New Jersey 2018

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby pb5754[] » March 15th, 2018, 7:53 pm

windu34 wrote:
knottingpurple wrote:
Alex-RCHS wrote:If trial events didn’t count, South would have won :shock:


If heli hadn't been thrown out yet year, Monty would've won. Today, if trial events didn't count, but also if the appeals people submitted were accepted, if the competition on Tuesday wasn't cancelled because of snow, if the tests which were kinda easy but still within the rules were a bit harder, if every team were given the same conflicts... there's any number of things which could have changed the results, there's any number of ways we could cherry pick the data and argue a certain team is, underneath, the best. I felt no joy from this tournament, unlike 2016 States where we also lost but participating felt worthwhile, but how I feel about the tournament does not decide if it counts or not. Since we can't send all of NJ to Nats, we don't actually know which team would be the best in this year's Nats to see if it even agrees with today's results, but we just have to deal with NJSO's method of running tournaments. My partners and I in some of my events, we chose answers we didn't consider technically correct because we know how NJ States works, we thought they were looking for the simplistic answer or something, not the real one. We knew going in that there would be trial events counted and poorly run events and who knows what other problems, and the team which wins despite those problems goes to Nats. Oh well.

If I sound slightly salty, I'm sorry, I'm still trying to sound a lot calmer than I feel? But we'll live.

Congrats to North for winning. Congrats to South for being in the top 2 since 2006 consecutively. Congrats to Monty for being really close behind South once again. Congrats to JPS for really improving. Congrats to Community for it's umpteenth trip to Nats and to Monty Middle for regaining 2nd. Idk enough about the other teams to know what to congratulate them for besides working hard but yeah.

^Love this <3 . SciOly will never be perfect and the teams that understand this and can adapt will do the best. While NJ certainly seems to be a lot more different than most states in terms of how things are run, teams knew going in and therefore it's hardly fair to say the results are unfair in that sense. A few events do seem a little off though (chem lab)...

definitely solar vehicle as well...

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby Alex-RCHS » March 15th, 2018, 8:19 pm

For the record, I never said or implied it was unfair, I just put out that it was a relevant and significant fact. Also, while its true that all teams knew about that rule beforehand, it doesn't make it a good rule. It does seem weird to me that a state tournament with as many problems as NJ's appears to have would choose to complicate things further by running weird trials.

Of course, congrats to North, South and Montgomery for all being really good!
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » March 15th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Alex-RCHS wrote:If trial events didn’t count, South would have won :shock:

Good thing trial events will also count at nationals, so we can be sure that NJSO is sending its best possible representative from its state...

Your friendly reminder from East that states that count trial events in their state scores are incorporating a self-defeating policy

Sorry, carry on, don't want to derail this too much.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby windu34 » March 15th, 2018, 8:28 pm

EastStroudsburg13 wrote:
Alex-RCHS wrote:If trial events didn’t count, South would have won :shock:

Good thing trial events will also count at nationals, so we can be sure that NJSO is sending its best possible representative from its state...

Your friendly reminder from East that states that count trial events in their state scores are incorporating a self-defeating policy

Sorry, carry on, don't want to derail this too much.

Yeah I would like to know their logic for counting trial events. It is very counter-intuitive
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby Raleway » March 15th, 2018, 8:33 pm

There are a bunch of events that seem quite strange... it seems very strange that either West Windors or Montgomery would not place in an event. Through each invitational, I'm very sure each team has placed at least once for each event, and this is considering the extraordinarily high level of teams they compete against. For a team that accomplished 6th at MIT (Montgomery), 3rd AND 5th at SOUP (Montgomery), 6th AND 2nd at Cornell (Montgomery), while also 4th at SOUP (West Windsor North), it seems QUITE strange that Montgomery would take a 15th place and then North, very well reputed for their chemistry prowess as well, to get 9th? It also seems strange that South would place so poorly (19th) at Solar Vehicle. So many events seem so out of place, but still quite an overwhelming victory by North this year. Their success at SOUP seems to have panned out similarly here, despite South winning far more gold medals. Congratulations to West Windsor Plainsboro North for advancing to the national tournament!
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby fanjiatian » March 16th, 2018, 8:32 pm

In case anyone was curious, here are a few summary statistics for the Optics C test. Section I was out of 50 points and Section II was out of 55 points, for a total of 105 points. Definitely could have made the test harder but the distribution was around what we were aiming for.

Section I Mean: 30
Section I Min: 10
Section I Max: 42
Section II Mean: 17.3
Section II Min: 0
Section II Max: 45
Test Total Mean: 47.3
Test Total StdDev: 20.3
Test Total Max: 87

LSS Mean: 10.5
LSS StdDev: 9.3
LSS Max: 29.7 (5 mirrors, 1 barrier, 3 mm from target point)
Last edited by fanjiatian on March 17th, 2018, 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby windu34 » March 16th, 2018, 10:03 pm

fanjiatian wrote:In case anyone was curious, here are a few summary statistics for the Optics C test. Section I was out of 50 points and Section II was out of 55 points, for a total of 105 points. Definitely could have made the test harder but the distribution was around what we were aiming for.

Section I Mean: 30
Section I Min: 10
Section I Max: 42
Section II Mean: 17.3
Section II Min: 0
Section II Max: 45
Test Total Mean: 45.54
Test Total StdDev: 21.9
Test Total Max: 87

LSS Mean: 10.13
LSS StdDev: 9.35
LSS Max: 29.7 (5 mirrors, 1 barrier, 3 mm from target point)

Here is a prime example of an event being extremely well run from a data standpoint. Great Job!
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby kenniky » March 16th, 2018, 10:35 pm

fanjiatian wrote:In case anyone was curious, here are a few summary statistics for the Optics C test. Section I was out of 50 points and Section II was out of 55 points, for a total of 105 points. Definitely could have made the test harder but the distribution was around what we were aiming for.

Section I Mean: 30
Section I Min: 10
Section I Max: 42
Section II Mean: 17.3
Section II Min: 0
Section II Max: 45
Test Total Mean: 45.54
Test Total StdDev: 21.9
Test Total Max: 87

LSS Mean: 10.13
LSS StdDev: 9.35
LSS Max: 29.7 (5 mirrors, 1 barrier, 3 mm from target point)

How is the total mean different from the sum of the section 1 and section 2 mean?

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby fanjiatian » March 17th, 2018, 7:32 am

kenniky wrote:
fanjiatian wrote:In case anyone was curious, here are a few summary statistics for the Optics C test. Section I was out of 50 points and Section II was out of 55 points, for a total of 105 points. Definitely could have made the test harder but the distribution was around what we were aiming for.

Section I Mean: 30
Section I Min: 10
Section I Max: 42
Section II Mean: 17.3
Section II Min: 0
Section II Max: 45
Test Total Mean: 45.54
Test Total StdDev: 21.9
Test Total Max: 87

LSS Mean: 10.13
LSS StdDev: 9.35
LSS Max: 29.7 (5 mirrors, 1 barrier, 3 mm from target point)

How is the total mean different from the sum of the section 1 and section 2 mean?


Good catch! One team was a no-show and I removed them from the Section I and Section II calculations, but forgot to do so for the total test score and laser shoot. I've modified my post.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby LiteralRhinoceros » March 17th, 2018, 12:56 pm

How did you guys feel about the test quality at states? I thought it was ok, but I have to say the Division B Dynamic Planet test was really bad. Here is an example of a problem (or at least what I remembered): The boundary between an oceanic plate and a continental plate occurs: _____. There are so many possible answers that it's dumb (I put subduction zone down if you're wondering).

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby whythelongface » March 17th, 2018, 1:35 pm

There were a few good tests sandwiched between some really awful ones. For example:
1. The R&M C test was taken from another state. No specimens, all pictures, although the pictures were of such awful quality it became a guessing game. The questions not involving pictures were really easy, but some of them involved minerals not on the National List (e.g. chlorite, pyrophyllite). I think the score distributions were all clustered together. I got second in that event, even after placing consistently first in all the invitationals I've been to. I'm not salty. I'm not salty. I'M NOT SALTY

2. Fermi Questions gave you the exact numbers you needed to solve every problem. The event lost 98% of its estimation aspect, and basically became an exercise in no-calculator dimensional analysis. Example: one question asked for the number of grains of rice within a bag of a certain mass in kilograms, and then proceeded to tell you how many grains of rice were in a gram.

3. Hovercraft had a question that asked for history of hovercrafts, even though the rules explicitly forbid testing on that topic.

4. Forensics C turned into Crime Busters B, giving people who had previously done Crime Busters an advantage with the powders. Four of the powders - gelatin, sand, strontium chloride [citation needed]. and something else I don't remember - were purely CB powders, and the Forensics rules forbid testing on any powder besides what is listed in the Forensics rules. In addition, the event also broke the rules when the test asked for a specific type of blood, whereas the rules forbid the question from being at that level of specificity.

There are a lot more I'm not going to list here, but hopefully y'all get an idea of how badly run some of the events were this year. It's not purely NJSO's fault, but I still want to complain about it. A lot.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby knottingpurple » March 17th, 2018, 1:49 pm

LiteralRhinoceros wrote:How did you guys feel about the test quality at states? I thought it was ok, but I have to say the Division B Dynamic Planet test was really bad. Here is an example of a problem (or at least what I remembered): The boundary between an oceanic plate and a continental plate occurs: _____. There are so many possible answers that it's dumb (I put subduction zone down if you're wondering).


A lot of other people will probably rant about all the really bad things which happened, so I'll just give reviews of my own events:

Division C Dynamic Planet was mostly multiple choice, and pretty straightforward multiple choice, not the type of obscure questions I got used to being asked by, say, the PUSO DP test. The short answer section at the end we poured our freaking hearts and souls into because we were sure it was going to come down to tiebreaks on that because everyone was going to get all the multiple choice (except, of course, the multiple choice with multiple equally right answers, or no truly correct answers at all, etc, because those were definitely present, and they would've been a random guessing game). But I mean, the test followed the rules.

Remote Sensing was a reasonable quality test for the most part - it only had 3 image interpretation questions, on a ~90 question test, aka... that was nowhere near 25% of the test, but I guess it's not too big of a deal. The test followed the current year's topic, it had enough questions of varying difficulty to differentiate scores, etc. Also the equation section at the end stressed me out because there were more closing parentheses than opening parentheses in one of the equations they provided and it made me terrified (it was okay we did finish that question in the end because whythelongface does not have emotional panics over small details as easily as I do but yeah). Providing equations and asking people to interpret them is a good type of question which a lot of tests use, but maybe try using LaTeX or something for the equations so they're readable :D

Game On I got salty about them giving us a rubric because my partner and I had done all the work to memorize that and wanted to be rewarded thankyouverymuch, but alright, whatever. They had us email our games to them for grading, which is I'm sure very convenient to set up, but also it meant we can get to our games via looking in sent mail. I look forward to subjecting all my other teammates to playing our award winning game, but it's ironic that at invitationals, where you're supposed to be learning from the results, we couldn't get our games back even when we specifically emailed supervisors asking to see where we messed up - but at States, which doesn't return any tests, we can access our games after the fact.

EDIT: Also, the Game On topic was not something too common or boring; as the idea-creating person in our pairing, it made me have to work, so I approve of that.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby whythescratchyface » March 18th, 2018, 6:25 pm

This year's Experimental Design (C) was one of the most unique experiences I've had doing the event: the topic was permeability (in the context of earth science), a deviation from the normal cookie-cutter physics and water properties topics the event is plagued by. With messy materials like diatomaceous earth and sand, the cleanup took longer than usual, but the event directors definitely ensured that everything was cleaned up using the point deductions mentioned in the handout. Although the event was smoothly conducted for such a different experience, what was strange was that I saw the supervisors scribbling notes of the competitors, maybe to take note of people not fully doing the trials? Anyway, I'm glad I didn't have to bounce balls at different heights for once.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby whythelongface » March 18th, 2018, 7:10 pm

whythescratchyface wrote:This year's Experimental Design (C) was one of the most unique experiences I've had doing the event: the topic was permeability (in the context of earth science), a deviation from the normal cookie-cutter physics and water properties topics the event is plagued by. With messy materials like diatomaceous earth and sand, the cleanup took longer than usual, but the event directors definitely ensured that everything was cleaned up using the point deductions mentioned in the handout. Although the event was smoothly conducted for such a different experience, what was strange was that I saw the supervisors scribbling notes of the competitors, maybe to take note of people not fully doing the trials? Anyway, I'm glad I didn't have to bounce balls at different heights for once.

Having done ExpDes at Yale last year, I can confirm that this sounds infinitely better than using a pendulum to knock over cups.
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SONT 2017 5th Place Medalist [Microbe Mission]

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To the South Science Club: Thank you for an amazing two years. I am proud of all of you and so glad to have been able to call the SSC my family. Good luck next year!

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby pb5754[] » March 18th, 2018, 8:50 pm

whythelongface wrote:
whythescratchyface wrote:This year's Experimental Design (C) was one of the most unique experiences I've had doing the event: the topic was permeability (in the context of earth science), a deviation from the normal cookie-cutter physics and water properties topics the event is plagued by. With messy materials like diatomaceous earth and sand, the cleanup took longer than usual, but the event directors definitely ensured that everything was cleaned up using the point deductions mentioned in the handout. Although the event was smoothly conducted for such a different experience, what was strange was that I saw the supervisors scribbling notes of the competitors, maybe to take note of people not fully doing the trials? Anyway, I'm glad I didn't have to bounce balls at different heights for once.

Having done ExpDes at Yale last year, I can confirm that this sounds infinitely better than using a pendulum to knock over cups.

So after whythelongface, there is now a whythescratchyface. :lol: :lol: :lol:


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