Michigan 2017

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EastStroudsburg13
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » May 1st, 2017, 6:16 am


IA Central is a very good team, but I expect the gap between them and Northville to widen considerably at Nationals. Some of the events at States this year were very... strange.
Mm, what do you mean by "strange"? I thought all events were run very well this year, and my team had no issues with sketchy rules or event supervisors.

Also, for the record, IA Central is a team that cares less about the winning and rankings and more about the team work! :) Best of luck to all teams at Nationals, of course.
That was not to take anything away from IA's performance, which was spectacular! I was surprised that Northville didn't do as well in a few events that they were expected to do very well in, especially Experimental Design. Often, these are solved for Nationals, which is why I thought the gap may widen, especially considering the gap between Northville and Troy last year. That being said, I am pulling for Michigan to do super well at Nats this year!

By "strange" I mean events that I thought were run poorly. Materials Science didn't have a lab, the Hovercraft test was the same as for the middle schoolers (suuuuper easy), Wind Power did not use a resistor within the range specified in the rules, Anatomy had several repeated questions, and the lab for Chem Lab was designed to take over an hour if you followed the directions properly. All teams had to deal with these problems, so it's not like anyone had an unfair advantage, but it is unfortunate for the state level.
There is also the factor that Northville is experienced at the National competition. This is a big advantage because there are so many factors that teams have to deal with: transportation, logistics, the pageantry and ceremonies, other social events, and then the actual competition itself. Add in the fact that many national supervisors are the same from year to year, and it's easier for a team like Northville to adapt to this sort of environment as they've been there before, whereas teams that are competing for the very first time, like IA Central, sometimes have a harder time reaching their absolute peak. Not taking anything away from IAC by any means; making nationals for the first time is an incredible accomplishment, and is something great for the Michigan and the national Science Olympiad communities. But generally, teams do slightly better their second year at nationals than their first.
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby Tesel » May 1st, 2017, 7:43 am

Mm, what do you mean by "strange"? I thought all events were run very well this year, and my team had no issues with sketchy rules or event supervisors.

Also, for the record, IA Central is a team that cares less about the winning and rankings and more about the team work! :) Best of luck to all teams at Nationals, of course.
That was not to take anything away from IA's performance, which was spectacular! I was surprised that Northville didn't do as well in a few events that they were expected to do very well in, especially Experimental Design. Often, these are solved for Nationals, which is why I thought the gap may widen, especially considering the gap between Northville and Troy last year. That being said, I am pulling for Michigan to do super well at Nats this year!

By "strange" I mean events that I thought were run poorly. Materials Science didn't have a lab, the Hovercraft test was the same as for the middle schoolers (suuuuper easy), Wind Power did not use a resistor within the range specified in the rules, Anatomy had several repeated questions, and the lab for Chem Lab was designed to take over an hour if you followed the directions properly. All teams had to deal with these problems, so it's not like anyone had an unfair advantage, but it is unfortunate for the state level.
I feel like there are always some events that are toss-ups, and I think that they tend to be Wind Power, Hovercraft, Experimental Design, WIDI, and Game On. They are often the most misunderstood events by competitors and event supervisors alike, from my experience.

Regarding Mat Sci, I took that test and I do wish that the test was longer and more calculation-based, but I'm glad the event supervisor had a lab simulation portion. My partner and I were a bit disappointed with that but the thing about MatSci is it is a topic that is very hard to gauge for high schoolers, so I have noticed this pattern a lot this season. For what it's worth, the event supervisor approached us at the end of the test and asked us how we thought it went and how we liked the test, and he seemed genuinely concerned about assessing how well he wrote it and the level of the test. It really is hard to gauge.

Regarding Chemistry Lab, my partner did the entire lab portion within the hour, and while he worked from the very beginning to the very last minute, he was able to complete it! We agree that it was a very demanding lab, but not impossible.

A lot of these discrepancies with events comes with the nature of Science Olympiad-- sometimes the people who write the tests just aren't sure how difficult or easy to make it, sometimes there is human error in how an event is run, etc. The bright side is that Michigan Science Olympiad seems to be exponentially improving and the quality of our teams is phenomenal. I am very proud of our state!
Here was my problem. Multiple tests I took (Hovercraft, MatSci, probably Chem Lab though I didn't see much of the test portion) were designed so that students were supposed to get 100%. The Hovercraft test was especially a joke, and I know that I missed a single problem which brought me down to 4th on MatSci. As I recall, it's actually pretty clear that the tests are supposed to be easy enough that students get 0s, but nowhere near easy enough that 90% of the top teams get 90s or above. A lot of people on our team were disappointed with how easy the tests were... with 60 teams, you HAVE to differentiate the teams better than the way MSU did. I'm not saying IA isn't a good team, nor that they didn't deserve to win, but from what I saw from Grand Haven at regionals, they got screwed by some of the inconsistent setups like on Hovercraft.
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby John Richardsim » May 1st, 2017, 1:55 pm

...but from what I saw from Grand Haven at regionals, they got screwed by some of the inconsistent setups like on Hovercraft.
Oh, Hovercraft? Something broke and I guess it couldn't be fixed. Not really sure what it was because I wouldn't touch the build portion of the event with a ten-foot pole. It didn't sound like it was a problem with the setup, though.

Now the Invasives test? Nah, man, forget that. It might as well have been all about saltcedar, 'cause I'm kinda salty about it. And Rocks? Might as well have been all about halite.
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby Tesel » May 1st, 2017, 2:12 pm

...but from what I saw from Grand Haven at regionals, they got screwed by some of the inconsistent setups like on Hovercraft.
Oh, Hovercraft? Something broke and I guess it couldn't be fixed. Not really sure what it was because I wouldn't touch the build portion of the event with a ten-foot pole. It didn't sound like it was a problem with the setup, though.

Now the Invasives test? Nah, man, forget that. It might as well have been all about saltcedar, 'cause I'm kinda salty about it. And Rocks? Might as well have been all about halite.
Oh, that sucks for Hovercraft. I just thought that the super high friction track had caused your craft to stall out. I also feel really sorry for the team that had their hovercraft broken... apparently since everything was so close together someone accidentally knocked another team's hovercraft off of the table.
I didn't take Invasives or Rocks but that doesn't sound that great... I'm pretty ticked too since the Materials Science test was so basic, and the Hovercraft test was a joke. (25 point test, 3 points were reciting Newton's laws and another was writing down the SI unit of energy) For all I know, IA Central and Northville were miles ahead any of the other teams, but also for all I know Stevenson and Ann Arbor should have gone to nationals. It seemed like they did very little to really differentiate the teams.
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby parasaurolophus » May 1st, 2017, 9:13 pm

For all I know, IA Central and Northville were miles ahead any of the other teams, but also for all I know Stevenson and Ann Arbor should have gone to nationals. It seemed like they did very little to really differentiate the teams.
Please be careful in saying any team "should have gone to nationals." I don't think you mean to be malicious. However, the way you phrased it is a bit hurtful and you would be surprised at how many people who don't even have accounts lurk these forums and read comments like these and take it very personally, aka most of my teammates over the past couple of days.

Don't forget that there are other unfair things that consistently affect the results; I could sit here pointing out how some teams have a huge advantage because they have event coaches and mentors, funding, and material resources, things that my team does not even come close to having, and which are not at all based on merits. Our Robot Arm micro controller and batteries are in a baby wipes box. But we roll with it because that's just who we are. Please, if you feel that an event was run unfairly, that is something to report to the organizers rather than speculating that it somehow affected the results in one direction. That's actually a pretty serious claim.

I will say it again-- fantastic job to all Michigan teams. I was very, very impressed on Saturday! We are such a powerhouse state. :D I really wish that more than two teams could move on, not just because of skill or intelligence, but because of much honest passion I saw. Let's put faith into the hard work of all teams, and the supervisors and coordinators who put so much work into making these tournaments a success.
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby Tesel » May 2nd, 2017, 3:55 am

For all I know, IA Central and Northville were miles ahead any of the other teams, but also for all I know Stevenson and Ann Arbor should have gone to nationals. It seemed like they did very little to really differentiate the teams.
Please be careful in saying any team "should have gone to nationals." I don't think you mean to be malicious. However, the way you phrased it is a bit hurtful and you would be surprised at how many people who don't even have accounts lurk these forums and read comments like these and take it very personally, aka most of my teammates over the past couple of days.

Don't forget that there are other unfair things that consistently affect the results; I could sit here pointing out how some teams have a huge advantage because they have event coaches and mentors, funding, and material resources, things that my team does not even come close to having, and which are not at all based on merits. Our Robot Arm micro controller and batteries are in a baby wipes box. But we roll with it because that's just who we are. Please, if you feel that an event was run unfairly, that is something to report to the organizers rather than speculating that it somehow affected the results in one direction. That's actually a pretty serious claim.

I will say it again-- fantastic job to all Michigan teams. I was very, very impressed on Saturday! We are such a powerhouse state. :D I really wish that more than two teams could move on, not just because of skill or intelligence, but because of much honest passion I saw. Let's put faith into the hard work of all teams, and the supervisors and coordinators who put so much work into making these tournaments a success.
I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. I felt like the tournament tests were overall pretty easy, which made it hard to differentiate teams, but the tournament was run the way it was, and there's no doubt in my mind you guys earned your place to nationals fair and square. I'm going to root for you guys, hopefully you can represent our state in MatSci and Chem. :D
So yeah, sorry if my response was unclear, because the two teams that won deserved it. I'm just disappointed that MSU's prep seemed to be lacking (Missing labs, easy tests, really weird setups).
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby MIScioly1 » May 2nd, 2017, 4:03 am

I think what he meant is that many of the tests (at least this was my experience) were too short or too easy to create a big difference between teams, which is why you didn't see any teams dominate across the board this year like usual (and I medaled in 3 events after barely having any before so this isn't me being salty). However, every team has to take the same tests and the same setups, so there was nothing unfair about it. The best teams do the best on easy and hard tests. My only wish is that the tests were harder so that I could've used all of the knowledge that I learned over the year, instead of the most basic knowledge only. It's just more fun for me to take a hard test, and none of my events really had one. But again, the best teams do the best with both basic and advanced knowledge. Plus, you guys at IA Central did very well in events that you could control going in, like Helicopters. No one was surprised with the top 4 teams (at least I wasn't) - usually there is just a bigger point spread between them.
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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby meierfra » May 5th, 2017, 4:39 pm


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Re: Michigan 2017

Postby John Richardsim » June 7th, 2017, 5:47 am

Apparently registration opened last week: http://miscioly.org/2017-2018-michigan- ... istration/
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