Thermodynamics B/C

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by Riptide » June 8th, 2018, 3:53 pm

knightmoves wrote:You could probably quite reasonably convert Thermo from a binder event to a two-sheets-of-paper event, and lose the trivia questions.
I never really understood why all physics events have binders. We rarely used our hovercraft binder at all, except for maybe a few fluid dynamic questions. Asking trivial questions such as history and such seems pretty pointless and is the only purpose that binders serve for events like thermo. Wish they would just take out history and make it a limited notes event.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by Alex-RCHS » June 8th, 2018, 4:29 pm

Riptide wrote:
knightmoves wrote:You could probably quite reasonably convert Thermo from a binder event to a two-sheets-of-paper event, and lose the trivia questions.
I never really understood why all physics events have binders. We rarely used our hovercraft binder at all, except for maybe a few fluid dynamic questions. Asking trivial questions such as history and such seems pretty pointless and is the only purpose that binders serve for events like thermo. Wish they would just take out history and make it a limited notes event.
Agreed.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by chalker » June 8th, 2018, 5:30 pm

Riptide wrote: I never really understood why all physics events have binders. We rarely used our hovercraft binder at all, except for maybe a few fluid dynamic questions. Asking trivial questions such as history and such seems pretty pointless and is the only purpose that binders serve for events like thermo. Wish they would just take out history and make it a limited notes event.
Let me provide some perspective on why we do this (with a caveat that other national committees have different opinions on this):

1. It reduces the burden on the event supervisors, as they don't have to be checking for extra pages or notes or debate whether 2 single sided sheets of paper pasted together are the same as 1 double sided sheet of paper.
2. It reduces the burden on the competitors, as they don't have to worry about using super small fonts to squeeze more information onto their notes or make judgment calls about what to include and what not to include
3. Contrary to your hypothesis about the reason being history, it pushes good event supervisors to create tests with more analysis and applied type questions instead of just reciting facts or history, as they know most teams will have the facts / history stuff in their binders.
4. It encourages teams to collect more information in advance of the event, which is somewhat correlated to actually studying and preparing for the event versus going in to it 'cold turkey'.
5. It mimics what happens in the real world, in that if a scientist or engineer is presented with a question they don't know the answer to, they'll try to use various resources to determine the answer instead of just guessing or skipping it altogether.

As a side note, we've been trying to put language in the rules limiting the scope of history / trivia type questions. I personally enjoy including them and think they are within the reasonable scope of knowledge of science and engineering, but I tend to be in the minority on the committee with regards to this.

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by knightmoves » June 8th, 2018, 5:57 pm

chalker wrote: As a side note, we've been trying to put language in the rules limiting the scope of history / trivia type questions. I personally enjoy including them and think they are within the reasonable scope of knowledge of science and engineering, but I tend to be in the minority on the committee with regards to this.
Except that the trivia questions are almost always pointless. Who cares what Sadi Carnot's full name was, or what liquid Newton used in his thermometer? The problem with history questions in an open book test is that they tend to be either something everyone has in their notes, or some irrelevant trivial detail. (It doesn't matter in precisely which year Carnot wrote Reflections.)

I like open book tests. I agree that a good open book test (where you have to understand the ideas rather than just look up the equation with the right symbols) is an ideal test. But open book trivia? What does that test?

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by TheChiScientist » June 9th, 2018, 8:06 pm

UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:Oof. That would be bad for us as we literally have a 5-inch thermo binder... :( :roll:
What do you put in five inches besides history
Information that can get 1st place at ISO state. That is classified. ;) :P (Mainly reference and 1/2 inch of history)
knightmoves wrote:
chalker wrote: As a side note, we've been trying to put language in the rules limiting the scope of history / trivia type questions. I personally enjoy including them and think they are within the reasonable scope of knowledge of science and engineering, but I tend to be in the minority on the committee with regards to this.
Except that the trivia questions are almost always pointless. Who cares what Sadi Carnot's full name was, or what liquid Newton used in his thermometer? The problem with history questions in an open book test is that they tend to be either something everyone has in their notes, or some irrelevant trivial detail. (It doesn't matter in precisely which year Carnot wrote Reflections.)

I like open book tests. I agree that a good open book test (where you have to understand the ideas rather than just look up the equation with the right symbols) is an ideal test. But open book trivia? What does that test?
Wow. Talk about easy trivia. I have seen history questions be a bit more... Profound.
Open book tests can give everyone the same advantage yet people that have a more profound understanding will be able to finish these tests faster and more accurately.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by chalker » June 10th, 2018, 7:09 am

knightmoves wrote:[

Except that the trivia questions are almost always pointless. Who cares what Sadi Carnot's full name was, or what liquid Newton used in his thermometer? ?
That's a pretty narrow view of the value of knowledge and the pursuit of science. While you personally might not have interest, that doesn't mean there aren't people who find that stuff more interesting than saying solving something like a black body radiation problem. I'm sure there are things you find fascinating related to Science Olympiad events that others find pointless or boring. For example, someone might say whats the point of building a 'toy' roller coaster that uses a marble? Obviously the answer is that it simulates bigger dynamic systems and would be of interest to potential future mechanical and civil engineers. The same could be said for what you called pointless trivia questions and future archeologists or data scientists.

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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by windu34 » June 10th, 2018, 9:20 am

chalker wrote:
knightmoves wrote:[

Except that the trivia questions are almost always pointless. Who cares what Sadi Carnot's full name was, or what liquid Newton used in his thermometer?
That's a pretty narrow view of the value of knowledge and the pursuit of science. While you personally might not have interest, that doesn't mean there aren't people who find that stuff more interesting than saying solving something like a black body radiation problem. I'm sure there are things you find fascinating related to Science Olympiad events that others find pointless or boring. For example, someone might say whats the point of building a 'toy' roller coaster that uses a marble? Obviously the answer is that it simulates bigger dynamic systems and would be of interest to potential future mechanical and civil engineers. The same could be said for what you called pointless trivia questions and future archeologists or data scientists.
Chalker is very right about this. A good friend of mine (and my past EV/Remote partner) always enjoyed the "history" slides that our physics teacher incorporated in her lectures more so than learning to actually solve the problems. He will be attending Harvard 2022 with the intent of studying something along the lines of "History of Science"
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by arv101 » June 26th, 2018, 10:30 am

TheChiScientist wrote:
chalker wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:Do you guys think that there will be a rule change for thermo next year that is major?
Yes;)
:?:
I wonder if that means the build portion...
Do you think that they will change the allowed materials greatly?
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by CookiePie1 » June 26th, 2018, 11:45 am

arv101 wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:
chalker wrote:
Yes;)
:?:
I wonder if that means the build portion...
Do you think that they will change the allowed materials greatly?
I'm not sure if they will allow aerogel next year. Otherwise, probably not.

However, they might go back to the no foam thing from a few years back.
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Re: Thermodynamics B/C

Post by Rossyspsce » June 26th, 2018, 12:58 pm

CookiePie1 wrote:
arv101 wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote: :?:
I wonder if that means the build portion...
Do you think that they will change the allowed materials greatly?
I'm not sure if they will allow aerogel next year. Otherwise, probably not.

However, they might go back to the no foam thing from a few years back.
Was aerogel good this year? I talked to a bunch of the teams and from their experience aerogel was really bad at containing heat in the water

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