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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 1:27 pm
by pikachu4919

The Woz always writes the test - this year was no exception. You can see some of her previous test formats on In general, I have never ever seen any tournament for Division C ask to select from animal/plant/synthetic, just whether it was silk/cotton/linen/nylon/polyester/wool.

Edit: Just realized that Pikachu4919 beat me to the reply...she's much more knowledgeable than I am, so definitely listen to her. ;)
To be fair, sometimes there are things about her way of running forensics that even I don't understand, although generally Indiana competitors should be somewhat more experienced with her tests since she supervises in our state :P
Very true. One example is chromatography. Her chromatography materials are always kinda...small. And Rfs are interesting. I can elaborate, just not on here. :')
I guess TLC plates in general are small, but then again they have to fit in that tiny TLC chamber you're given :P At least the toothpicks were the correct type and size and in the correct amount (unlike my nats year)

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 2:20 pm
by jimmy-bond
Rip the response to your question :( should've asked me! jk... Anyways, sorry for this late response but it should've been the specific name of the fiber because if she wanted just the classification she would have explicitly asked for it (only in Crime Busters do you need to go to only the classification and not the specific kind of fiber)
Thank you! As I said, the only knowledge I have in Forensics is my experience in CB, so I had no clue about the expectations and such.

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 2:34 pm
by rfscoach
A lot of people are saying it felt like an invitational - anything more specific about why? I didn't notice anything particularly different in that sense.
Perhaps it is due to the large number of college based invites, which are designed to feel like Nationals? So these students' perspectives are flipped?

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 2:41 pm
by TheCrazyChemist
A lot of people are saying it felt like an invitational - anything more specific about why? I didn't notice anything particularly different in that sense.
Perhaps it is due to the large number of college based invites, which are designed to feel like Nationals? So these students' perspectives are flipped?
I think that rfscoach may be right here. A lot of teams who went to Nationals went to the Cornell Invitational, like Community, Solon, Beckendorff, Gelinas, Springhouse, Eagle Hill, Harlan Rowe, Piedmont, and Bedford. Also, I feel like most events last year were run pretty well, and I don't really remember getting a lot of complaints from my teammates. I remember that the Fast Facts test last year had a weird category, I think it was superheroes that defy physics. The Ecology test last year was long and hard, but I think that's how nats tests are supposed to be. This year, the MA prompt was weird imo, the disease test was too easy(according to teammates), and the fossils test wasn't anything different from invitationals(according to teammates). I felt like some of the tests at the Cornell Invitational were harder than at this year's nats, adding to the invitational-like feeling.

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 2:48 pm
by TheCrazyChemist
Science Quiz Bowl (13th)- The test at the Cornell Invitational was harder. And better imo. On this test, there were 2 questions where you had to know the science joke to answer them, which I don't think is supposed to be on the test. Also, I found the programming logic question really weird, along with my teammates. Not to mention the fact that the final round was a Kahoot with the same questions as the test. Also, I'm pretty sure the rules stated that the final round needed to be a buzzer competition. 6/10

Overall- I thought that the Cornell campus was really beautiful, and I enjoyed walking around it. I though that Friday night was poorly planed as the Swap Meet and the Opening Ceremony were on opposite sides of the campus. I felt like only Colin Barber(?) and Grant Imahara's speeches were necessary, along with the directors of the tournament. I personally found the AI one pretty long and boring, and cutting out some of the speeches would have cut down on time by a lot. I feel like last year's nats was more natsy than this year's. The food was really good here tho. 7/10

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 3:01 pm
by emmalasagna
herpetology (16): this test wasn't that bad, but I think for nationals, it could've been a lot better. It was 15 stations, which isn't too bad, but a lot of the stations were really easy and we barely used the binder for most of them. The 3-ish stations that were challenging were only hard because of how fast you had to write, which is of course a good skill to test for an ID event, but I sort of wish the test overall was a bit more challenging, as it didn't really feel like a nats-level test. The proctors were nice, though, and everything ran smoothly. (7/10)

fossils (27): this test really wasn't that bad either, but I also felt it could've been a bit more nats-level. It was a lottt of multiple choice and the questions weren't too hard. Overall, it was just sort of a standard fossils test (but the specimens were p cool). (8/10)

heredity (28): heredity was stations again, but I think that nats pulled it off a lot better than the cornell invy. It was 10 minutes per stations and 5 stations, so it didn't really feel entirely like a stations test. The questions were pretty on topic and overall it was a pretty good test. The proctors were really nice, and overall it was a well-run event. (9/10)

overall: overall nats was a really great experience this year! I can for sure relate to the people talking about how nats didn't feel like nats (maybe because of the cornell invitational we attended, or just some of the other things people have mentioned). However, it was still a really cool experience and I got to see a lot of people which was nice. I can't speak for the dorms or anything, since we stayed off-campus, but the campus itself was really really nice and I'm glad I got the chance to visit it. Overall, just congrats to everyone who competed -- everyone did amazing!

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 3:16 pm
by olivia.m19
Codebusters(5) - While this event definitely did not go as well as my partners and I had hoped, I have to say it was run really well. We got 4:12 on the timed question (i think? dragonfruit35 correct me if i'm wrong) when we had been averaging probably between 1-2 minutes when previously. The test was 23 questions I believe, which is 100% preferable to a short test, even though we missed a ton of questions (oof :cry: ). The questions were difficult and varied, point values were mostly reasonable. Also, Mr. Toebes and Mr. Bard were proctoring which I thought was awesome. Mr. Toebes is so nice!! and also has a strange penchant for funky calculators. I will say that although i know it isn't always possible, not having those tiny swingy lecture hall desks would be ideal. 10/10 would code again

Fermi Questions (19) - I mean... there's not too many ways you can really screw up running fermi I guess. The test was pretty long (at least longer than most tests i've seen) which was nice. The questions were all good, no complaints here. Proctor was also very nice. I don't really feel like it was perfect but i also don't have any complaints or anything so 9.9999/10

Boomilever (25) - I didn't have too many issues with the testing room other than the fact that it was so far from my other events, so going in back to back events was not fun. Other than that, check in was standard, loader was fine, sand(? i'm not sure what to call it, it was black and shiny) was MUCH better than the metal beads the Cornell Invitational used. My biggest complaint is just that they had this weird intense movie battle scene type of music playing in the background the whole time, which was a bit unnerving and also annoying. What's with the weird, unnecessary music???? 9/10

Overall(12) - whoopwhoopwhoop yayyyy we wanted to place higher than last year (26) but definitely did not expect to do this well!! Overall, I liked Cornell's campus, and the food was r e a l l y good. Our dorms were a little sketchy (my room had a persistent smell) but I appreciated having a whole commons area just for the whole team. For me, the opening ceremony felt a bit unrehearsed (esp the beginning) and dragged on for waaayyy too long but it was OK. The closing ceremony also felt too long and I didn't like that we didn't get to have pictures on stage (would have looked better imo) and also the music was very unnecessary. However, not horrible. It's only my second nats, so I can only say I think I enjoyed Colorado more, but that's just me. 8.75/10

please excuse any incoherent rambling i'm not proofreading this

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 7:12 pm
by Cathy-TJ
Disease Detectives (10): Overall a disappointingly easy test. I felt like it didn't allow people to demonstrate their capabilities, but I absolutely adore the test writer, Ralph Cordell. The score distribution for DD reflects the quality of the test (not great), and the lack of free response was very surprising. The event ran smoothly aside from this. (7/10)

Circuit Lab (1): The test was definitely the most well written out of any test I've taken this year, and had some interesting questions. I've been waiting all season for an op amp lab, since the usual mystery resistor/ mystery capacitor thing tends to get old. The one non-ideal thing was the bag of resistors. Digging around for two resistors with a certain ratio was an experience. Maybe it would help to practice speed-reading of resistor bands. Overall a fun time! (10/10)

Chemistry Lab (16): Another fun one. The lab was interesting, if a bit easy. I think the combined two labs were time-consuming, but not difficult. I performed the lightest-pink titration of my life (mostly by lucky clumsiness). I thought some test questions were a bit too low-level for nationals but overall a well-run event in my opinion. (10/10)

Overall (12): Hello olivia.m19! I agree this was amazing and beyond what we expected. My personal prediction was 15th, and which some said was too optimistic. The awards ceremony music was a very interesting choice . . . but a great keynote, and a nice campus! Organization seemed rocky throughout but no disasters so it's all good. (9/10)

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 7:13 pm
by wec01
Forensics (17): I didn't really have high expectations but I was a little bit sad because I enjoy the event and hoped to do a bit better. I was still pretty happy with the improvement from last year, however, as we were able to go up 9 places. I think the largest difference was that this year we were prepared for the chromatography set up and I think we were pretty accurate with most of our ID, but we are still pretty terrible with plastics and didn't write much for the conclusion which I think were our main downfalls. Having experience with The Woz's tests from last year's nationals definitely made a big difference, and I'm glad we were able to take some advantage of it.

Fossils (4): I was mostly satisfied with the result, but also a little regretful because I was very sluggish through the whole event and didn't finish several of the stations because of it, so I think there was potential for better placing had I managed my time better. Still, I thought it was fun and the test was pretty well written as it really tested how much you understood things from a broad scope as opposed to resorting to only trivia. Also, the specimens were cool (thanks Museum of the Earth).

Sounds (5): I think that the device portion of the event is currently a little too easy so I assume most if not all of the top teams got perfect scores in that and the event was just decided by the test. I thought the test was reasonable in difficulty and our placing made sense. There were some odd trivia questions, but as with most trivia I don't think many people were prepared for them anyways and they probably didn't make much of a difference.

Thermodynamics (2): I honestly expected much worse just because the event is always such a toss up, but we got a little bit lucky with the device and we were well prepared for the test. Especially given my placing last year (32), thermo was definitely the most successful event for me as everything went smoothly and we handled things well.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how all of my events went and how much I improved. I do have a few regrets but I think they are mostly just a result of this being my last year. I wish I could do it again to see how much I can improve from here, but I also don't think I could've asked for a much better last scioly tournament.

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 7:19 pm
by Cathy-TJ
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)
Can't help but agree with the comment about Disease Detectives. We got 13th but after talking with the team that got sixth it was clear that the point difference was not especially big. I'm kind of confused about the direction they're taking the tests seeing how historically they've followed the same format for years (my partner and I practiced in the upcoming weeks with the past nats test). Last year it seemed to be half of this years format and half of the older format. Does anyone know if this new type of test is gonna stick? I hope it doesn't
I chatted casually with the ES, Ralph Cordell, after the event, since I met him at the 2019 EIS Conference. He said he wrote the test himself this year, which seems unusual and also said he was "trying something new". I doubt the new format will stick, and sincerely hope it doesn't. Ralph's an amazing person though, I just enjoyed previous tests more. Especially since the test writers are usually CDC people, I'd hope they're going to resume the 30 page, free-response loaded, pencil-racing-faster-than-heart style tests!