would this start be legal?

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cool hand luke
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would this start be legal?

Post by cool hand luke » February 2nd, 2017, 11:13 am

technically I believe this would be allowed, but I'm pretty sure this is not what they are going for


1. Launcher and ETV vehicle are placed on track.
2. ETV is hooked up to launch mechanism.
3. 2 KG weight begins to fall and extends spring
4. 2 kg weight is stopped and held in place by #2 pencil.
5. Pencil is removed
6. Weight starts falling,
7. Falling Weight triggers release mechanism
8. Release mechanism launches ETV

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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by chalker » February 2nd, 2017, 2:45 pm

cool hand luke wrote:technically I believe this would be allowed, but I'm pretty sure this is not what they are going for


1. Launcher and ETV vehicle are placed on track.
2. ETV is hooked up to launch mechanism.
3. 2 KG weight begins to fall and extends spring
4. 2 kg weight is stopped and held in place by #2 pencil.
5. Pencil is removed
6. Weight starts falling,
7. Falling Weight triggers release mechanism
8. Release mechanism launches ETV
Rule 2.g. makes it pretty clear that the competitor interaction with the pencil starts the mass falling. If the mass falls before that, it'd probably be scored as a construction violation.

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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by bernard » February 2nd, 2017, 2:46 pm

See rule 2.g.: "The pencil can either actuate a release mechanism or be incorporated into the Scrambler so that when removed the mass will begin to fall."
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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by Unome » February 2nd, 2017, 2:48 pm

cool hand luke wrote:technically I believe this would be allowed, but I'm pretty sure this is not what they are going for


1. Launcher and ETV vehicle are placed on track.
2. ETV is hooked up to launch mechanism.
3. 2 KG weight begins to fall and extends spring
4. 2 kg weight is stopped and held in place by #2 pencil.
5. Pencil is removed
6. Weight starts falling,
7. Falling Weight triggers release mechanism
8. Release mechanism launches ETV
Per the previous comments, I'd guess that if the rules allow energy to be stored in the device prior to actuation, then this would be legal; otherwise, not (I don't have the B rules quickly accessible at the moment, so this is just a guess).
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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by cool hand luke » February 2nd, 2017, 8:03 pm

see that's the problem, science Olympiad isn't nearly as exact with there rule language as they need to be.
Rule 2g does not sufficiently define the issue . It states.

See rule 2.g.: "The pencil can either actuate a release mechanism or be incorporated into the Scrambler so that when removed the mass will begin to fall."

I can easily and legitimately say in step 4 the weight is stationary, in step 6 it is falling. Therefore it begins falling because the pencil is removed, and we have complied with the rule.

If they want to enforce it as you are interpreting it they need to change the language to something like "so that when removed the mass will begin to fall from the full height that provides energy to the system"

Or

"so that when the pencil is removed the mass will begin the first downward motion"

I guess the real question is how far are these rules pushed? I'm fine with following the spirit of the vague rules if everyone else is.

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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by cool hand luke » February 2nd, 2017, 8:14 pm

to further illustrate the point, the dictionary gives 3 meanings for Begin

verb (used without object), began, begun, beginning.

to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start:

If you are using the first statement, then this is a violation, but if you say begin means commence or start, than you are fine.

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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by chalker » February 3rd, 2017, 5:27 am

cool hand luke wrote:see that's the problem, science Olympiad isn't nearly as exact with there rule language as they need to be.
Rule 2g does not sufficiently define the issue . It states.

See rule 2.g.: "The pencil can either actuate a release mechanism or be incorporated into the Scrambler so that when removed the mass will begin to fall."

I can easily and legitimately say in step 4 the weight is stationary, in step 6 it is falling. Therefore it begins falling because the pencil is removed, and we have complied with the rule.

If they want to enforce it as you are interpreting it they need to change the language to something like "so that when removed the mass will begin to fall from the full height that provides energy to the system"

Or

"so that when the pencil is removed the mass will begin the first downward motion"

I guess the real question is how far are these rules pushed? I'm fine with following the spirit of the vague rules if everyone else is.
It's impossible for us to make the rules perfectly precise, particularly given the page length constraints we have, the time constraints in preparing them, and the desire to not proscribe exact designs in order to fulfill the educational mission of Science Olympiad. Hence we often point to the general rules (https://www.soinc.org/code-ethics-general-rules ) as a fall back. You also have to keep in mind there will be something like 350 tournaments this year, each with a different event supervisor (all of who are volunteers with varying backgrounds and experience). Hence the onus is often on the competitors to educate / convince the local event supervisor that they are staying within the spirit of the rules. And if you are pushing the boundaries, you need to be prepared to occasionally go too far and be penalized by an event supervisor.

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Re: would this start be legal?

Post by SPP SciO » February 3rd, 2017, 9:24 am

cool hand luke wrote:to further illustrate the point, the dictionary gives 3 meanings for Begin

verb (used without object), began, begun, beginning.

to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start:

If you are using the first statement, then this is a violation, but if you say begin means commence or start, than you are fine.
I don't think there's any discrepancy in the rules. Each individual rule may not cover all possible situations, but, they overlap each other.

However you define the word "begin" - your plan is to "begin" at step 5, when you remove the pencil. However, because of steps 1-3, you've already stretched the spring: Rule 2.c prohibits this, since all energy must come from the falling mass.

If you're thinking, well, the energy DID come from the falling mass, just before beginning, rule 5.g comes into play. Say you've got this "clever" two-pencil set up - once you remove the first pencil to get from your step 2 to your step 3, you're not allowed to touch the Energy Propulsion System again, so when you to go remove the second pencil, you'll take a penalty.

Long story short: with time being scored at 1 second = 1 cm of accuracy, you'd be better off directing your energy towards testing and improving accuracy, than scheming ways to get a little more acceleration down the track. This is a really simple risk-vs-reward calculation.
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