New Jersey 2018

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby pb5754[] » April 9th, 2018, 2:32 pm

windu34 wrote:
knottingpurple wrote:
Unome wrote:Event quality doesn't just suddenly get better, it requires people available to make them better - hence the suggestion to move the tournament to a more convenient date for volunteers.


Yeah, that was my hope - due to the current lack of volunteers, NJSO has to put people where they have gaps in ESing who might not know anything about that event, even in the few cases those people know things about scioly. I have a friend whose parent ended up running one div B bio event when she'd planned to run a different one, there wasn't a rocks C supervisor until a couple days before and then the rest ended up being from a different state, and I imagine the easiest way to improve test quality would be to have more volunteers to check over tests and especially more volunteers familiar with the rules. Because I heard only good things about the quality of, say, lumo's astro test, but last year even lumo couldn't attend with it being a Tuesday he had stuff at university.

I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again. Many of the volunteers are students from the university at which the tournament is held and there is always a decent number of faculty involved. This is the result of the director actively networking and reaching out. Additionally, the first emails started getting sent out ~1.5 months before the tournament date with update emails every two weeks or so which keeps supervisors accountable and unresponsive supervisors/volunteers can be identified as likely to not show up earlier so ample time exists to find replacements

Moving the NJ state tournament to a bigger university might help as there could possibly be a greater number of faculty and students interested/involved.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby Unome » April 9th, 2018, 2:50 pm

pb5754[] wrote:
windu34 wrote:
knottingpurple wrote:
Yeah, that was my hope - due to the current lack of volunteers, NJSO has to put people where they have gaps in ESing who might not know anything about that event, even in the few cases those people know things about scioly. I have a friend whose parent ended up running one div B bio event when she'd planned to run a different one, there wasn't a rocks C supervisor until a couple days before and then the rest ended up being from a different state, and I imagine the easiest way to improve test quality would be to have more volunteers to check over tests and especially more volunteers familiar with the rules. Because I heard only good things about the quality of, say, lumo's astro test, but last year even lumo couldn't attend with it being a Tuesday he had stuff at university.

I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again. Many of the volunteers are students from the university at which the tournament is held and there is always a decent number of faculty involved. This is the result of the director actively networking and reaching out. Additionally, the first emails started getting sent out ~1.5 months before the tournament date with update emails every two weeks or so which keeps supervisors accountable and unresponsive supervisors/volunteers can be identified as likely to not show up earlier so ample time exists to find replacements

Moving the NJ state tournament to a bigger university might help as there could possibly be a greater number of faculty and students interested/involved.

That would require people at said university to be willing to organize a tournament (which is quite a tremendous undertaking).
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby marty3 » April 9th, 2018, 2:51 pm

windu34 wrote:I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again.


I've volunteered at NJ states twice (2015 and 2016), and would do it again if I was nearby. I had a really good impression of the tournament directors, and it sounds like they do everything the Florida state director does. My event assignments did happen a bit last minute, but at least for Fossils in 2015, I was given a coach to consult as needed. It wasn't a problem for me, but I got the impression that many volunteers were new to Science Olympiad, and having someone to consult while writing tests might help.

The thing that surprises me most is how well received the Princeton Invitational seemed to be, yet when looking at the state program, hardly any Princeton students volunteered. If more of them could help in any capacity, I'm sure it could help.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby Unome » April 9th, 2018, 2:57 pm

marty3 wrote:
windu34 wrote:I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again.


I've volunteered at NJ states twice (2015 and 2016), and would do it again if I was nearby. I had a really good impression of the tournament directors, and it sounds like they do everything the Florida state director does. My event assignments did happen a bit last minute, but at least for Fossils in 2015, I was given a coach to consult as needed. It wasn't a problem for me, but I got the impression that many volunteers were new to Science Olympiad, and having someone to consult while writing tests might help.

The thing that surprises me most is how well received the Princeton Invitational seemed to be, yet when looking at the state program, hardly any Princeton students volunteered. If more of them could help in any capacity, I'm sure it could help.

I've noticed that, notwithstanding the inconvenient date for NJ in particular, undergrads in general seem to like invitationals but very few will volunteer at official tournaments (how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?). I suspect it's because invitationals are more flashy.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby pb5754[] » April 9th, 2018, 3:19 pm

marty3 wrote:
windu34 wrote:I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again.


I've volunteered at NJ states twice (2015 and 2016), and would do it again if I was nearby. I had a really good impression of the tournament directors, and it sounds like they do everything the Florida state director does. My event assignments did happen a bit last minute, but at least for Fossils in 2015, I was given a coach to consult as needed. It wasn't a problem for me, but I got the impression that many volunteers were new to Science Olympiad, and having someone to consult while writing tests might help.

The thing that surprises me most is how well received the Princeton Invitational seemed to be, yet when looking at the state program, hardly any Princeton students volunteered. If more of them could help in any capacity, I'm sure it could help.

Possibly someone (could be 1-3 people) who goes over the content on each of the exams, especially considering that many of the tests are poorly written?

This would probably would require finding ESs ahead of time though...

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby marty3 » April 9th, 2018, 3:29 pm

Unome wrote:
marty3 wrote:
windu34 wrote:I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again.


I've volunteered at NJ states twice (2015 and 2016), and would do it again if I was nearby. I had a really good impression of the tournament directors, and it sounds like they do everything the Florida state director does. My event assignments did happen a bit last minute, but at least for Fossils in 2015, I was given a coach to consult as needed. It wasn't a problem for me, but I got the impression that many volunteers were new to Science Olympiad, and having someone to consult while writing tests might help.

The thing that surprises me most is how well received the Princeton Invitational seemed to be, yet when looking at the state program, hardly any Princeton students volunteered. If more of them could help in any capacity, I'm sure it could help.

I've noticed that, notwithstanding the inconvenient date for NJ in particular, undergrads in general seem to like invitationals but very few will volunteer at official tournaments (how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?). I suspect it's because invitationals are more flashy.


Originally I was going to suggest that Princeton students switch from organizing invitationals to organizing state, but the invitational flashiness is exactly why I didn't.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby Matholy » April 9th, 2018, 4:26 pm

1) Because theres a Princeton invy, why can't states be at Princeton?
2) Contrary to what I mentioned, a few events were run great! Mystery Architecture B had a great variety of materials, and the ESs were awesome as well.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby knottingpurple » April 9th, 2018, 5:00 pm

Unome wrote:
marty3 wrote:
windu34 wrote:I don't really know much about the NJ situation specifically, but there is a good chance that the NJSO director(s) is to blame for the lack of quality and committed volunteers rather than just the inconvenient date. In Florida, the state director is constantly looking around to recruit volunteers and supervisors and builds and fosters relationships among past supervisors ensuring they want to come back again.


I've volunteered at NJ states twice (2015 and 2016), and would do it again if I was nearby. I had a really good impression of the tournament directors, and it sounds like they do everything the Florida state director does. My event assignments did happen a bit last minute, but at least for Fossils in 2015, I was given a coach to consult as needed. It wasn't a problem for me, but I got the impression that many volunteers were new to Science Olympiad, and having someone to consult while writing tests might help.

The thing that surprises me most is how well received the Princeton Invitational seemed to be, yet when looking at the state program, hardly any Princeton students volunteered. If more of them could help in any capacity, I'm sure it could help.

I've noticed that, notwithstanding the inconvenient date for NJ in particular, undergrads in general seem to like invitationals but very few will volunteer at official tournaments (how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?). I suspect it's because invitationals are more flashy.


I agree that that's a part of it, and I don't know how States matches up to the academic schedule, but for Regionals I can remember some of our team members leaving in the middle of the day to take a Princeton final. They might still choose not to help out if they could, but in at least some cases they don't have the ability to help out.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby marty3 » April 9th, 2018, 5:28 pm

knottingpurple wrote:
Unome wrote:
marty3 wrote:
I've volunteered at NJ states twice (2015 and 2016), and would do it again if I was nearby. I had a really good impression of the tournament directors, and it sounds like they do everything the Florida state director does. My event assignments did happen a bit last minute, but at least for Fossils in 2015, I was given a coach to consult as needed. It wasn't a problem for me, but I got the impression that many volunteers were new to Science Olympiad, and having someone to consult while writing tests might help.

The thing that surprises me most is how well received the Princeton Invitational seemed to be, yet when looking at the state program, hardly any Princeton students volunteered. If more of them could help in any capacity, I'm sure it could help.

I've noticed that, notwithstanding the inconvenient date for NJ in particular, undergrads in general seem to like invitationals but very few will volunteer at official tournaments (how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?). I suspect it's because invitationals are more flashy.


I agree that that's a part of it, and I don't know how States matches up to the academic schedule, but for Regionals I can remember some of our team members leaving in the middle of the day to take a Princeton final. They might still choose not to help out if they could, but in at least some cases they don't have the ability to help out.


The Princeton Academic Calendar says midterms were March 12-16, so it's not well timed for undergrads to volunteer.

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby kenniky » April 9th, 2018, 7:05 pm

Unome wrote:how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?

Not many because the locations of the state tournaments are not in Boston and aren't really close to any major public transportation stops. Owning a car in Boston, especially as a college student, is pretty dumb because Boston's public transportation covers a really good amount of the city, and parking sucks especially in the winter when there's furniture on the road

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby knottingpurple » April 9th, 2018, 7:21 pm

kenniky wrote:
Unome wrote:how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?

Not many because the locations of the state tournaments are not in Boston and aren't really close to any major public transportation stops. Owning a car in Boston, especially as a college student, is pretty dumb because Boston's public transportation covers a really good amount of the city, and parking sucks especially in the winter when there's furniture on the road


Maybe that's also a factor in NJ - we had one alum, now at Rutgers, who came to States on our bus (we have direct train service to Rutgers and Princeton which I assume they used), rather than having to drive themself or pay for an Uber at 7 in the morning, and I think lumosityfan went on JPS's bus if I remember correctly? But alumni who can't get to their old schools via public transport are really stuck - or teams which run out of space on their buses for alumni, which frankly, we did. If Rutgers hosted a competition at least there'd be NJ Transit Northeast Corridor to get there, although it's not the most reliable and people not living near that train love wouldn't be helped much, plus Rutgers would have a huge student body to volunteer without any transportation at all.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby pikachu4919 » April 9th, 2018, 7:48 pm

knottingpurple wrote:
kenniky wrote:
Unome wrote:how many people from MIT and Harvard were at MA state tournaments for example?

Not many because the locations of the state tournaments are not in Boston and aren't really close to any major public transportation stops. Owning a car in Boston, especially as a college student, is pretty dumb because Boston's public transportation covers a really good amount of the city, and parking sucks especially in the winter when there's furniture on the road


Maybe that's also a factor in NJ - we had one alum, now at Rutgers, who came to States on our bus (we have direct train service to Rutgers and Princeton which I assume they used), rather than having to drive themself or pay for an Uber at 7 in the morning, and I think lumosityfan went on JPS's bus if I remember correctly? But alumni who can't get to their old schools via public transport are really stuck - or teams which run out of space on their buses for alumni, which frankly, we did. If Rutgers hosted a competition at least there'd be NJ Transit Northeast Corridor to get there, although it's not the most reliable and people not living near that train love wouldn't be helped much, plus Rutgers would have a huge student body to volunteer without any transportation at all.


Can confirm - Two things here: first - timing. I can easily volunteer at IN's State bc it's usually during my spring break (Purdue and IU happen to have the same spring breaks - coincidence? idk), so I don't have to worry about missing class or exams or anything (I mean I may have some but they wouldn't be immediate concerns). Second - transportation. Last year I had to completely rely on my coach and team for transportation to IN's state tournament bc it's held at IU, I'm a Purdue student, the two campuses are quite far away from each other and not terribly convenient to reach by public transportation, and I didn't have my own means or a carpool from another Purdue student (again, bc of spring break) XD it was much better this year since I have a car with me now but seriously, transportation to the tournament is also a big factor in college undergrads getting there. Honestly, those two are my biggest things to figure out in order to go volunteer at a tournament in the first place.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby lumosityfan » April 10th, 2018, 10:00 am

1) aww thx to all you guys who say my test is good. I try even though college sucks :|
2) I did not go on JP's bus but rather my mom took me. That being said great point about transportation - MCC is a pain in the butt to get to.
3) Totally agreed we need to get states on a weekend. I know that if states were on the weekend the past 2 years I'd def at least strongly consider going minus any qb nats or whatnot.
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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby fanjiatian » April 10th, 2018, 1:31 pm

Why Princeton students don't volunteer at States: the date makes it really hard for in-state alumni to help out. Princeton always has midterms during the week of States, which is why not a lot of Princeton students volunteer. I got lucky this year and had all my midterms on the day before States (if it hadn't snowed), but the rest of the invitational organizers were buried until basically the last day of exams.

Why Princeton can't host States: it would be literally impossible - our campus is small and administration is incredibly difficult to work with. The beginning of February is basically the only time that we could hold a Science Olympiad tournament, which is why we run an invitational. Starting the invitational and successfully running for two consecutive years was not easy :)

Why States isn't on a weekend: one of the NJSO committee members said that it's because 1) a lot of schools apparently can't afford to pay teachers/bus drivers for "working" outside normal academic hours, and 2) MCC campus space is most available on a weekday. I don't know how much validity there is to 1) - maybe ask your coaches and get them to email NJSO.

On the bright side, some alums at Rutgers are working on a fourth regional tournament that might be ready in time for 2019. Perhaps States will be at Rutgers shortly after...

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Re: New Jersey 2018

Postby Unome » April 10th, 2018, 1:55 pm

fanjiatian wrote:Why States isn't on a weekend: one of the NJSO committee members said that it's because 1) a lot of schools apparently can't afford to pay teachers/bus drivers for "working" outside normal academic hours, and 2) MCC campus space is most available on a weekday. I don't know how much validity there is to 1) - maybe ask your coaches and get them to email NJSO.

As for #1, The absolute farthest any point in NJ is from MCC is a little over two hours - with impound and the first session starting as late as they do, the trip isn't that bad for most teams - there's no reason anyone should need an overnight trip, and though I haven't yet plotted state qualifiers on a map and checked, considering the population distribution of NJ I doubt there are many teams that would actually need a bus to travel.
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