National vs. AP exam dates

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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby dudeincolorado » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:56 am

oh ok :D ummm we dont use much and the money we do use comes from the schools ex ciricular budget
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby SiegeLord » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:33 pm

My AP's have in part saved me around $40K by allowing me to graduate from college a year early. Don't apply to colleges that don't reward AP credits.

SO National competition is nothing special, I've been there twice and I didn't get anything out of it that mattered. If the choice is between AP's and SO, always choose AP's, those matter more in the long run. If the choice is between skipping school or SO, I'd probably go for SO unless there was something truly major going on during those days, like a few tests or projects.

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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby rocketman1555 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:59 pm

dudeincolorado wrote:oh ok :D ummm we dont use much and the money we do use comes from the schools ex ciricular budget


you're lucky, my school doesn't get money for SO, except for a traveling budget for state, so we have to pay for regionals and supplies out of our own pocket, which can cost quite a bit
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby gh » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:15 pm

SiegeLord wrote:SO National competition is nothing special, I've been there twice

Well, there's your giveaway.
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby andrewwski » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:39 pm

Oh, the joys of SO. Some teams make nationals year after year. Which is fine, there's a lot of top notch teams. My team is not top notch, but we've got a lot of potential and we try.

But in some states, there don't even seem to be regional tournaments. And it may not be too hard to get to nats. We have to compete with about 35 teams, about 10 who are really competitive, for 3 or 4 spots to go to states. Making states is an accomplishment in itself.
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby gneissisnice » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:50 pm

SiegeLord wrote:My AP's have in part saved me around $40K by allowing me to graduate from college a year early. Don't apply to colleges that don't reward AP credits.

SO National competition is nothing special, I've been there twice and I didn't get anything out of it that mattered. If the choice is between AP's and SO, always choose AP's, those matter more in the long run. If the choice is between skipping school or SO, I'd probably go for SO unless there was something truly major going on during those days, like a few tests or projects.

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But seriously, SO nats is worth it, even if you dont win anything, you'll still have a great time. And as was mentioned before, just take the AP make up tests. A win win situation.
2009 events:
Fossils: 1st @ reg. 3rd @ states (stupid dinosaurs...) 5th @ nats.
Dynamic: 1st @ reg. 19thish @ states, 18th @ nats
Herpetology (NOT the study of herpes): NA
Enviro Chem: 39th @ states =(
Cell Bio: 9th @ reg. 18th @ nats
Remote: 6th @ states 3rd @ Nats
Ecology: 5th @ Nats

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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby genes_girl » Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:57 am

I can understand why some people would believe that AP is more important than SO, but SO nats is pretty big too. How can you write something off before you have a chance to try it? When you work EXTREMELY hard and earn your spot at the national competition, to compete with the 60(ish) best teams in the NATION why would you just give it up and say you don't care? Or if you are convinced to go, why write off a part that the majority of Olympians love about it, a chance to meet many people with similar interests and lots of stuff that you can barter and trade for all you want. Don't forget the competition itself- probably the purest of competitions because the events will be run by the national supervisors, therefore probably rule perfect. Making it to nats is a huge deal because of the shear numbers of teams. I think I read somewhere that there were something like 60,000 teams (though I could very well be off by a 0, but still 6,000 teams is A LOT), you are competing with the very top of that. I will say teams that make it every year probably have a different view of it than those who make it only once and a while, or for the first time.

I'm not saying blow off your AP's, but if there are make-ups take advantage of them. If you still see it as a problem, disturbance, conflict, minor side-track in your perfectly planned life, then take the APs, go down late or find someone to replace you. But if you truly feel that SO, especially SO nats, isn't worth your time than why are you doing it anyway? APs can save you a lot of money and school time, which is good. SO can only show up as a really good looking mark on your record. Many schools however do push you to take the college courses anyway to acclimate yourself to how the college courses are taught and graded.

If money is the issue- fundraise. There are a million opportunities out there to make money to help get your team where they want to go.
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby rocketman1555 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:31 am

gh wrote:
SiegeLord wrote:SO National competition is nothing special, I've been there twice

Well, there's your giveaway.


yeah, some of us have to work hard for even one chance to go, and there's still a good chance that we won't, so for us it is something special, because we aren't on the teams that go to nationals regularly
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby SiegeLord » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:43 am

But seriously, SO nats is worth it, even if you dont win anything, you'll still have a great time.

Clearly not applicable to everyone. I strongly regretted going both times.

But if you truly feel that SO, especially SO nats, isn't worth your time than why are you doing it anyway?

Some people, myself included, do not think two days in the spring is the entirety of the SO. The preparation for it, the studying, the building and the testing is far more important. It is about making hypotheses and testing them. Science Olympiad is mostly about Science, not the Olympiad for these people. You really are deluded if you think those 5 minutes you spend competing with your device are more important than the hours upon hours you have spent designing and building and testing it. Those 5 minutes will come and go, but the knowledge imparted during your studies will last for years, and perhaps for the entirety of your life. Those 5 minutes matter so little, that you might as well not do them at all.

What was that meant to say? Basically, if you don't want to go to Nationals, there's no shame in not going. It makes little logical sense to go to something you are getting nothing substantial out of (assuming you think that making friends is not substantial, which is what I got from reading the posts), while wasting thousands of dollars in the process and undergoing the hassle of doing the make up AP's. Don't make these people shame you into going. If they feel that you are wasting their opportunity to go, then tough luck to them. Let them try harder and go themselves if they care so much. The desire to go should come from within yourself.

If you want to "compete" with those 60 teams, duplicate the conditions, ask for the masses of the weights and the projectiles (e.g. for STC) and do trials on your own time and then compare them to the Nationals' winners. This activity is far more instructive than what happens in the stress filled 5 minutes of the Nationals competition.

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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby dickyjones » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:40 am

You'll get as much out of a national competition as you want to get out of it.

I believe the majority of the people posting in this topic are saying that the national experience is what makes the whole thing worth-while, not the competition. To me, it's about having a four day vacation with people you've worked your butterfly off with for the last 6 months. It's meeting new people from across the country who have similar interests and all have something in common with you. If you go willing to have a good time and meet others (and perhaps even win a medal or two on the way), do it; you'll have a great time. If you're going with a negative mood, a less tight-knit team, and with your only reason to come being to compete; you're not going to get as much out of the experience. And if you do have a lousy time and get nothing out of it, the only person you have to blame is yourself. No one's forcing you to go.

If you or your teammates don't want to go, don't. You'll probably just make the experience worse for those excited about being there, and I'm certain there's another team out there (or teammate) that would appreciate going more.
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby genes_girl » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:20 am

I agree 100%.
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby andrewwski » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:07 am

SiegeLord wrote:
But seriously, SO nats is worth it, even if you dont win anything, you'll still have a great time.

Some people, myself included, do not think two days in the spring is the entirety of the SO. The preparation for it, the studying, the building and the testing is far more important. It is about making hypotheses and testing them. Science Olympiad is mostly about Science, not the Olympiad for these people. You really are deluded if you think those 5 minutes you spend competing with your device are more important than the hours upon hours you have spent designing and building and testing it. Those 5 minutes will come and go, but the knowledge imparted during your studies will last for years, and perhaps for the entirety of your life. Those 5 minutes matter so little, that you might as well not do them at all.


What you're saying is the equivalent of being a player on a hockey team that wins their conference, crushes every team in the first three rounds of the playoffs, and then decides not to show up for the Stanley Cup finals.

I cannot stand how people are brushing off nationals. Don't you guys get that there's thousands of teams that would die for the chance to just make states? Not everyone is a top team, but that doesn't mean they put in any less effort. Fine, say nationals is stupid, blah blah blah. Because I'd do anything for a chance to get there. And I know that regardless of how hard we try, we're not ending up that far. But yet some of those who are privileged enough to have that chance just ignore it.

If I made nationals...or even states, I'd try my hardest in the time before hand to be as competitive as I can. But once I got there, it's time for a break. I'd just enjoy every minute of it. It's got to be a great experience, regardless of whether or not you come in first or last.
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby dudeincolorado » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:26 am

i wish my team could of gone to national :( i would almost do anything for that chance oh well... and yes thats very true i put so much work into my events still got 7th...oh well
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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby SiegeLord » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:47 am

dickyjones wrote:...

Yep, I agree with that.

andrewwski wrote:Don't you guys get that there's thousands of teams that would die for the chance to just make states?

I do get that. And I state that their intentions are misguided. If your only goal is to advance to the states or nationals, then you are going have to be competitive. And if you are going to be competitive, you are not going to be willing to take risks or innovate as much as if you just relaxed and instead started not caring so much about your performance during the competition, but rather started caring about what you get out of preparing for it. If you are focusing solely on the competition, then you won't be discussing your designs with other teams because you'll be afraid of giving away your trade secrets. Ever hear of Scientists doing that in the real world? Real Science is about collaboration and discussion. Taking myself for example, sure I could have built a sure-fire and perhaps a sure-win treb. But I would have learned nothing doing that. Instead, I built ~20 different designs, and in the process learned so much physics that I ended knowing more physics than people who took the AP class for it. At the same time, some people who have gotten top-10 placements in the event at Nationals were completely ignorant of some basics of the mechanical systems. What is more important to you, a hunk of metal on your neck, or a wealth of knowledge and experience? Now, if you manage to do both, then good for you, but clearly, only 10 out of 6000 teams are going to be top 10 in the nation.

So just chill. Not everyone will go to Nationals, or to States, that is a fact. If your team is unlikely to make Nationals (or States), then stop being so competitive and focus on the other benefits of being in SO: working on projects with like-minded friends in your Middle/High schools and learning a good bunch of Science. Read the brochure of the Science Olympiad again:

Science Olympiad Brochure wrote:Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. These goals are achieved by participating in Science Olympiad tournaments and non-competitive events, incorporating Science Olympiad into classroom curriculum and attending teacher training institutes.

The goal of SO is education. Competitions and such are only the means of achieving that, not the ends. You are not a loser if you didn't medal or make States or Nationals: if you have obtained knowledge and skill in Science, then you have won anyway.
Last edited by SiegeLord on Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added a bit

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Re: National vs. AP exam dates

Postby gneissisnice » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:17 pm

But building events are different than study events. Yes, for building events, im sure youre right. But for study events, it involves knowing basically everything about a certain topic. And even if theres stuff i dont need to know for the event, i take the time to learn it anyway, because its interesting. By studying hard to get a medal, I also come away with a ton of knowledge about my topic. And after the event is gone, i still remember. Theres no reason why you cant aim for first and still take away something from scio.
2009 events:
Fossils: 1st @ reg. 3rd @ states (stupid dinosaurs...) 5th @ nats.
Dynamic: 1st @ reg. 19thish @ states, 18th @ nats
Herpetology (NOT the study of herpes): NA
Enviro Chem: 39th @ states =(
Cell Bio: 9th @ reg. 18th @ nats
Remote: 6th @ states 3rd @ Nats
Ecology: 5th @ Nats


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