Nationals Event Discussion

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LiteralRhinoceros
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby LiteralRhinoceros » June 2nd, 2019, 10:50 am

Dynamic: 9th
Test really applied what you knew, with all the aspects of the rules, except iirc there was no stuff on Larsen except a multiple choice. Proctor was really nice, and prefaced his test well. (10/10)
Solar: 7th
Nice test, but too much emphasis on "Part 1" on the rules sheet (80%). I'm just salty abt 7th. Also Dusty flexed his nats medals in Solar and Astro lmfao (10/10)
Meteo: 3rd
Really awesome test, long, analysis based, and the lab was really cool. We changed the conditions around an air mass by using a bag of ice, a match, and so on. (11/10)
Dank Memes Area Homeschool 2017-2019

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Events: DyPlan, GeoMapping, Astro

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Nats Average: 6.9 - 0.1

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SOnerd
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby SOnerd » June 2nd, 2019, 2:59 pm

The majority of my events (Astro: 29th; Disease: 31st; Fossils: 13th) were run well in my opinion, and the tests were an appropriate length and difficulty for Nationals. Unfortunately, the same was not true about the Herpetology test. Although I was fortunate to get the result I wanted, it's still important to address the persistent issues with this event at Nationals. The test was written by the same proctor as last year, and it was significantly easier than any other Herpetology test I've taken this season. Two very easy questions with 100 seconds to answer is far too slow-paced for national-level competition, and last year this was evident in the large number of ties and very close scores that could be seen in the distribution graph. All of the questions on both years' tests were on-topic, but there weren't nearly enough of them to fairly differentiate teams. A good ID-event test should have even the top teams struggling to finish stations on time and include questions that go beyond basic anatomy, habitat, diet, etc.

To address the problem of tests being far too easy at Nationals, it may be helpful for the national organization to give guidelines to National event supervisors regarding what an appropriate level of difficulty for a test should be in each division. For example, they might set a guideline of approximately 2 minute stations with 8 questions each for Division C and 6 questions each for Division B. NSO could also produce an "example station" for Herpetology, showing how to vary question difficulties in order to better differentiate top teams. It is understandable that proctors who do not regularly work with middle and high school students may under- or over-estimate each age group's capabilities, and establishing this guideline and providing high-quality "official" sample questions to National supervisors would be a great first step in solving this problem.

Additionally, it would be helpful if a peer-review process could be established for events with new supervisors. The supervisor could write a couple of stations and then work with a non-competitor who has experience in Science Olympiad to ensure that the questions are fair, on-topic, and appropriate in difficulty level. If there was a clear problem with the test last year, such as extremely close scores, the supervisor should be made aware of a need to increase the test difficulty.

I'd love to hear if people think those two ideas for improvement are realistic, so feel free to start discussion on that (mods/admins can decide if that's appropriate for this subforum or somewhere else).

Overall, I had a great experience at Nationals, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my Science Olympiad career. (Although it was a bit awkward to hear someone saying, to quote exactly, "None of the good teams medaled in Herpetology," as I was walking past them on the way back to the dorms, especially considering that all of the medalists other than me were from top-15 teams).
Ento is Lyfe. <3 Ento. <3 Bugs. <3 Insects.
I didn't choose the Bug Lyfe, the Bug Lyfe chose me.

Live and die for Teh Insectz.
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"Insects won't inherit the earth- they own it now." -Thomas Eisner, Entomologist

"No one can truly be called an entomologist , sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp". -OW Holmes

2015 National Ento Bronze Medalist
2018 National Herpetology Bronze Medalist
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NSCDS3RdCaptain
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby NSCDS3RdCaptain » June 2nd, 2019, 3:42 pm

Agreed.
Thermodynamics 3/26/x
Thermodynamics 7/ /x
Water Quality 3/ /x
Battery Buggy 1/2/x
Battery Buggy 2/ /x
Ecology 3/12/x
Optics 4/26/x
Density Lab 4/ /x

Bread
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Bread » June 2nd, 2019, 5:16 pm

Dynamic Planet (26): 10/10. I don't really see anything wrong with how it was run. The ES was very nice and it was a good end to the day of competition. The test was 100 points and pretty gosh darn hard. I probably guessed on 90% on all of my stuff and my partner did as well on his part. Overall very well run event. Wish I could have done better, but I'll take it considering I have no clue how to study properly for dynamic.

Fossils (2): 7/10. It was approximately 2 minutes per station and about 7-8 questions per station. The only really bad part about it was that the majority of the test was really easy id and easy yes or no questions, so it was quite underwhelming. The rotations were set up nicely in my opinion. Fossils has and will always be my favorite event and I'm very happy with my placement, although, it would have been slightly more satisfying had it been a harder test.

Roller Coaster (51): 10/10. Got tiered. Roller Coaster has been the most frustrating event I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with for the past two years due to the coach that constantly wanted to help with it. This has no effect on how it was run, though. Jeff and co. was very nice and helpful. The box he used to measure the devices was neat and the other people who timed the roller coaster asked about the design and helped with a smile. Wish my coach would have listened to me when I had said on multiple occasions that we should slim down the Roller Coaster...

Thermodynamics (5): 9/10. It was run quite well. The test was slightly short even for the 30 minutes we were allowed, but still moderately tough. Only reason it isn't a ten is because Pika wasn't there :P

Overall 8/10. The nats experience at Cornell was quite odd, but it was still nice in my opinion. All my events were run pretty well, Awards was nice, and the guest speakers were nice to listen too. Opening ceremonies was a bit weird since there were some difficulties and the swap meet was a bit disappointing since we had to leave about 20 minutes after we got there due to the delay in the opening ceremonies. The teams were also cool to see. Raymond Park and TJ are a lot friendlier towards each other when there isn't a national bid on the line :lol: . This will be my last div B competition and most likely my last national competition unless I'll be able to make VHS a powerhouse lol. Congrats to Kennedy with I think the craziest nats score I'll ever see.
VHS '22
2017
VU/Reg/State/Nats
Rocks:10/2/3/21
Dynamic:3/2/11/46

2018
Reg/State/Nats
Rocks:1/1/15
Thermo:1/6/29
Roller:3/10/20

2019
VU/Reg/State/Nats
Fossils <3 :1/1/1/2 :D 
Dynamic:4/1/2/26
Thermo:2/1/1/5 :D 
Roller:9/-/1/51 (tier)
Rip maybe next year

ptabraham_nerd01
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby ptabraham_nerd01 » June 2nd, 2019, 5:20 pm

Hey guys, I took part in the three events at Nationals this year and here are my opinions about each event as well as the overall tournament:

Disease Detectives (16): This year's test didn't seem very difficult in both length and question style. I wish there were more questions on topics that were emphasized in the rules (ex: public health surveillance) and also a few more questions that required at least a sentence to answer. However, the event was still run well overall. 8/10

Designer Genes (20): I actually enjoyed the event despite thinking that my partner and I had bombed the exam. Not only did we completely guess on approximately a third of the multiple choice, but we also failed to complete our answer sheet for one of the big three questions (we were getting papers mixed up and stuff). I thought the multiple choice questions were overall pretty interesting. 9/10

Anatomy (21): I thought the number of questions per station was appropriate, but the questions didn't cover all the systems thoroughly (except for the excretory system). I was kind of glad that the event supervisors didn't use the standard diagrams to test cardiovascular anatomy, even though the heart and aorta diagrams probably dropped my ranking quite a few places. 8/10

My primary complaint about the events is the use of those tiny foldable desks (not sure what they are called) used in events such as Disease and Designer Genes. I know they are sometimes unavoidable, but when possible tournaments, should use lab tables or desks that provide a larger work space. I would rather stand for 50 minutes with an organized work space at a lab table than trying to fit 30 sheets of paper on one minuscule desk.

Another thing that comes to mind is the music played during the awards ceremony. I love classical music, but it's not appropriate.

Overall, it wasn't how I wanted my Science Olympiad Career to end, but I'm thankful for being able to experience five national tournaments and also develop a passion for science.
2019 Interests: Anatomy, Disease Detectives, Fossils, Experimental Design, Geologic Mapping, Designer Genes
Anatomy/Disease/Experimental/Fossils/Circuit Lab:
MIT: 12/25/13/22
Regionals: 1/1/x/x/1
State: 1/1/2/1/x
Nationals:

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sciolyperson1
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby sciolyperson1 » June 2nd, 2019, 5:35 pm

Opening ceremonies was a bit weird since there were some difficulties

Next slide.
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Nats:
Team - 3rd '18, '19
Roller - 1st '19
Mystery - 3rd '19
Buggy - 4th '19, 5th '18
Mission - 3rd '17

'20: Gravity - Boomi - WIDI - PPP
Vehicle event medalling streak - 15
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coopsadoodles
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby coopsadoodles » June 2nd, 2019, 5:45 pm

Opening ceremonies was a bit weird since there were some difficulties

Next slide.
Lmao
LISO/Rustin/Sacred Heart/Cornell/States/Nationals
-----------------------------------
Potions: 4/4/-/5/1/10/
Density: 12/15/3/11/5/17/
Disease: 16/11/3/17/4/15/
Water Q: 8/18/-/17/2/41 :cry: /
Crime (got kicked out lmao): 11/-/-/-/-/

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IvanGe
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby IvanGe » June 2nd, 2019, 5:56 pm

oof ok so

Fossils (5th) - the test was on the easier side, with many questions being multiple choice identification. the specimens were nice. 8/10

Potions (5th) - the test was pretty weird tbh. there was like nothing on the chemistry aspect besides the balancing equations. we ended up guessing on a lot of the test.the lab was really straightforward so imo it just came down to who did better on the test

Battery Buggy (9th) - event went well. proctors were nice.

Thermodynamics (25th) - the device part was run well, no complaints about that. the test was like really short sooooo

Glider (37th) - big oof. we kept on hitting the walls so that was a rip. the timers were friendly although i did hear one of the other timers keep on saying "i started early" or "i started late" and stuff
gelinas 2016-2019, wmhs'22

nats '19:
5th - potions
5th - fossils
9th - buggy

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coopsadoodles
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby coopsadoodles » June 2nd, 2019, 6:00 pm

Potions (10): I was super happy with my placement though the test overall was kinda weird. It hit most of the bases, but I was surprised that there weren’t any serial dilutions or pollution maps. There was no dedicated section to metals which was weird as well. It was a little disappointing to see that the majority of the problems were VERY specific multiple choice or fill in the blank questions. The lab (cabbage juice indicator) was very easy and pretty dissapointing compared to last years wack serial dilution. First demonstration lab I’ve seen this year, but it was kinda lame ngl. The proctors were super cool tho and needless to say I enjoyed my last run with my fav event (7.5/10)

Disease (15): Compared to other tests, this test was super easy. Aside from the really strange table setups, there wasn’t much challenge. The proctors also spent WAY too much time talking to us wasting a whole ten minutes. However my partner and I still finished ten minutes early. Last years test was MUCH better. Expected more from nats. (2/10)

Density (17): Stations stations stations. Omg. The proctors were really cool (especially you east lol). The test had 12 stations (4 min each) and they included lots of questions and labs. Stations had lots of questions or a lab. Some labs were difficult to complete in the allotted time (lookin at you shaving cream) but overall pretty good for having to carry a partner lol. (8/10)

Water Quality (41): Yikes. We got penalized for not wearing goggles while testing the salinity. Rookie mistake. Stand-alone the test was good and we got microscopes to indentify real specimens. However knowing that it was a repeat test is dissapointing. (3/10)

Overall: As builderguy said, this nats felt like an invitational rather than nats. The food was good (we ate at appels) and the campus was beautiful. The opening ceremony was SO long and unnecessary so that was super aggravating. Nevertheless, this nats was an amazing experience and I hope that our team make it next year. (9/10)
LISO/Rustin/Sacred Heart/Cornell/States/Nationals
-----------------------------------
Potions: 4/4/-/5/1/10/
Density: 12/15/3/11/5/17/
Disease: 16/11/3/17/4/15/
Water Q: 8/18/-/17/2/41 :cry: /
Crime (got kicked out lmao): 11/-/-/-/-/

will0416
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby will0416 » June 2nd, 2019, 6:12 pm

Competed in two events:

Codebusters (4): 4:54:72 tq from what I remember (a huge choke) because we somehow completely skipped over "little" for a good two minutes or so. The event was organized well but weirdly enough from what I gathered a lot of teams had trouble with the tq (like we did) even though it seemed pretty straightforward in retrospect. Unlike most people, I actually prefer working in a lecture room environment. The packet they gave out at the end gave me something to do while I was depressed (thinking I wouldn't place) and was a nice bonus. Anyone know why the co-supervisor has such an obsession with zebra skeletons (multiple questions on many different state/regional tests were about zebra skeletons, and the really hard aristocrat in the packet mentioned it as well)? Seems kind of morbid. (9/10)

Mission Possible (4): Overall, the supervisors were definitely well-read on the rules and posed good questions. However, there was nothing wrong with our IMA ramp step, but a volunteer seemed to have mis-measured the length and height, resulting in us almost losing those points until we had to measure for ourselves and show them. The room choice wasn't the best as I know that many mission's IR steps went crazy due to the sunlight pouring in through the glass wall. Like most times we argued a lot about the wording of our ASLs, and although we disagreed about the points being taken off for a previous step rather than an unscored action being waived, in the end it all worked out. (8/10)

Just realized this is incoherent rambling.
Last edited by will0416 on June 2nd, 2019, 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mason ‘22
2019 Nats:
Code - 4
Mission - 4


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