Brown University Invitational 2019

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Brown University Invitational 2019

Post by Pupitre » July 30th, 2018, 3:55 am

We're very excited to announce that the second annual Brown University Invitational will be taking place in Providence on Saturday, February 9th 2019! Registration will open in mid-September, with further details to be posted on our website:

Last year, our inaugural event was extremely successful, with diverse representation from nearly thirty teams across the Northeast, including former state champions and many first-time competitors! We hope to build upon that foundation and provide a welcoming and accessible tournament experience for new teams across the New England area. In this spirit, newly created Science Olympiad teams will receive free registration for our event, and first-time attendees will receive a discounted registration.

Just like last year, we will be running all 23 Division C national events, and mirroring the nationals event conflicts as closely as possible. All events will be administered, written, and thoroughly vetted by members of our organization, many of whom have medaled at the national level. No contribution will be required by coaches or teams, leaving them completely free to enjoy the competition and Brown's beautiful campus. Additionally, we will be raising our capacity to 36 teams (maximum of two teams per school) to encourage as many new faces as possible. As always, we are committed to providing a friendly, competitive, and most importantly - fun tournament atmosphere and we hope to see you in Providence next year!

Please don't hesitate to email with any questions you might have.

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Re: Brown University Invitational 2019

Post by antoine_ego » February 9th, 2019, 6:20 pm

Overall teams as announced at awards:
1. Acton-Boxborough A (59)
2. Acton-Boxborough B (67)
3. Syosset A (81)
4. Newton North (145)
5. Chaminade A (208)
6. Merrimack A (252)

I'm really impressed with Syosset A. They medaled nearly every event, and took really high placings. I'm guessing the difference between them and my teams was really close. They improved substantially from MIT, which does them great credit, and should certainly be strong competition at New York States.

I actually had a good experience with the tournament. The schedule followed the Nationals one, with the exception of having Fermi in block 0 instead of Experimental Design, but if you ask me, that's a reasonable adjustment. My opinions on my own events follow:

Astronomy (1st): Very nice test, and it covered the event description pretty well. Some of the content questions were just Wikipedia memorization, but they were good questions nevertheless. I liked the DSO section, since it covered every DSO with a good amount of image identification, which made for a fun experience. The general section had a few obscure things, such as a Mira Variable question, but overall quite nice. The math section was good, nothing too obscure. The supervisors were also really nice. Overall, a solid test that I enjoyed taking and learned from.

Experimental Design (1st): Well run. The topic was good, and required some thinking to answer properly. I particularly liked how the supervisor told everyone at the beginning that they could use scrap paper if they wanted, instead of having to deal with the double sided answer sheets. The supply station was well stocked, and in a good location. In terms of grading, it was on the lenient side, but nothing weird at least for me and no addition errors. Nicely run.

Mission Possible (3rd): The location surprised me at first, namely in the same room as Wright Stuff. However, they moved the tables around so they didn't interfere, which was really appreciated. The supervisors were really nice and understanding, and were fun to talk to during the run itself. Quite nicely run.

Mousetrap Vehicle (3rd): I had this event first, and really early in the day, so the track wasn't set up quite in time. Besides this however, there wasn't anything wrong with how the event was run. I wasn't a fan of the floor, since it was a little uneven, but that really wasn't in the ES's control. Pretty decently run, though I would've appreciated a better location instead of a well-trafficked hallway.

I can't find too much to complain about for my events specifically, since they were run so well. I do know that some of the tests were unusually short, with some being under two pages long, which is unfortunate since that's almost certainly not enough questions to adequately differentiate teams. However, besides those, the test quality seemed to be very solid, and gave a good mix of easy and hard questions, as a test should be. The lack of a microphone for awards was a little tough, but honestly just made me impressed with the announcer's ability to project. The only major complaint I could possibly levy is the the time between events was a little short, especially since some of the events were really far apart. Besides that though, nothing else was particularly problematic.

Overall, I thought it was a well-run tournament with a good experience for competitors. Would recommend :)

EDIT: Scores added.
Last edited by antoine_ego on February 10th, 2019, 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rest in Peace Len Joeris
[b]2016 Air Trajectory Nationals - 3rd
2018 Hovercraft Nationals - 6th
2018 Mousetrap Nationals - 6th
2018 Nationals - Team 9th Place!
2019 Astronomy Nationals - 3rd!
2019 Nationals - Team 9th Place!
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School Captain 17-19

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Re: Brown University Invitational 2019

Post by Name » February 9th, 2019, 7:35 pm

antoine_ego wrote: I'm really impressed with Syosset A. They medaled nearly every event, and took really high placings. I'm guessing the difference between them and my teams was really close. They improved substantially from MIT, which does them great credit, and should certainly be strong competition at New York States.
Lol thanks, anyways I'll give my reviews too

Astro (2): good test overall although DSOs had too much stuff where it's was just CTRL F. Math was pretty hard and we got tripped up and was unable to answer a few. Also the mnemonic question was funny lol. Part II was a bit ambiguous, I'm pretty sure I answered them correctly but only got partial for 2. Covered all DSOs which was nice. Overall very well run.

Code (2): was ran fine but a couple complaints. First of all the only monoalpabetic was the timed cipher, with no Spanish cipher (required at state level which brown was ran at), no patristocrats or any extra aristos. It was pretty easy to get a full score with time to spare and would mostly be based on time bonus. Basically the test was pretty bad. Maybe I'm just salty we accidentally omitted 3 words when transferring to the answer section, not catching it in the extensive checking over we did, and costing us the question and potentially the gold.

Fermi (1): nice test, 50 questions which is usually the ideal length, and good questions overall. I haven't went over anything yet but the one question about the ice surrounding Antarctica was kinda confusing by what they meant. We had a pretty high score and with a quick glance missed a few easier questions so the difficulty could've been a bit harder, but it was very well run overall.
Edit: Talking to another school we agreed that questions 15 and 30 were likely graded wrong, and there might have been a couple more errors.
Edit 2: Question 3 was wrong (according to my calculator). Kinda annoying as my partner spent like half the test on it to make sure it was the correct answer and as accurate as possible, and lost points as a result, while a quick estimate would've likely resulted in the incorrect answer but the answer they took as correct.

My only other complaint was the distance between one particular building, and while I didn't have problems with it, caused some people to be a bit late for their respective events. I had a great time at brown and I thought it was pretty well run.
Last edited by Name on February 11th, 2019, 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Syosset HS '21
Favorite Past Events: Microbe, Invasive, Matsci, Fermi
Events!: Astro, Code, Fossils
Astro: 2/4/2/10/2/2/3
Code: 9/1/2/1/1/1/1
Fossils: 16/13/6/9/2/3/8
1 fermi cornell, 10 orni LISO, 4 green gen regionals

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Re: Brown University Invitational 2019

Post by poonicle » February 10th, 2019, 5:30 am

I really had a great time at Brown! I think more than 50% of the ABRHS team capitalized on the fact that there was a Kung Fu Tea and a really good ramen place close by... Now here are some non-spicy event reviews

Disease: This test was decent, and pretty straightforward. I think it was on the shorter side for a Disease test, but nowhere near as short as the 2-page tests some of my teammates recieved for their other events. I never really have much to say about a Disease test tbh.

Geologic Mapping: By far, the best test I took yesterday. The test was difficult--a testament to its difficulty was the fact that a couple of teams yeeted out of the event around 10-15 min before time was up--but broad, and the ES was accurate when he said there would be "something for everyone". I particularly liked that there was space for calculations on the test. Honestly, my section of the test was quite similar to the MIT test (as I focus more on the maps/math section of the event) but my partner thought that his section was more difficult than the MIT test (I think).

Write It Do It: I've been thinking a lot, over the course of the past three invites, about what makes a /good/ WIDI. Arguably, this WIDI was on the same level of complexity as Harvard's in terms of number of materials, but it was extremely repetitive. There were 10 identical stars attached to the paper. 5 toothpicks through the plates. 5 styrofoam balls, one on each toothpick. I didn't enjoy the WIDI that much, but it was okay I guess. One complaint: our WIDI got misgraded, which is kinda sad. It’s only by 2 points, so I’m not sure whether it makes a difference or not.

Overall Brown was really nice! I love the campus too... :D
Events: WIDI, Geomap, Disease, Chem Lab
Acton-Boxborough A for Invites season

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Re: Brown University Invitational 2019

Post by sophisSyo » February 10th, 2019, 5:16 pm

Thanks :) antoine_ego
Also, everyone capitalized on the Kung Fu Tea. I waited forty minutes (an entire class period?) for a cup of tea that I didn't even have all to myself. Opportunity costs? Still worth it.
Here are my reviews:
In general, the proctors were all super nice and understanding. I was surprised that you didn't just give the tests without school names 0s, but hey props to the Brown coordinators for putting in so much effort (and actually getting our tests back to us). And rip at top 3=medals lol.

Anatomy and Physiology (4): It's harder for me to reflect on this event given that I was ten minutes late (had an event right before), but hey let's start there. As I recall, Acton-Boxborough had extra time because they were both late, but my partner had already gotten to the event when it started. I wish that we had maybe a couple more minutes (I would have gotten in maybe five more questions then) but it's understandable, although it definitely would have been easier if the building wasn't so far. I generally liked the test itself, but I do prefer a ton of multiple choice and some open response to mostly open response, given having a large multiple choice section would allow for the test to have questions on more material. It was definitely better than the regionals test this year, though, cuz that one had mostly questions on blood....this one had nice sections on all three systems.

Designer Genes (4): In general, a nice test since they had straight up open response for replication, CRISPR Cas, etc. I do disagree strongly with one answer for a Mendelian question, but I'm not sure if that would have made a difference? Hopefully not. I also really liked that this tested on your understanding of Sanger sequencing. The probability question was a nice touch even though I do disagree with the probability itself but who am I to talk. Brown > High school statistics, eh?

Disease Detectives (2): I really loved how they displayed the data for the two by two tables. It made you think, wasn't just outright here ya go plug and chug. Good thing they put in the identify and explain study stuff - I haven't seen that in some time and it's not something you can really get straight off a cheatsheet, requires some thought. I do wish that the test was longer, maybe had more case studies and harder statistics or comprehension (and the Ebola threw me off a bit - I haven't seen questions on it in several years?) but overall pretty solid.

Protein Modeling (3): Toobers <3 Great test in my opinion, except there was a paragraph about the mechanisms of the CRISPR-Cas 9 system that had random blanks that you had to fill with words....I thought it was pretty ambiguous. I'd say that took up the most time on the test.

Write It Do It (2): For me this was refreshing because I had been worried that I'd fallen into a rut for WIDI this year. In regards to the test itself, however, I think you could think about it in one of two ways. 1) It was too easy 2) The lower level of difficulty helped differentiate teams because you had to get nearly a perfect score (we had -2/106 points off, but according to my writer her set up didn't have the orientations that were on the rubric. So that's another thing) in order to medal, and I assume the time turned out to be a major factor too (6:30). So, I'd say that more difficult WIDIs test the writer's comprehension and the doer's dexterity, while easer WIDIs test the writer's clarity and the doer's tactile agility. However, I do think that the rubric was way too lenient as it did not include distances for the stars, etc. So given a harsher rubric, this would be really nice training for speed doing for states.

Thank you Brown :) My teams and I had a lot of fun and hopefully will return.
2020 events: Disease, DG, Exp, Orni, PM, WIDI
2019 medals: A&P, DG, DD, PM, WIDI
Past: ID, Inquiry, Bio, etc. || 47 Div C medals

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