Nationals Event Discussion

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EastStroudsburg13
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby EastStroudsburg13 » May 23rd, 2018, 7:29 pm



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?
Please stay on topic.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby DHess » May 23rd, 2018, 7:45 pm

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
When you say your partner made 3 PCBs do you mean like the perma proto boards or an actual PCB like the computer printed circuit board kind.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Ashernoel » May 23rd, 2018, 7:48 pm

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
When you say your partner made 3 PCBs do you mean like the perma proto boards or an actual PCB like the computer printed circuit board kind.
Actual. PCBs. The bank was broken.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby 5uper5tring » May 23rd, 2018, 7:58 pm

" 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.
Were division C and division B run by different people and and did they have different LSS setups for the 2 divisions? My students were in div B. They were told not to remove the covers. The covers were also not "bent index cards". They were 3d printed thick plastic shells.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby windu34 » May 23rd, 2018, 8:08 pm

" 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.
Were division C and division B run by different people and and did they have different LSS setups for the 2 divisions? My students were in div B. They were told not to remove the covers. The covers were also not "bent index cards". They were 3d printed thick plastic shells.
Ah yes I ran Div. C which Adi1008 competed in. Div. B was run by an independent set of supervisors.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby FermiGod » May 23rd, 2018, 8:25 pm

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
When you say your partner made 3 PCBs do you mean like the perma proto boards or an actual PCB like the computer printed circuit board kind.
Actual. PCBs. The bank was broken.
If your partner made 3 pcb I can only imagine the immense amount of work he put in. That’s a true carry.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby 5uper5tring » May 23rd, 2018, 8:39 pm

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.
Were division C and division B run by different people and and did they have different LSS setups for the 2 divisions? My students were in div B. They were told not to remove the covers. The covers were also not "bent index cards". They were 3d printed thick plastic shells.
Ah yes I ran Div. C which Adi1008 competed in. Div. B was run by an independent set of supervisors.
It would be nice to have some consistencies in rules in the same tournament. It would also be nice if the rules regarding the covers are clearly spelled out in the rule book.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby jimmy-bond » May 23rd, 2018, 9:08 pm

Any thoughts on Division B dp?
As I stated on my original opinion on page 1, I give it a 6/10. The test was lengthy, as I expected, but a good portion of the test was biology-based (something I liked but it doesn't really belong in a geology event). The fact that the figures were given in a stack made it easy to lose with all the test papers as well as the notes. Because I have a stronger biology background, my partner literally threw me those papers as soon as he saw them, so I didn't get much of the geology questions. From what I heard, though, they were good questions, but not typical.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby daydreamer0023 » May 23rd, 2018, 9:39 pm

Anyone have thoughts on the Forensics test? I do know that I couldn't light the match...then I got the event helpers to try and help me...they got the match but couldn't get the candle...long story short, the entire box of matches was spent and I was forced to sight-identify the fibers without a candle. The team across from me had an incident where the team before them spilled ink over the shared test packet (not including answer sheet) at the station so they couldn't read it. The event supervisor did not seem very sympathetic to their problem - one of them seemed very distraught as they relayed the mishap by phone (to a coach?) after the test.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Kyanite » May 24th, 2018, 8:41 am

Anyone have thoughts on the Forensics test? I do know that I couldn't light the match...then I got the event helpers to try and help me...they got the match but couldn't get the candle...long story short, the entire box of matches was spent and I was forced to sight-identify the fibers without a candle. The team across from me had an incident where the team before them spilled ink over the shared test packet (not including answer sheet) at the station so they couldn't read it. The event supervisor did not seem very sympathetic to their problem - one of them seemed very distraught as they relayed the mishap by phone (to a coach?) after the test.
I think the ink incident was my team, luckily I think they placed ok


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