Nationals Event Discussion

User avatar
bromothymol
Member
Member
Posts: 18
Joined: January 27th, 2019, 4:48 pm
Division: C
State: NJ

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby bromothymol » June 3rd, 2019, 7:45 pm

Designer Genes (16) - best test in this event I've taken all season. hands down. I didn't perform as well as I had hoped for and the test was definitely a time crunch and extremely fun to take - more so than MIT, GGSO, or SOUP. like others said, having tiny desks to work on was slightly sub-optimal considering that the test was 19 pages and the answer sheet was 7 pages, but I get that there are classroom constraints and Cornell did their best.

Experimental Design (5) - I agree with TheWood. the simplicity of the materials given combined with the narrowness of the prompt made for a test that only really allowed for one prompt, turning the test into more of an evaluation of one's ability to memorize the rubric over anything else. after taking t o o m a n y "Properties of Water" and "Newton's Laws" tests this season, I was honestly hoping for a prompt that required a little bit of thinking to devise a proper experiment. I did, however, appreciate that the event supervisors walked around making sure that every team was conducting the experiment and performing trials.

Water Quality (22) - this was my first time competing in this event all season, so my evaluation of the test quality might have to be taken with a grain of salt. regardless, I found it to be kind of underwhelming when compared to the tests from other invitationals I had taken in preparation for nationals. the select that all apply questions were ambiguous and in my opinion, the test just wasn't hard enough to be a good indicator of distinguishing between top teams. I also didn't focus on ID but from what I could tell it wasn't anything particularly challenging (no specimens whatsoever, unlike division B) and the division B test may have been more challenging with regards to that. yikes

overall a super fun first national tournament experience! wasn't without its bumps but I enjoyed it and I could tell everyone put a lot of work into making sure it was run well.
west windsor-plainsboro high school south '21 co-captain, 2019 SONT medalist

“I have been breeding those flies for all that time and I’ve got nothing out of it.” - T. H. Morgan being sad after breeding a lot of flies, probably

Jjshan26
Member
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: January 23rd, 2018, 8:10 pm

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Jjshan26 » June 3rd, 2019, 9:29 pm

Protein Modeling (19): I felt as though the overall experience for this event was pretty good: nice atmosphere in Mann Library, friendly ESes, and enough space to work. I did the test portion, but my partner said that the onsite was more difficult than usual, definitely more so than states. Unfortunately, she thought we had ten more minutes than we actually did, so when they called time we hadn't started our tertiary structure and supports yet :( I found the test to be on the easier side, and my other partner and I were ecstatic in finding out that we guessed the FASTA multiple choice question right (logic during test: FASTA = faster = 1 digit code). As for our placing, we did a little worse than we expected, and I can't surmise what went wrong. Although our onsite wasn't perfect, we didn't feel as though it could hurt us that much and the test was more-or-less ideal... Could've been a misgrade but it's more likely that its just something that I overlooked. 9.5/10

Fermi Questions (1): First of all, I would like to thank one of the proctors (@Yackback) for reminding us to put our names on the test. Yes, we forgot to put our names on the test :?: As for the test quality, I'd say it was a solid test. The time felt pretty comfortable for the 50 questions as we finished with around 5 minutes to spare, which is like not short enough so that we have 0 time to check, but also not long enough that we're sitting there bored for an extended period of time. The question content was new, which I enjoyed. I'm a hardcore memmer, but it's always good to see OC on a fermi test and this one was filled with it. Fermi should be a test of both memory and intuition skills and this fit the bill nicely. 10/10

Astronomy (3): This event was run very smoothly and most if not all of the volunteers were past competitors who had experience with the National tournament. It was refreshing to see that everyone had retained passion for astronomy long after their SciOly days. Room was pretty nice. I did DSOs on the test and made the mistake of not fully preloading one of my documents with DSO notes on it before I turned off my WiFi so I was missing more than half of my notes during the test :( The questions were good quality though and some required a good deal of thinking (cepheids in m100!). Enjoyed this event a lot but I also forgot to fill out the survey to give feedback... oops. 10/10

Overall (9): I had a lot of fun this year though, with my team and others! To everyone that I met at Nats, it was great meeting you! Onto the way nats was run. I agree with a lot of other people in that classical violin music didn't really mesh well with the awards ceremony. Whoever did the lights though, pretty lit job though (although there was a lot of flashing - easy on my eyes :( -). The dorms were kind of bad ngl. We were in Mary Donlon Hall and it took as about 10 minutes to find out that there were outlets on the side of the wall covered by the beds. Nearly freaked out. The smell was also suboptimal but I bought some Glade from the RPCC and it was fine after that. There was no ceiling light so the lighting was really hard to study with... ended up doing most of it in the common room tho so ig it was fine. The food was mostly mediocre but the soft serve <3 <3 (on the last day the pressure was actually correct and it didn't just overwhelm the cone :O) Overall commodities 8/10, but the people made the overall experience a 10/10 :)
Last edited by Jjshan26 on June 3rd, 2019, 9:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
MIT: ./1/4/. 
Harvard: 4/1/1/1
Brown: 3/4/1/2
States: 1/1/-/1
Nationals: 3/1/-/.
Nats: 9/1/11
States: 4/1/4

Yackback
Member
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: November 2nd, 2015, 1:07 pm
Division: Grad
State: NY

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Yackback » June 3rd, 2019, 9:30 pm

Fermi Questions (1): First of all, I would like to thank the ES (@Yackback on discord) for reminding us to put our names on the test. Yes, we forgot to put our names on the test :?: As for the test quality, I'd say it was a solid test. The time felt pretty comfortable for the 50 questions as we finished with around 5 minutes to spare, which is like not short enough so that we have 0 time to check, but also not long enough that we're sitting there bored for an extended period of time. The question content was new, which I enjoyed. I'm a hardcore memmer, but it's always good to see OC on a fermi test and this one was filled with it. Fermi should be a test of both memory and intuition skills and this fit the bill nicely. 10/10
I'm not the event supervisor, I was just one of the proctors.

Jjshan26
Member
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: January 23rd, 2018, 8:10 pm

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Jjshan26 » June 3rd, 2019, 9:33 pm

Fermi Questions (1): First of all, I would like to thank the ES (@Yackback on discord) for reminding us to put our names on the test. Yes, we forgot to put our names on the test :?: As for the test quality, I'd say it was a solid test. The time felt pretty comfortable for the 50 questions as we finished with around 5 minutes to spare, which is like not short enough so that we have 0 time to check, but also not long enough that we're sitting there bored for an extended period of time. The question content was new, which I enjoyed. I'm a hardcore memmer, but it's always good to see OC on a fermi test and this one was filled with it. Fermi should be a test of both memory and intuition skills and this fit the bill nicely. 10/10
I'm not the event supervisor, I was just one of the proctors.
oops sorry I was typing without thinking lol, fixed.
MIT: ./1/4/. 
Harvard: 4/1/1/1
Brown: 3/4/1/2
States: 1/1/-/1
Nationals: 3/1/-/.
Nats: 9/1/11
States: 4/1/4

Yackback
Member
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: November 2nd, 2015, 1:07 pm
Division: Grad
State: NY

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Yackback » June 3rd, 2019, 9:41 pm

Fermi Questions (1): First of all, I would like to thank the ES (@Yackback on discord) for reminding us to put our names on the test. Yes, we forgot to put our names on the test :?: As for the test quality, I'd say it was a solid test. The time felt pretty comfortable for the 50 questions as we finished with around 5 minutes to spare, which is like not short enough so that we have 0 time to check, but also not long enough that we're sitting there bored for an extended period of time. The question content was new, which I enjoyed. I'm a hardcore memmer, but it's always good to see OC on a fermi test and this one was filled with it. Fermi should be a test of both memory and intuition skills and this fit the bill nicely. 10/10
I'm not the event supervisor, I was just one of the proctors.
oops sorry I was typing without thinking lol, fixed.
np, thanks for the kind words, although yeah it's pretty hard to mess up Fermi.

efeng
Member
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: July 1st, 2016, 10:24 am
Division: C
State: MN

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby efeng » June 3rd, 2019, 10:09 pm

Mission Possible (14): RIP. If we had not screwed up, we would have comfortably won (though I will not say by how much). Our start task ended up being a touch, which cost us 125 points. Also, we did not read the rules carefully enough, and so our pulley was powered by a battery (which cost us a ton more points).

Mousetrap Vehicle (18): We tried to make a new vehicle for nationals, but didn't get to test until the night before we left. Turns out our curving had really bad issues coming back, so we ended up using our state vehicle. This cost us a lot of points for the VTP, so our raw score ended up being high 40s (quick math from the numbers I saw when signing the sheet).

Wright Stuff (30): I was partners with my sister for this event, and I trusted her to pack everything because she said she got it. When we showed up to nationals, we realized that she had left the propellers at home.... Anyways, we ended up borrowing from a couple schools (I forget who, but thanks!) and scraped together a 2:09, which is a 149 with bonus.

All my mistakes could have easily been prevented and fixed. Instead of getting three national medals/championships, I got three mediocre placings. Please don't make the same mistakes I made.

User avatar
TheSquaad
Member
Member
Posts: 159
Joined: March 18th, 2017, 5:14 pm
Division: Grad
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby TheSquaad » June 3rd, 2019, 10:55 pm

Mission Possible (14): RIP. If we had not screwed up, we would have comfortably won (though I will not say by how much). Our start task ended up being a touch, which cost us 125 points. Also, we did not read the rules carefully enough, and so our pulley was powered by a battery (which cost us a ton more points).

Mousetrap Vehicle (18): We tried to make a new vehicle for nationals, but didn't get to test until the night before we left. Turns out our curving had really bad issues coming back, so we ended up using our state vehicle. This cost us a lot of points for the VTP, so our raw score ended up being high 40s (quick math from the numbers I saw when signing the sheet).

Wright Stuff (30): I was partners with my sister for this event, and I trusted her to pack everything because she said she got it. When we showed up to nationals, we realized that she had left the propellers at home.... Anyways, we ended up borrowing from a couple schools (I forget who, but thanks!) and scraped together a 2:09, which is a 149 with bonus.

All my mistakes could have easily been prevented and fixed. Instead of getting three national medals/championships, I got three mediocre placings. Please don't make the same mistakes I made.
Man I feel for you. I misaligned our balloon module in our mission so it missed the trigger for our final action, and our wright stuff hit the wall twice. Small mistakes are the worst when you know you can do so much better :/.

PikaPikaChu
Member
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: December 2nd, 2014, 2:19 pm
Division: C
State: KS
Location: Cramming, stressing, and crying
Contact:

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby PikaPikaChu » June 4th, 2019, 5:39 am

The majority of my events (Forensics, GeoLogic Mapping, Mission Possible, Disease Detectives, Water Quality) went as well as I had thought they would-- the outlier would be Division C Dynamic Planet.

Dynamic Planet (6): To this day, I have yet to take a solid Dynamic Planet test. At Regionals, the test heavily emphasized marine sediment sequences and lacked any other content questions. At State, the test was far too easy and my partner had finished the test (20 questions) by himself within 5 minutes.

At Nationals, there were only 9 questions. 9 QUESTIONS! One of the questions was a multiple choice question and we were told question 9 was worth 50% of the test. Admittedly, there were multiple parts to each question, but a good chunk of those parts were multiple choice as well. Also, the test focused on very specific parts of the rules. It simply pulled out 9 topics from the entire DP rules and zeroed in on those. Granted, my partner and I did end up placing, but the test was oddly specific and we ended up using our notes maybe once during the whole test.

I would give DP a solid 6/10. The test was too specific and failed to acknowledge several of the main points of glaciers (no moraines, no ablation/accumulation, pretty much nothing on types of glaciers or glacier parts at all). The proctors were awesome though. :)
PikaPikaChu's Userpage
Blue Valley North High School Wiki
Follow us on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/bvnscioly/
2019 State Events: WIDI (7), Geomaps (1), Mopple (4), Dynamic Planet (1), 4n6 (1)
2019 Nats: Dynamic Planet (6)

mastersuperfan
Member
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: March 20th, 2017, 3:28 pm
Division: C
State: MA

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby mastersuperfan » June 4th, 2019, 10:11 am

Anatomy and Physiology (1): Oh my God, this test was stressful. It was a ten-station test, five minutes each, with all multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank. My partner and I started off at the three easiest/shortest stations, got lulled into a false sense of security regarding how the rest of the test would be... and promptly started panicking when we realized how long the other stations were. There were a ton of quick judgment calls made on the spot and a lot of frantic writing at the next station still trying to answer questions from the previous station. One station was incredibly long and we didn't get to answer a good chunk of it... The test was fairly heavy on anatomy and histology, and there are many things I know we got wrong (and other things I'm not sure we got right), but we knew and guessed just enough to clutch the event out. My main complaint would be the difficulty/length imbalance between stations (this can mess with scores if some teams end at a hard station while others end on an easy one), but otherwise, it was one of the better A&P tests I've seen this season. It definitely feels like a huge accomplishment to have beaten a test like that, that's for sure. (8/10)

Chemistry Lab (2): Meh. The labs were decently interesting, I guess—one of them had you determine whether an unknown liquid was pure water, a weak acid, or a buffer solution, while the other lab had you calculate the density of a plastic by mixing water and ethanol. My partner did the labs, though, so I did the written test... which was all just basic introductory/AP-level chemistry questions. Stuff like naming, periodic trends, bonding, and a lot of stoichiometry... not as much physical properties or acids/bases focus as I would've liked (the acids/bases questions were all really simple). The "short answer" (non-MC) calculations (didn't require showing work) were worth disproportionately more than the multiple choice questions despite not being any more difficult. I imagine that the labs were probably the biggest differentiator for the top teams. Not a bad test (nothing wrong with it, and there were some interesting questions), but not the most suitable one for Nationals... I'd have preferred the pure speed challenge of Jon Aros' tests. (6/10)

Designer Genes (1): It's hard for me not to give it a 10/10 because I loved this test. It was a long, challenging test that required a lot of interpretation, analysis, and thinking. We split up for the whole test and finished with only 2 minutes left, but I know a lot of teams didn't get to the end. My partner did all of the multiple choice (which was like SAT Reading) plus a few of the open response, while I did the bulk of the open response, which was nearly all heredity with some simple biotech mixed in. Heredity is by far my favorite and strongest part of Designer Genes, so I had a lot of fun; however, my complaint(-ish) with it is that the lopsided distribution of topics probably screwed many other teams over. I wasn't prepared for a lot of the molecular topics that I was expecting to show up, so if the test were different, we could have placed very differently. By the way, the event supervisor is really friendly and a really great person; she wrote MIT and helped out at our State tournament, too. I hope she supervises again next year. (9/10)

Forensics (3): I mean, I don't really know how to rate this because it's exactly what we expected... The Woz runs it the same way every year, and my partner and I had done it at Nats together last year, so we were prepared. I think the test was shorter than usual, since some of the questions were worth more points than they normally are. No real complaints, though. Shoutouts to pikachu4919 for helping out with the event and also for reminding us not to leave our beakers and test tubes behind even after we had already left the room. :P (7/10)

Sounds of Music (2): My partner was the one who tested the build, so I don't really know that was like, although I heard that the supervisor's frequency-measuring tool was way too lenient. It seems(?) like they got every team tested within the block (we were block 3), though I wasn't paying that much attention. If so, then that's good because normally the build testing gets progressively more and more backed up throughout the day. The only thing I can personally rate is the test, though, and honestly, I didn't really like it. It was mainly multiple-choice, with a few music theory/calculation short-answers. There were some AP Physics-level oscillation questions at the beginning, which threw me for a loop because why exactly are non-sound-related simple harmonic oscillators being tested in this event? We got them, but some teams might not have. A lot of the sound-based questions were concepts repeated over and over again; for instance, there were three questions in a row that were just v=sqrt(B/density). Same formula, spam three times... didn't really see the point. The free-response had a disproportionate number of points given to music theory (two scales, 8 points each? yikes), plus some chord theory... and the event description doesn't say anything about chords (again, we got them, but I'm sure not everyone did). What we didn't get, though, was the huge volume of random instrument trivia questions. The event description says, "The design, function, and construction of the instrument types"... which I don't think should include the specific differences between particular string instruments or the properties of an obscure Russian instrument we've never heard of, but maybe that's just me. We didn't know much of this at all and just guessed. There are lots of worse Sounds tests out there, but for Nationals, I wasn't particularly impressed. (Test: 5/10)

Overall: I sort of agree with the vibe that it felt kind of like an invitational. I didn't see many other students outside when I was walking around campus on Friday or Saturday, and the awards ceremony felt very makeshift and rushed (i.e. flat track with ugly ceiling, red foldable chairs, low stage, not taking pictures on stage). I understand that the latter was probably not the organizers' fault if they couldn't get a better venue, but still, it felt disappointing compared to previous years. We stayed in Mary Donlon, and the dorm building was just so run-down on the inside. The lights in our room, plus some of the outlets, straight up didn't work, and the smell was far less than pleasant. Regardless, though, my actual events were run very well on the whole, and I had a great time competing and meeting everyone else across the country. I wouldn't have asked for any other conclusion to my career as a Science Olympiad competitor. Catch y'all from Division D next year!
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School '19
2018 Nationals: 1st Chemistry Lab, 6th Forensics, 8th Herpetology, 9th Anatomy and Physiology
2019 Nationals: 1st Anatomy and Physiology, 1st Designer Genes, 2nd Chemistry Lab, 2nd Sounds of Music, 3rd Forensics

User avatar
Tailsfan101
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 657
Joined: April 14th, 2017, 4:33 pm
Division: C
State: ID
Location: Philippians 3:20a "For our citizenship is in heaven"
Contact:

Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Postby Tailsfan101 » June 4th, 2019, 11:50 am

Write It Do It (24th) - Very nicely done. The supervisors knew what they were doing, and were helpful and nice. The room it was in seemed to be well-suited to the event. The only concern I have is that the structure may have been slightly too easy, with only 25 materials. 8/10

GeoLogic Mapping (31st) - An amazing test. It was a seemingly perfect length, with my partner and I finishing with about a minute to spare, yet there were 46 questions on the test. It was a great representation of the rules, and included almost all aspects of the event. The supervisors were very clear and helpful, and the test was about the perfect difficulty. I left this event with no regrets. 9/10

Overall, the tournament was run quite well in general, aside from a few minor details (such as the opening ceremony lasting three hours, and our homeroom being locked until about 9:45). Our team earned the best ranking for an Idaho team in 15 years with 35th place, despite losing a tiebreaker to Pearl City HS. Despite not getting any awards (for the third year in a row), we left feeling very satisfied with our overall ranking and we all seemed to have a great experience.

Also, congratulations to the St. Joseph's Catholic School Heredity team for taking 6th place! Way to represent Idaho!

EDIT: Oh yes, and it was nice to meet some scioly.org users this year, including EastStroudsburg13, pikachu4919, SOnerd, Adi1008, and Galahad!
2017-2020 Treasure Valley Homeschool Wiki (2017-18 B, 2019 B/C, 2020 C)
2020 events: DD, GLM, DG, PM
Mini-Inv./DISCO/State/Nats
RS: 1/2/1/-
DD: -/3/2/-
HD: 2/4/4/-
CB: 3/6/1/-
ELG: -/6/-/-
GLM: -/-/-/31
WIDI: -/-/-/24
PTQ: -/-/-/41
Assassinator for games #118 and 136


Return to “2019 Nationals”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest