 am

MyChemicalReaction wrote:Can somebody please give me an example and clarify the difference between a 5 point answer, a 4 point answer, a 3 point answer, etc.? It would be VERY much appreciated.


I'd suggest reading the post right above yours that explains that each tournament test is unique... a 5 point answer at one could be a 3 point answer at another... Each test is graded on a curve with only the top answers received getting a perfect 5... Sometimes, the best answers received, may not be the perfect answer, but it's the best we received, so even though they are not perfect, they still get the 5. The only thing that should be consistent from 1 test to the next is that you will never receive more than 2 points for a write-in answer. This part is not curved.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby dholdgreve » January 22nd, 2015, 6:01 am

MyChemicalReaction wrote:Is density a observation or infrence? Because it seems like an observation to me, but this one site told me otherwise...


Depends how it is worded... To say that the unknown floated in water or sunk in water is no doubt an observation... I think saying that "the substance is heavier than water" could be considered an inference of the substance sunk when added to water. To say that the density of the unknown is greater than water, is most likely going to be ruled an inference.

If you can add a "because" behind your statement, it is probably an inference... "The density of the unknown is greater than water BECAUSE is sunk when placed in it."
If you cannot directly tie one of your senses to the observation, it is probably an inference... Saying that the density is greater than 1 or greater than water does not directly relate to any of your 5 senses... Saying that it sunk in water because I WATCHED IT, involves the sense of sight.

Again, each E/C probably has a slightly different take on it. If in doubt, feel free to ask your E/C if (s)he would consider the density statement an inference or an observation before the event begins... The worst that can happen is that they tell you they can't answer that... I promise they will not take points off for asking a question before the event begins.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby Skink » January 25th, 2015, 5:07 pm

dholdgreve wrote:
MyChemicalReaction wrote:Can somebody please give me an example and clarify the difference between a 5 point answer, a 4 point answer, a 3 point answer, etc.? It would be VERY much appreciated.


Each test is graded on a curve with only the top answers received getting a perfect 5... Sometimes, the best answers received, may not be the perfect answer, but it's the best we received, so even though they are not perfect, they still get the 5.

This will differ from supervisor to supervisor. Many will, conversely, come in with a pre-written scoring rubric laying out the criteria in advance such that it's entirely possible that no team competing meets the standard expected to receive a 5 on question #9. There is no provision in the rules that lays out how this is done. It would be nice if there were.

At MyChemicalReaction, then, this event is lacking in assurance, as you can tell. There is a published example if you follow a few links on the National site, but it sets guidelines or suggestions, not extra rules. For that reason, I won't link you (though you're, of course, free to locate it yourself!). Instead, how I would suggest you practice is to take your observations to your coach and have him or her critique your writing. If they can find room for improvement that you, then, address, you're that much closer to impressing the next event supervisor who reads your observations. That's the only safe way to try to get a 5 from what I've been able to tell. There's too much risk of me or anyone else telling you what's 'good enough' for a 5 versus a 4 when we really don't know how you will be scored.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MareezyWA » February 14th, 2015, 5:29 am

Brand new to this forum and SO. So sorry if I should have posted this someplace else - can't find the "New Topic" button. :)

Coach said to take the rules very literally and so we did at regional. Nowhere on the list of what "students may bring" was a thermometer. Coach taught us how to tell relative temperature change by using the back of our wrists. She was pretty sure a thermometer would be provided because it was on a list of what "supervisor may provide". Coach said that it is was not on the list that "students may bring" don't bring it because teams have sometimes been penalized for bringing things that are not on the student list. I know, I know, but how can you tell if a rxn is exothermic or endothermic without a thermometer??? And so our coach taught us that very non quantitative way with our wrist in case we were not given thermometers.

So at the competition, we look around and see just about every team with a thermometer - WHAT? Not in the rules that they could bring it. The supervisor did ask us if we had a thermometer and we said no. They said "oh" and nothing more so we proceeded without it. In looking back now, we are wondering if after they asked that question, we were supposed to ask to get one from them. Again, in the rules it did not say that supervisor WILL provide, only that they MAY provide so we are very confused and want to figure this our before state. Thanks for any help that you can offer.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby chalker » February 14th, 2015, 6:51 am

MareezyWA wrote:Brand new to this forum and SO. So sorry if I should have posted this someplace else - can't find the "New Topic" button. :)

Coach said to take the rules very literally and so we did at regional. Nowhere on the list of what "students may bring" was a thermometer. Coach taught us how to tell relative temperature change by using the back of our wrists. She was pretty sure a thermometer would be provided because it was on a list of what "supervisor may provide". Coach said that it is was not on the list that "students may bring" don't bring it because teams have sometimes been penalized for bringing things that are not on the student list. I know, I know, but how can you tell if a rxn is exothermic or endothermic without a thermometer??? And so our coach taught us that very non quantitative way with our wrist in case we were not given thermometers.

So at the competition, we look around and see just about every team with a thermometer - WHAT? Not in the rules that they could bring it. The supervisor did ask us if we had a thermometer and we said no. They said "oh" and nothing more so we proceeded without it. In looking back now, we are wondering if after they asked that question, we were supposed to ask to get one from them. Again, in the rules it did not say that supervisor WILL provide, only that they MAY provide so we are very confused and want to figure this our before state. Thanks for any help that you can offer.


You are correct in assuming you shouldn't bring a thermometer - the rules are very specific regarding that. Note however individual event supervisors sometimes don't follow the rules exactly either due to a mistake on their part or a lack of resources. You definitely should ask the supervisor anytime you notice something out of place. It might have been that the supervisor made a clarification on this thermometer issue BEFORE the tournament and somehow you didn't get the notice.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MareezyWA » February 14th, 2015, 6:56 am

Thanks so much. We will look to see if there was something we missed.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby samlan16 » February 14th, 2015, 7:33 am

chalker wrote:
MareezyWA wrote:Brand new to this forum and SO. So sorry if I should have posted this someplace else - can't find the "New Topic" button. :)

Coach said to take the rules very literally and so we did at regional. Nowhere on the list of what "students may bring" was a thermometer. Coach taught us how to tell relative temperature change by using the back of our wrists. She was pretty sure a thermometer would be provided because it was on a list of what "supervisor may provide". Coach said that it is was not on the list that "students may bring" don't bring it because teams have sometimes been penalized for bringing things that are not on the student list. I know, I know, but how can you tell if a rxn is exothermic or endothermic without a thermometer??? And so our coach taught us that very non quantitative way with our wrist in case we were not given thermometers.

So at the competition, we look around and see just about every team with a thermometer - WHAT? Not in the rules that they could bring it. The supervisor did ask us if we had a thermometer and we said no. They said "oh" and nothing more so we proceeded without it. In looking back now, we are wondering if after they asked that question, we were supposed to ask to get one from them. Again, in the rules it did not say that supervisor WILL provide, only that they MAY provide so we are very confused and want to figure this our before state. Thanks for any help that you can offer.


You are correct in assuming you shouldn't bring a thermometer - the rules are very specific regarding that. Note however individual event supervisors sometimes don't follow the rules exactly either due to a mistake on their part or a lack of resources. You definitely should ask the supervisor anytime you notice something out of place. It might have been that the supervisor made a clarification on this thermometer issue BEFORE the tournament and somehow you didn't get the notice.

I would also recommend checking to see if your state has specific rules for CJAP that are used at all regional and state tournaments. Some states revise the rules because of cheating problems or for safety concerns and tweak minor things like that. My state, for example, does not allow Astronomy teams to have laptops at competitions, although the national rules permit it.
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby Skink » February 14th, 2015, 8:33 am

This event is plagued by, at least, three major problems, and this issue of what to bring and not to bring is one of them. Too many event supervisors are not reading the rules to the letter as MareezyWA's coach instructed him or her to do as a participant, but coaches are at fault here for not holding event supervisors accountable when they, for example, require students to bring thermometers without advance notice prior to the tournament. I've seen that this season. Related, a FAQ was posted last night in response to a question I submitted. It's worth a read to anyone competing or interested in the general issue.

MareezyWA wrote:I know, I know, but how can you tell if a rxn is exothermic or endothermic without a thermometer??? And so our coach taught us that very non quantitative way with our wrist in case we were not given thermometers.

If you're not given thermometers, then I would not expect questions about this unless the reaction vessel obviously heats up or cools off. The thing is, many teams use well plates, and those, unlike test tubes and the like, aren't good for testing this with your skin. That wouldn't be the best question, then! It would favor the teams using test tubes.


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