National Test Discussion

JonB
Coach
Coach
Posts: 309
Joined: March 11th, 2014, 12:00 pm
Division: C
State: FL
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by JonB » May 21st, 2017, 8:12 pm

chalker wrote:Hi all.. I don't know when, or even if, I'll get around to responding to questions. I was in committee meetings from ~8AM until 10:30PM today (Sunday) and have another full day tomorrow. As a result of these I have a lot of work to do on rules changes for next year, which will be my priority.
No problem, thank you in advance for always being open about scoring and results. Was anything noteworthy for next year discussed at the meeting? I know that optics and splitting the beam was going to be brought up at some point and was curious how that discussion was. Thanks again!

a boy
Member
Member
Posts: 21
Joined: May 3rd, 2016, 3:19 pm
Division: Grad
State: TX
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by a boy » May 21st, 2017, 9:31 pm

Dynamic Planet C - this was the hardest test I've ever taken, and was pretty surprised with the result. I really enjoyed the fact that it had little to no random trivia and rather focused on application of theory/concepts and practical knowledge. Overall a very good test and well run event overall!

Robot Arm - fast check in, efficient proctors, no complaints

Towers - again well run, I thought the stream of the towers on the projector was cool

Helicopters - the scale was kind of wonky and fluctuated +/- 0.03g every now and then, otherwise well run. I really appreciated the flat ceiling racquetball courts, since ceilings with obstructions makes the event super luck based
Clements '17
working on scoresheets.io

User avatar
Unome
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4254
Joined: January 26th, 2014, 12:48 pm
Division: Grad
State: GA
Location: somewhere in the sciolyverse
Has thanked: 96 times
Been thanked: 36 times

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by Unome » May 22nd, 2017, 5:32 am

Astronomy (6th) - For the most part this was the same as usual. It might be just us getting better, but the test seemed significantly shorter and easier than usual - we had time to check over our work, and ended up just sitting around for the last 4 minutes. Either of us could probably have completed the test alone and finished top 15. Besides that it was of course very good, as expected. Random thing I noticed: 3 of the 7 people in the room when I was there (at least) graduated from Harriton HS. Overall 9/10

Disease Detectives (32nd) - Also the same as usual. A strong g focus on case studies, interpretation, etc. which is how the event seems to be intended to be run (despite all of the Microbes clones at lower levels). I heard from others that the test was shorter than usual, and while it was difficult for us I can see how it would be a bit easy for people better at the event and experienced with the format. Also as someone noted before the ES did in fact state the OR and RR formulas during his opening notes as examples of some sort (I believe something about showing work). Overall 9/10

Dynamic Planet (3rd) - This is a good example of why I pay so much attention to who the event supervisors are. Had I not heard beforehand that Enrica Quartini was going to be the event supervisors, I wouldn't have spent so much time learning gravity anomalies and other geophysical concepts and likely wouldn't have medaled. Since Quartini works in geophysics I expected the test to involve a lot of that stuff and wasn't disappointed. However some parts of the test, especially near the beginning, seemed a little bit like trivia, and the test didn't seem to completely cover the full range of topics. Overall 9/10

Microbe Mission (26th) - A good test overall, though again it seemed a little short. I definitely wasn't as prepared as I could have been for this event (hadn't touched it since state in fact) but it went alright considering we basically BS'ed the gram stain, the microscope images section, parts of the diseases section, etc. It also seemed a little easier than I would have expected, wouldn't be surprised if the top score was in the range of 85%. Overall 9/10

Remote Sensing (18th) - I was unsure of what to expect going in, since I didn't know much about the ES and couldn't find any tests that he had written. However I wasn't pleasantly surprised by the test, which was rather long and challenging, and adequately covered the full scope of the event. The test focused more on interpretation and understand in rather than spitting out facts - the opposite of what I had prepared for unfortunately, but a good thing. For example, instead of asking about satellite/instrument properties directly, the test had as apply knowledge of different satellites/instruments in different ways (e.g. the question asking why GOES was a better fit for some type of observation even though MODIS has a better resolution, though I didn't know that one). Looking forward to (hopefully) seeing the same ES next year. Overall 10/10

Write It Do It (32nd) - The first thing I noticed was that the event supervisors didn't really take any precautions to prevent doers from seeing the model. Had any of them really wanted to, they could have simply glanced inside the writing room when the ESes opened the door to let the writers in; the models were plainly visible and uncovered. The model seemed a little simple compared to past Nationals (I heard the same from Solon) with I believe 25 pieces exactly. That said, it was a very good model with different sections varying in difficulty (for anyone who did it, what was the flat metal object alongside the striped straw and outside the lid?). Overall 8/10
Userpage
Chattahoochee High School Class of 2018
Georgia Tech Class of 2022

Opinions expressed on this site are not official; the only place for official rules changes and FAQs is soinc.org.

ampy1234567
Member
Member
Posts: 38
Joined: March 31st, 2015, 6:11 pm
Division: C
State: MN
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by ampy1234567 » May 22nd, 2017, 9:54 am

Disease Detectives (1st) - pretty typical stuff for nationals disease. It was a bit easier than normal (less free-response) and the first part wasn't really about food-borne illness, but I didn't have major problems with either of those things. I liked that it (the first part, which I did) didn't lead you straight to the outbreak's cause through the situation like most nationals tests. It gave you multiple possible candidates for what caused the outbreak and had you evaluate the evidence for each one by asking which one most likely was most likely the culprit. I also noticed that it included math that wasn't proportions or RR/OR (the questions about expected amounts of chemicals in the pool). 8/10

Dynamic Planet (2nd) - wow this test was hard. Barely "finished" (left blanks and guesses all over the place) and still got 2nd, in my opinion how all nationals tests should be. In particular, the section on volcanoes tested your knowledge at a level far beyond anything I would have ever imagined. It expected identification of volcanic hazards from real pictures and not diagrams (much, much harder than it sounds) and detailed interpretations of a topographic map of a lava flow. The earthquake section was also very good, involving a lot of understanding about seismic waves and using actual seismogram data to infer earthquake conditions. The Mark van Hecke challenge sections, the Wilson Cycle section, and the geologic cross-section section also pushed me over my limits for those subjects, even though I had studied the content of those sections hard. The only thing negative thing I have to say about this test is that the not all the topics were covered, but I don't see this as an issue when all the ones that were very important were included. 9.9/10

Optics (5th) - Laser shoot setups were nice, I liked that removing the coverings was easy to do without messing up mirror positions. I thought it was well-run in general, except for the fact that the test was quite easy (for nationals, anyways). Questions were only MC and ray diagrams; both sections were easy, but the ray diagram section especially was just a free 35 points. You could probably get away with not knowing a single bit of math. Don't get me wrong, what was in the test was fairly high quality, covered all the topics, and might have been perfect for something like regionals. I just feel it needed more to distinguish between the top ~10. As such, I think that the places were just based on laser shoot accuracies and the number of random mistakes made on the test. 5/10
Last edited by ampy1234567 on May 22nd, 2017, 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mounds View High School, 10th grade

2016 Nationals: Dynamic (2), Disease (6), Crave (8), Fossils (22)
2017 Nationals: Disease (1), Dynamic (2), Optics (5)

The48thYoshi
Member
Member
Posts: 113
Joined: March 25th, 2017, 3:11 pm
Division: C
State: IL
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by The48thYoshi » May 22nd, 2017, 10:00 am

Division B

Ecology - This test was rather easy; it covered many aspects of the event. The ES was really nice and really funny about it. Overall, a good test. 7/10

Microbe- Again, ES is really nice. This test was easy as well. It was really similar to 2011 with the ph probe as well as the same stations and concepts. It covered the entirety of Microbe, although the were not enough questions, and no nationals topics. 6/10

Disease- Maybe it's just me, but this test is significantly shorter than both 2016 and 2015. Out of the 56 questions, a vast majority was multiple choice. Also, there were 4 total math questions, and all were on the first case study. The first case study was not focused on food borne, and seemed more like a case study that was designed for population growth. 3/10

Food- This event was run well. The ES clearly understood the rules, and knew what was and wasn't legal. They provided multiple scales for calorímetry unlike other competitions where they only had one. Also, they put in experiments for all the tests, including voltage, and provided each team with a hot plate and beaker for benedicts, whereas some competitions had one for all teams to share. The test was on topic and focused. It was rather difficult, and tested concepts that we didn't prepare for like preservation and components of baking powder and their individual qualities. 10/10

User avatar
Tailsfan101
Wiki Moderator
Wiki Moderator
Posts: 770
Joined: April 14th, 2017, 4:33 pm
Division: C
State: ID
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Location: Philippians 3:20a "For our citizenship is in heaven"
Has thanked: 49 times
Been thanked: 47 times
Contact:

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by Tailsfan101 » May 22nd, 2017, 10:41 am

Event - (finish) Description

Dynamic Planet B - (50) Very well run event, despite my disappointing finish (I was doing it alone, so yeah) I thought the test was well designed. It wasn't all over the place (as some of my practice tests were) and was fairly straightforward on what to put down. Plus, after the test, I got candy! (lol :lol:) 8/10

Road Scholar - (51) Not as well designed as Dynamic Planet, the first few questions were pretty confusing (as was almost the whole test!), such as "What paper was this printed on?" and "What ink was used on this map?" or "How many of Ohio's presidents died in office?" Probably the worst test I took. 4/10

Fast Facts - (59) My partner and I had some fun with this test (despite our dull finish) and this was fairly straightforward. Some categories were hard (i.e. Famous Female Scientists) but all were descriptive on what to put (i.e. Unstable Chemicals). 9/10

Disease Detectives B - (16) My partner (Nerd_Bunny) and I found this test to be somewhat easy and we scored the best finish on our whole team. The test consisted of two sections (Part I - Are you sure you want to go swimming?) (Part II - Drink your Milk) where we analyzed two diseases and their progressions and answered questions about them. It was a long test (23 pages!) but we got through it. Great job by whoever designed this test! 10/10
Last edited by Tailsfan101 on May 22nd, 2017, 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
2016-2020 Treasure Valley Homeschool Wiki
2021 possible events: Disease Detectives, Designer Genes, Protein Modeling, Geologic Mapping, Write It Do It, Codebusters

Assassinator for games 118: New Life and 136: A SciOly Pandemic
Selected Assassinators for games 121 and 148

laidlawe18
Member
Member
Posts: 38
Joined: September 1st, 2015, 2:03 pm
Division: C
State: RI
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by laidlawe18 » May 22nd, 2017, 11:05 am

Division C

Robot Arm (25): Run super well. Our arm didn't perform nearly as well as we wanted it too, but that has nothing to do with the running of the event itself. Everything was super transparent and centered around helping the teams do as well as they could within the rules.

Chem Lab (32): I personally felt this was an awful test. There were 5 stations, 8 minutes each, one of which was the lab. The lab was coffee cup calorimetry with only water, which seemed a little lame, but that part was fine. Each other station, however, had 25 questions to do in 8 minutes, which is insane. I think I barely could've read through all of them in the time frame. My partner and I probably finished ~5-10 questions per station, probably getting around half of them wrong, which would means that we probably got a 25% or less, which seems like poor test design. Many of the questions were also poor quality I thought. There were like 20 questions that were just PV=nRT with weird imperial units, and I found at least one question that was a blatant repeat from another station. All the stations were also in a fume hood (even the test ones) and my partner and I each hit our head at least twice.

Experimental Design (52): Not sure exactly what went wrong here in terms of placement, because we did pretty much everything on the rubric. The materials they gave us were pretty stupid I thought and non-conducive to a scientific experiment. I can understand them doing all the teams at the same time, for integrity's sake, but sacrificing the quality of the event itself doesn't really seem worth it.

PizzaIsLife
Member
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: April 19th, 2017, 5:15 pm
Division: B
State: AL
Location: Unkown
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by PizzaIsLife » May 22nd, 2017, 11:51 am

Final Team Rank (32) - RIP

Ecology (12) - The test reminds me of GG tests, and I'd rather have "sit-down" test than stations, but the ES was very humorous ("Hands Up!" - for those who get it).

Meteorology (23) - I got tripped up trying to find all the pictures when me and my partner split up the test. I liked the test itself, as it covered everything pretty well

Experimental Design (27) - Not the best to take in the morning. Pretty decent experiment in my opinion, but not everyone had the same materials (some had graduated cylinders, and some had beakers), and were told to trade if we did not like what we got

Mission Possible (39) - the judges were pretty professional and thorough

Scrambler - I did not do this event, but I heard that the judge was bad
Image
You Hungry? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

User avatar
winchesetr
Member
Member
Posts: 31
Joined: May 6th, 2014, 7:28 am
Division: Grad
State: PA
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by winchesetr » May 22nd, 2017, 12:05 pm

This might be because this was my last nationals (thus, I'm a bit sentimental), but I found my three events to be super well run!

Chemistry Lab (3): Ok, this was.... interesting. I walked out of that test room in a daze and feeling pretty awful. From what I had heard from other competitors, this was different than previous nats tests. It wasn't that the math or the concepts were difficult. It was that the entire event was a time-crunch. It ranged from 20-40 questions per station for 4 stations of test, and 8 minutes per station. Each question required copious dimensional analysis, and you could not take the test nor the answer sheet apart which was super difficult when your partner was working on a different page than you were. Multiple choice ranged from A-H, and every. single. question. was in Fahrenheight (or Rankine). However, it was nice that they gave us the conversions. We ended up finishing about 1/3 - 1/2 of each station and circling random answers for the rest. That wasn't great. Although the test was super long, I definitely would have appreciated some more in-depth concepts and topics as opposed to just a bunch of math. Oh well, still a great test. You definitely had to know what you were doing going in to it. 8/10

Disease Detectives (3): Good test, although it was definitely a lot easier and shorter than normal. The entire second case study had 0 math. But, it was a classic CDC test, thus it was a time crunch even if it was shorter than normal. My partner and I ended up not being able to finish 2 questions on sensitivity and specificity from the first case study (thus, 8 points :cry: ), because we ran out of time. As to the event supervisor giving out formulas, it really didn't matter because I'm pretty sure everyone knew those formulas anyways? I mean, come on, they are relative risk and odds ratio :lol: Overall 9/10.

Microbe Mission (3): Very good test. 120 questions and a gram stain. It was not the most in-depth of tests, but it certainly required a good amount of critical thinking and touched on most if not all of the major topics for the year. I really enjoyed the case-studies/disease ID! Those were super fun (speaking as a Disease person :P ). Test was a bit of a time crunch, but we still had time to check most of our work and had an answer down for every question. Definitely a better test than most of the invites tests I've ever taken and the microscopy portion was super fun! Definitely a 10/10
I like soup.

Harriton High School Class of 2017


SOUP Disease Detectives 2018-Present
DUSO Disease Detectives 2019-Present

spongeb0b
Member
Member
Posts: 7
Joined: April 5th, 2016, 8:52 am
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: National Test Discussion

Post by spongeb0b » May 22nd, 2017, 1:40 pm

Scrambler: There were some technical issues at the beginning. From what I gathered from the teams effected, they had laid out the barrier at the wrong distance than what was advertised. This was not corrected until after 10+ teams had already ran. These teams were allowed to run again and because of this there was a long backlog of teams in line waiting their turn. I also noticed one team perform 3 runs, my guess was because the timer was not ready. One of the two main timers was not very attentive, not pausing the 8 minute timer when the team was done with their setup.

Locked

Return to “2017 Nationals”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests