Nationals Event Discussion

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megrimlockawesom
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby megrimlockawesom » May 22nd, 2018, 7:09 pm

pikachu4919 wrote:
megrimlockawesom wrote:
4Head wrote:heard u got lucky tho :?: :?: :?:

We did not. We have been consistently getting these type of distances during practices. But i didn’t expect us to place this high


Hi, I’d just like to remind you that this thread is not (necessarily) for you to vent about how you felt about your results. In case you haven’t noticed in most of the posts that have been already made, this thread is primarily for discussing how you felt about how the events were run, like what you felt was good about how it was run, and what you felt was iffy about how it was run. For example, in this case about BB, you could talk about how efficient or not impound was or how nice/scary the proctors/volunteers were or the quality of the setup.

Sorry, got a little off track and even a little Braggy, so I am really sorry about that. As for the ES, I met them at centerville, and they were both really nice so it was good to see them again.
Ok this is epic 8-)
Events 2018: Battery Buggy (3rd at Nats), Rollercoaster (18th at Nats), Ping Pong (1st at states)
Events 2019: Codebusters, Ping Pong Parachute, Thermodynamics

I like Overwatch, Marvel, and food

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby qlf9 » May 22nd, 2018, 7:45 pm

Fermi Questions (32):
Previous Fermi Questions tests I had taken at Invitationals and Regionals (and, to an extent, even States), usually focused on one certain topic, so if you didn't know much about it, you were pretty much screwed. I like how this Nationals test contained questions from many different topics. The questions themselves were also quite interesting, and although I didn't place as highly as I would have liked to, I found this test one of the more fun ones I've taken in my Science Olympiad career.

Game On (32):
I did not prepare for this event in advance much at all, since I wanted to focus on my other events, so I am perfectly happy with my place in this event. This was also my first time competing in Game On, since at my state competition, Code Analysis was held, so I have nothing to compare the Nationals test to. That being said, I thought that the event was very well-organized, with the flash drives being used for submitting the game files.

Rocks and Minerals (19):
I found this test to be relatively easy for a Nationals test, since the specimens were not very hard to identify and all the information the questions asked for could have been easily found. I do think this test could have been harder to better differentiate the top teams. Although I had to guess on a few questions due to poor time management on my part, I am definitely very happy with my place.
2017-18
VT/Fairfax/Regionals/States/Nationals
Rocks: 2/1/1/2/19
Fermi: 1/2/4/6/32
Code/Game On: -/-/1/2/32

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Yellowtomato98 » May 22nd, 2018, 7:52 pm

Any thoughts on Division B dp?

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby RestingDoll » May 22nd, 2018, 8:03 pm

Hovercraft (10) It was alright. The test was on the easier side, with a couple of the fluids problems being the exception. The build however almost made me crap myself. I choked last year at nats and almost did the same thing again. There was an imperceptible bump or something just at the front of the track, and our hovercraft kept making donuts. After 4 tries I powered the fan to full and just let it run in order to get the mass score. Overall, the event was well run and well planned, with the exception of impound (see Adi's post for details). 8/10
Time of 6.54 seconds, 16 pennies.

WIDI (2) Huh. I definitely did not expect to do well after I walked out of the build room. The structure was not terribly hard, just difficult to build. The strings were difficult to maneuver (the end of mine kept fraying, and I tried for a good minute to fit the spring through it), the stuff underneath the cup kept falling over, and the protein clip wouldn't fit on my freaking tuber. In the end I gave up on the second string and called it time at 19:23. Definitely nationals level, and well worth all the time spent practicing. 10/10

MTV (3) Proctors were extremely nice and understanding. Nothing much more to be said. 10/10
Time of 7.82 seconds, 1.2 cm off target, total score of 10.22.

Mission Possible (21) I actually thought the proctors were very reasonable and understanding. Setup time could have been kept track of a little better. Unfortunately, 5 of our tasks skipped randomly, something which we'd never encountered before. 8/10

Overall, this was a perfect way to end my competing career in Science Olympiad. I'll be at Golden Gate volunteering for Division D next year.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby DarthBuilder » May 22nd, 2018, 8:07 pm

MTV (51) overall this event was well runned. The supervisors did a good job while impounding and took two minutes to check in. It was also nice to meet Windu. The supervisors definitely knew what they were doing as I am pretty sure they were past competitors. Although, I wish we did better as our mtv did decent at state, but I must give all of my props to my partner who took time out of his day to make a new design. He kept testing consistently until the car was done and continued to do so until nationals. But what I can say is that I am going to come out much more prepared for mtv next year as this event was a learning experience and was an enjoyable event this season.
9/10

Towers (12) I enjoyed this event a lot. I loved how the ES called out our names and put our team’s name tag on the stand then called out our state. I was hoping to medal, but it is what it is. After, we had a run down of how our tower broke and why for 5 minutes or so some even longer which was awesome. Quite sad that this event is gone next year and I can say for a fact that this was my favorite event out of all 6 years doing Scioly. The next day, the ES sent me a video of our tower and I assume to all other teams of their tower which is pretty cool. As said earlier, I’m going to miss this event a lot.
10/10
New Trier 19’

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby FermiGod » May 22nd, 2018, 8:23 pm

Ashernoel wrote:Astronomy (6): Of all the astronomy tests I've ever taken, this was definitely the best. Astronomy is my favorite event, without a doubt and by many miles, and I only wish that I could have done better, both for me but also for my partner who worked so hard after joining Science Olympiad this year to master the DSOs. I only touched sections B and C, but both were theoretical with the, in my opinion, harder free response or derivation type questions than classic plug and chug of many astro tests. Admittedly, due to a combination of fatigue and lack of preparation in that regard, I did get tripped up on the binary orbits question and landed a flat 2/20. I had given up all hope of placing within the top 20, knowing that I had missed the last JS9 question and a few others, and could have tanked the team. My partner complained about the easy DSO section and lack of arxiv questions after the test, which could be taken as an area of improvement. I did the DSO section last year and agree that they can leave something to be desired. A few questions from research papers mixed in with the classic Donna questions could go a long way in making people feel good about their countless hours researching the objects. Especially because it is so common for one person to hyper focus on DSOs in this event, that section of the test could do with more theory and less ambiguity usually afforded to it by the HR diagram questions. In the end, we somehow medalled and did not tank our team, which was as much as a surprise as it was welcome. I can't wait for the galaxies test next year! 100/10

Hovercraft (2): From what I saw, the event supervisor checked all the boxes: the test could stratify teams, the tracks were well made, and the hovercraft's were run promptly almost as a "show," where the teams were announced to the room of wide-eyed spectators like gladiators or something awesome. I remember having to quell my own excitement after "New Trier" was declared to the crowd so that I could focus on avoiding the misfortunes of last year and making sound and precise decisions about my device's settings. The volunteer who was timing my run on Track 3 was knowledgeable and supportive, both before and after my successful runs, and his positivity was greatly welcomed as I was still recovering from the emotional hole of the Astronomy orbital problem (oops). After the device ran, the test went smoothly. My partner covered most of the elementary physics problems, and I focused my attention on the fluids and free response. We noticed that the event supervisor seemed to create a test that was a conglomeration from many different sources, as the value for gravity changed throughout the test (lol). Also, some of the sig figs felt ambiguous in the free response with the diagrams and different sig fig rules. I think I messed up when doing the fountain problem and it cost us the gold, but in end I'm very happy with our showing and thrilled with retiring this event on such a high note. 8/10
Details about my run: 16 pennies and a 15.72 run time with a 15s target time. 41.5/42 Build score.

Thermodynamics (2): The event was run flawlessly, period. A notoriously hard event to supervise well, being either awkward or unenjoyable at many major invitationals, the supervisors knew exactly what they were doing (using syringes) and made sure each team had the same starting conditions and time to take the test. The test, too, did not disappoint. The history questions actually tested the extent of my notes and had a little on everything. After 1-40, I jumped to the last free response and was confused by the thermal conductivity question (when SA was not given?) but otherwise found them as simple problems that should be accessible to all teams, but also I did not do many free response and my partner could have been destroying the hard ones while I did 1-40. In considering the ice bonus and my heat retention, I think it could have hurt the most competitive scores because the addition of ice (O degree @ 50ml) would almost instantly lower the starting temperature to around 40 when a 38 degree inner beaker was necessary to get over 15 points with the bonus. It also lowers the denominator in the prediction score and could end up increasing error if off by the same margin. I'm looking forward to this event next year! 10/10
Details about my run: 1.85 Heat retention factor (assuming ~15 Heat retention score) and 24.8 Prediction score. 39.8/40 Build score.

Mission Possible (4): After a season filled with bombs, errors, breaks, and mission greatly underperforming, including at state, everything finally came together for nationals and, other than a timer that went a little quickly at the high altitude and 1 broken task, our mission did as well as it could have. In terms of hours, I probably spent the most time on this event, working 2-3+ hours for the first few months after deciding to pick it up in early december until the mechanics of the device were working properly. My partner pulled through, too, in making 3 PCBs for the circuit based tasks, just in case the other two were to break (of which 1 did!). The event supervisor seemed cynical as he judged but he was also knowledgeable and understood the workings behind every task. 8/10
Details about my run: 1530 points, 96s timer.

Overall, nationals was an amazing experience, from the team hiking to the post astro reflections, and I know that both I and New Trier will come back stronger next year :D


Why no Fermii?! I thought the test was well runned imo.

Sorry if this was weird I usually just read but I was looking at results

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Ashernoel » May 22nd, 2018, 8:47 pm

FermiGod wrote:
Why no Fermii?! I thought the test was well runned imo.

Sorry if this was weird I usually just read but I was looking at results


haha I'm not a fermi god :( and I have nothing to add to the event discussion
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Astronomylover26 » May 23rd, 2018, 12:48 pm

Solar System-(4) I personally thought the test was quite interesting. Since Solar System is my favorite event, I really enjoyed taking it, but it was a little challenging. The first part of the test was quite simple, with visual identifications and basic questions of planetary nomenclatures. The second part of the test was challenging since it required some analytic thinking and had a few graphs of celestial bodies. However, in the latter half of the test, some of the questions went out of the rules. Overall I would rate this test a 10/10.

Crime Busters-(2) This was one of the easiest national crime busters tests I have taken. The test was very well set up and instructions were clearly given. Event supervisors were very kind and helpful if you had any questions. The test had covered all of the parts including powders, metals, polymers, liquids, hair, fibers, shoe prints, and fingerprints. It had a moderate amount of testings given. Overall, I would give this test a 10/10.

Herpetology- (10) Herpetology was quite hard for the division B test. It was set up in stations and a decent amount of time was given for each station. It went quite deep into individual herps, such as information on frog calls and specific anatomical features. It was unlike most invitational tests, since it went quite deep into the actual concepts. It also included some confusing vocabulary as well. Overall, I would give this test a 7/10.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby IvanGe » May 23rd, 2018, 4:34 pm

Anatomy and Physiology(18) I thought the test was well written, although me and my partner were definitely not prepared for the amount of case studies that they had. We kinda just guessed our way through the case studies due to the fact that some of the questions gave slight hints to the previous ones. Another thing that bothered me was the Select all that applied. This was challenging although it did make us think more, I believe we messed up most of those. 8/10

Hovercraft(20) It was the same proctor from last year, a very nice guy and there were a couple of new helpers this year. The track was fine but one of my batteries unfortunately stopped working (5000 maH) so I was left with trying to use a 3000maH battery to get my hovercraft to float. it didn't work out so well so I ended up with around 7.7 seconds and 9 rolls :cry: . The test was on the easier side, about the same level as last years test. There wasn't any hard questions that stuck out. 9/10

Potions and Poisons(21) It was a nice test and the lab was the part that messed us up. First of all, my partner went in with shorts so he had to go borrow a teammates pants :o so that was off to a bad start. I barely finished the test, missed maybe the last 2 questions and my partner did the lab. The goal was 1:2980 and we got like 1:9770 :x and that was partially my fault because we made a solution at first that was much darker and I wasn't sure if that was right so I had him make another one that looked lighter. I'm happy with my place with practically no points on the lab because we were off by so much. 7/10

Roller Coaster(7) Probably my favorite event to work on, although I got bored of it near Nationals, but I had hopes of it placing because I was getting scores >500 but when we moved it there the jumps didn't work out so the ball kept falling and destroyed my timing device. I eventually fixed the jumps with my partner and we got 8 :cry: seconds out of the target 41 seconds which set us back a lot of points. 10/10
Last edited by IvanGe on May 23rd, 2018, 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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5th - potions
5th - fossils
9th - buggy

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby wzhang5460 » May 23rd, 2018, 4:59 pm

Disease Detectives (14) It was a fine test, however, I feel like it was incredibly long compared to previous year's nationals tests. The case was completely out of topic though, as plague has no relationship to foodborne illness. 7/10, it was long, challenging, and VERY off-topic.

Towers (10) Thought we were going to place. However, because of the suspected slanted table, our extremely light tower(around 4 g) started bending outwards near the bottom trusses and broke very early. Dale punched a tree and broke his hand after. 2/10. The testing device, although not stated in the rules, is expected to be a level surface, and at this level of nationals competition, I was disappointed it wasn't.

Exp. Design (10) Great proctor, same as last year. She was extremely funny and the event was very well run. Great topic and got us thinking. Got the same placing as last year.9/10

Mystery Architecture (7) RIP 7th. The event was well run considering the terrible experience I had in this event at NY states. Rules were explained very clearly and everything was done in order. 9/10
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby DarthBuilder » May 23rd, 2018, 5:37 pm

wzhang5460 wrote:Disease Detectives (14) It was a fine test, however, I feel like it was incredibly long compared to previous year's nationals tests. The case was completely out of topic though, as plague has no relationship to foodborne illness. 7/10, it was long, challenging, and VERY off-topic.

Towers (10) Thought we were going to place. However, because of the suspected slanted table, our extremely light tower(around 4 g) started bending outwards near the bottom trusses and broke very early. Dale punched a tree and broke his hand after. 2/10. The testing device, although not stated in the rules, is expected to be a level surface, and at this level of nationals competition, I was disappointed it wasn't.

Exp. Design (10) Great proctor, same as last year. She was extremely funny and the event was very well run. Great topic and got us thinking. Got the same placing as last year.9/10

Mystery Architecture (7) RIP 7th. The event was well run considering the terrible experience I had in this event at NY states. Rules were explained very clearly and everything was done in order. 9/10



Wait, someone actually broke their hand?
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby IvanGe » May 23rd, 2018, 5:41 pm

DarthBuilder wrote:
wzhang5460 wrote:Disease Detectives (14) It was a fine test, however, I feel like it was incredibly long compared to previous year's nationals tests. The case was completely out of topic though, as plague has no relationship to foodborne illness. 7/10, it was long, challenging, and VERY off-topic.

Towers (10) Thought we were going to place. However, because of the suspected slanted table, our extremely light tower(around 4 g) started bending outwards near the bottom trusses and broke very early. Dale punched a tree and broke his hand after. 2/10. The testing device, although not stated in the rules, is expected to be a level surface, and at this level of nationals competition, I was disappointed it wasn't.

Exp. Design (10) Great proctor, same as last year. She was extremely funny and the event was very well run. Great topic and got us thinking. Got the same placing as last year.9/10

Mystery Architecture (7) RIP 7th. The event was well run considering the terrible experience I had in this event at NY states. Rules were explained very clearly and everything was done in order. 9/10



Wait, someone actually broke their hand?


He punched a tree because he was mad so he broke his hand
gelinas 2016-2019

5th - potions
5th - fossils
9th - buggy

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby TheChiScientist » May 23rd, 2018, 6:06 pm

IvanGe wrote:
DarthBuilder wrote:
wzhang5460 wrote:Towers (10) Thought we were going to place. However, because of the suspected slanted table, our extremely light tower(around 4 g) started bending outwards near the bottom trusses and broke very early. Dale punched a tree and broke his hand after. 2/10. The testing device, although not stated in the rules, is expected to be a level surface, and at this level of nationals competition, I was disappointed it wasn't.



Wait, someone actually broke their hand?


He punched a tree because he was mad so he broke his hand

Wow! That is worthy of a Sci Oly achievement. (Go to the SciOly achievement forum in general chat.) :lol:
How bad was it?
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby 5uper5tring » May 23rd, 2018, 6:20 pm

Adi1008 wrote:What an amazing tournament; thank you to all the event supervisors, directors, volunteers, and countless others who put so much effort into putting together this National tournament. I was lucky to have all my events be very well run. Undoubtedly an unforgettable experience not only for me, but for the whole team, who I cannot be more proud of considering everything we did this year just to have the chance to compete.

As for the events:

Astronomy (4): This was one of my favorite tests of all time, but perhaps I am biased considering that Astronomy is also my favorite event of all time. Although my personal performance on the test left a lot to be desired, I am incredibly proud of my partner for sightreading all the DSOs and can genuinely say that I had a lot of fun while taking the test. I thought the test was excellently written; it was far longer and more difficult than MIT over the past two years and had some very challenging questions. Some say that the test was on the easier side, but I personally felt that it was quite difficult (although I am not quite as good at Astronomy anymore). I especially liked the conceptual nature of the latter half of the test, which seemed to emphasize understanding the topic instead of mindless calculations, complete with cool questions on spectral lines (Saha equation!!), binary system physics, millisecond pulsars, and more. And as always, all of the supervisors were extremely nice and helpful and did an incredible job in running this event well. I love this test, these event supervisors, and practically everything about Astronomy. 7822/10

Hovercraft (4): I woefully neglected the test portion of this event this year, instead focusing solely on the device, the painful memories of my state tournament only too fresh in my mind. Luckily for me, my partner, Justin72835, is far better than me at physics and managed to complete the majority of the test in the ~10 minutes I was gone to test the device, leaving us with plenty of time to double and triple-check our answers. I felt that the build portion was run exceedingly well, complete with well-built tracks and competent, understanding volunteers and proctors (although I was lucky to have an afternoon slot, and by then, usually everyone knows what they're doing and there's no hiccups). The track was a bit tough to work with because of how smooth it was, but such is the nature of the event, where adapting to different surfaces is merely another part of a very difficult build portion. The test was slightly on the easier side, but I think that's mainly because the event supervisor wanted a spread of easy, medium, and difficult questions. However, some of the questions of the test were reused from the year before, which I generally don't prefer, but it is a small matter in the end. In all, the test seemed moderately difficult, but nothing too hard or out of the ordinary.

If there was anything I would change about how this event was run, it would be the impound process. From my past experiences with Hovercraft impound (e.g. MIT this year), I tried to arrive very early so I wouldn't spend an inordinate amount of time waiting and risk missing part of my first event. However, impound for both divisions was run in the same place, and many other teams had the same idea as I did. I arrived at the room at about 6:45am, a full 15 minutes before impound even started, and there were ~40 teams in front of me. In all, I ended up spending ~50 minutes for impound (although about 15 of those were spent fixing some mesh stuff the event supervisor wanted me to correct). I don't know if there is anything that can really be done about this; there's simply a lot of teams (120 for both divisions) and the device has a lot of construction parameters, which means that impound for Hovercraft is inherently a time consuming process. Furthermore, there's only a finite amount of volunteers, and everyone is only trying their best. In the end, it's a small matter and doesn't detract from the quality of the event. 8/10

Optics (2): My time doing Optics has been one filled with countless failures, so having one triumph at the end was perhaps the most satisfying part of my nationals experience. The LSS was run perfectly; I can't think of a single way it could possibly be improved. The mirrors were perfectly made, the base was magnetic, the walls were straight, and the proctors were incredibly knowledgeable and methodical. One thing I especially liked was how they handled the covers for the mirrors: you were allowed to place the mirror on the LSS without the cover as long as you put the cover on immediately after. A lot of the time, the covers can interfere with being able to place the mirrors accurately, so this appeared to be a fair solution that still prevented teams from cheating by looking in the mirrors. The test was straightforward and covered a lot of physics, not trivia. I think the test could have been much harder (and could have had a lot more trivia, but I only say that because I especially focused on trivia stuff after getting destroyed by it so frequently), but overall, it appeared to separate the teams well enough. 9/10

WIDI (1): I have competed in WIDI twice at nationals and both times, it has been run impeccably. There is nothing I would improve about this event at all; the event supervisors are incredibly competent and do an amazing job of running this event, which can be quite challenging logistically. A few of the numerous things I liked about how this event was run:
  • The structure was HARD, although admittedly much easier than the 2016 structure in my opinion. It undoubtedly favors accuracy and technical skill over speed.
  • We received the writing in folders, preventing doers from reading the instructions beforehand and gaining a bit of an upper hand there
  • Although the writers and doers were told to meet at a certain room, the actual writing and doing were done in other rooms, preventing other teams from hearing about what was going on/inadvertently glimpsing the structure and possibly gaining an advantage
  • While waiting for the writing, we were given the chance to mess around with the materials and make sure we had everything
My partner is far better at WIDI than I am; in the four years he's done this event at nationals, he's only gotten a non-gold medal once, which was in 2016 when I did it with him (4th). I'm happy that in our senior year, I was able to get him back to first place, where he belongs. 10/10



" One thing I especially liked was how they handled the covers for the mirrors: you were allowed to place the mirror on the LSS without the cover as long as you put the cover on immediately after. A lot of the time, the covers can interfere with being able to place the mirrors accurately, so this appeared to be a fair solution that still prevented teams from cheating by looking in the mirrors." --> Very surprised to hear this. Did the event organizer tell this to all the teams? My students did not know that they could place the mirrors without the cover. The covers were like thick shells and I am sure our team would have scored much better had they known that they could place the mirror without the cover.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby windu34 » May 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm

5uper5tring wrote:" One thing I especially liked was how they handled the covers for the mirrors: you were allowed to place the mirror on the LSS without the cover as long as you put the cover on immediately after. A lot of the time, the covers can interfere with being able to place the mirrors accurately, so this appeared to be a fair solution that still prevented teams from cheating by looking in the mirrors." --> Very surprised to hear this. Did the event organizer tell this to all the teams? My students did not know that they could place the mirrors without the cover. The covers were like thick shells and I am sure our team would have scored much better had they known that they could place the mirror without the cover.

The covers were not attached to the mirrors so they had to be placed independently (not really any other option). I was one of the LS supervisors and Adi1008 did not compete at my LS box so therefore that other supervisor was also following the same procedure as I was (there were only 2 boxes). You may have been misinformed by your students. They were allowed to place the mirror on the board, position it and make any adjustments, and then were told to place the bent index card in such a way it covered the mirror. This was not a struggle for any of the ~30 teams I observed.
Teams were given direct instructions right before doing the LS including how the covers were to be placed.
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