Events 2017-2018

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dcambrid
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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by dcambrid » April 4th, 2017, 6:25 am

SPP SciO wrote:
dcambrid wrote:
Justin Zhang wrote:
Multiple tasks doesn't correlate with difficulty exactly, and I'm not talking about the difficulty anyways. I find successful optimization much more difficult than creating new designs. It's just that I prefer innovation.
Hard coding MP- a choice for builders. Coding for RA- nearly obligatory.
Also, an "optimal RA" design is quite debatable. That "hard part" is not hard, it is nigh impossible to achieve a perfect score due to pennies drop from the air will result in stacking. Perhaps it will be common to teams wishing for merely a high score.
Kits- doesn't affect creative building too much, rules address them. Coding events- quantity over quality events, as unintuitive as that may sound.

Science Olympiad was moving towards more modern technology these past few years (robotics/programming) I'd hate for that direction to change.
I agree. These events attract a certain type of student who is interested in Robotics and programming. You will lose those students to Robotics teams unless there are events that keep them interested. I am not saying Mission and Mousetrap are not difficult (I know that Mission is very hard fist hand), but they are a different kind of hard. How about a version of Mission that allows micro controllers, servos etc?
Disagree with this: too many "barrier to entry" problems. These forums aren't a representative slice of the Science Olympiad community - people around here tend to skew towards the more advanced, "elite" end of the spectrum. Your typical science Olympiad student is just a regular kid who was interested in joining the science team at school - they don't have time to learn how to learn languages and program devices, while keeping up with everything else. Coaches, many of whom have a limited range of expertise, can't spend their time focused on one or two events. Plus, these projects require a substantial investments.

For all the kids who were lucky enough to have been introduced to programming at a young age, and have the privilege to tinker with arduinos and servos at home - there are plenty of high-end competitions for you. Science Olympiad is not it.

I think the best building events disallow electricity altogether. I'd also advocate for a system (similar to practice logs) where teams had to submit a component cost budget, but I remember this had been rejected due to difficulty enforcing it. Also, there shouldn't be events where a "perfect score" is attainable. Science Olympiad events are best when anyone can get started on making plans as soon as they get the rules - without requiring uncommonly high background knowledge - but are challenging so as to be differentiated at the hyper-intense end of the spectrum.
Well, then Science O will lose a lot of these types of kids to other competitions. Science O is not expanding in our area, seems to be shrinking. These are the types of events that can attract new students. Many students walking by us practicing in the hall at school have asked about it and been amazed at what we were doing.

My son had to decide between Science O and FIRST Robotics this year. He chose Science O because of Robot Arm and Electric Vehicle would allow him to build these things himself as opposed to the Robotics team where he might work on one small piece and not even be involved in the competition. Next year he will have a similar choice, I don't know if he will want to stay with Science O for Mousetrap Vehicle and Mission Possible, he has already done them. He is into programming and electronics and since there is no circuit lab, Wind Power goes away along with EV and Robot Arm, so what is there for him? If a kid starts in 4th grade in Science O and is into build events, what are the chances that they haven't done Mousetrap Vehicle by the time they hit high school? There should be something for ALL kids, including those who want to be Electronic or Computer Engineers. They remove these events, but does Anatomy never rotate out? Disease Detectives doesn't ever seem to go away either, they don't all want to be Doctors.

I agree on the "perfect score" though, but good luck, when I saw the Robot Arm rules this year, I figured it would be nearly impossible to be perfect, but I have already seen some amazing robots.

As far as cost, yes, these events are more expensive, but our team does fundraisers, and you can buy knock off Arduinos for $6, so it is not insanely expensive My son knew nothing about Arduinos before EV last year, and had very little programming experience. I cannot begin to tell you how much he has learned in that event, no different than if he had been in Anatomy, he would have had a big ramp up of learning to get started, you have to work at it to succeed. I just hate to see that aspect of Science O go away. I guess I should put my money where my mouth is and try to come up with an idea that would allow programming of micro controllers and not be insanely costly and not allow a perfect score.

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by chalker » April 4th, 2017, 4:57 pm

dcambrid wrote: They remove these events, but does Anatomy never rotate out? Disease Detectives doesn't ever seem to go away either, they don't all want to be Doctors.
Science Olympiad divides events into 6 'committees': Life Science, Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Technology, Inquiry. This is to ensure that a wide spectrum of science and engineering topics are covered each year (which appeal to a wide spectrum of students). Each committee is given a set number of event slots each year. For example, in my committee, Physics, we have 3 events in each division. The 'programming events' historically have been in the Technology committee, which gets 4 events in each division. You can't really compare Disease Detectives or Anatomy never rotating out to what happens in the Technology committee because they are in the Life Sciences committee, which makes their own decisions independent of the Tech committee (and actually do rotate topics for those events each year).

This year the tech committee has:
B: Wright Stuff, Scrambler, Towers, Mission Possible
C: Helicopters, Electric Vehicle, Towers, Robot Arm

Tech committee always wants to have a flying event, a structure building event, a vehicle event, and a 'tech' event. So the issue we face is that we need to change the vehicle and tech events every 2 years to provide fresh challenges to the competitors, which means sometimes we are going to end up with non-electronic versions in those slots.

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by Unome » April 4th, 2017, 5:00 pm

maxxxxx wrote:
SOnerd wrote:Anyone have any idea what resources are going to be allowed for herps next year? I found something from 2008 that says it's just one field guide (published or student prepared(?)), but that seems kind of odd.
If it's any help, the NY trial rules for this year allow a binder and no field guide.
It was just a field guide back then as far as I know, but that was so long ago that I doubt the rule will remain (considering all of the other strange stuff that's disappeared over the last ten years). The NY trial rules are probably the closest, since NY tends to be the prime testing ground for trials.
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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by Skink » April 4th, 2017, 5:43 pm

SOnerd wrote:Anyone have any idea what resources are going to be allowed for herps next year? I found something from 2008 that says it's just one field guide (published or student prepared(?)), but that seems kind of odd.
Like I said in my post the other day in the Herp topic, it seems that the committee is favoring Invasive's binder approach because the trial rules running here in IL read that way, too.

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by dcambrid » April 5th, 2017, 5:56 am

chalker wrote:
dcambrid wrote: They remove these events, but does Anatomy never rotate out? Disease Detectives doesn't ever seem to go away either, they don't all want to be Doctors.
Science Olympiad divides events into 6 'committees': Life Science, Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, Technology, Inquiry. This is to ensure that a wide spectrum of science and engineering topics are covered each year (which appeal to a wide spectrum of students). Each committee is given a set number of event slots each year. For example, in my committee, Physics, we have 3 events in each division. The 'programming events' historically have been in the Technology committee, which gets 4 events in each division. You can't really compare Disease Detectives or Anatomy never rotating out to what happens in the Technology committee because they are in the Life Sciences committee, which makes their own decisions independent of the Tech committee (and actually do rotate topics for those events each year).

This year the tech committee has:
B: Wright Stuff, Scrambler, Towers, Mission Possible
C: Helicopters, Electric Vehicle, Towers, Robot Arm

Tech committee always wants to have a flying event, a structure building event, a vehicle event, and a 'tech' event. So the issue we face is that we need to change the vehicle and tech events every 2 years to provide fresh challenges to the competitors, which means sometimes we are going to end up with non-electronic versions in those slots.
I don't understand why they "have" to rotate out every two years. Why can't Robot Arm be like Anatomy, where you just change the rules enough that you can't just re-use last years as is. This would also help on the investment side, some smaller teams don't want to invest in Robot Arm because it will be gone in 2 years. Once you have your parts, you can re-configure it each year to achieve the new years rules with slight additional investments. I just don't understand why in this category they "have" to cycle the events where as in the others they don't. It is just unfortunate that they way the cycles work leave the next year with nothing for the programming technology type of kids, and in my opinion there should always be at least one event like that.

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by kenniky » April 5th, 2017, 6:05 am

I think they should just switch Robot and Mission so the rotation goes

Robot - Mousetrap
Mission - Gravity
Robot - Scrambler
Mission - EV

So 6/8 years have robotics/EE type events

But hey, I'm not the committee lol

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by chalker » April 5th, 2017, 7:35 pm

dcambrid wrote: I don't understand why they "have" to rotate out every two years. Why can't Robot Arm be like Anatomy, where you just change the rules enough that you can't just re-use last years as is. This would also help on the investment side, some smaller teams don't want to invest in Robot Arm because it will be gone in 2 years. Once you have your parts, you can re-configure it each year to achieve the new years rules with slight additional investments. I just don't understand why in this category they "have" to cycle the events where as in the others they don't. It is just unfortunate that they way the cycles work leave the next year with nothing for the programming technology type of kids, and in my opinion there should always be at least one event like that.
As I mentioned, these events aren't in my committee, so I can't really speak too much to the logic they follow. I will note though that 2 year rotations are just the standard for SO. Whenever we go beyond 2 years, we tend to have issues where the 'new' participants and teams are at a significant disadvantage compared to the ones who've been competing for 2 year already. I assume the technology committee has decided there are a variety of types of events they want to include, which exceeds the number of slots they have each year. Hence the rotation we are discussing. And as I pointed out, they DO cycle the events in other committees, just in the form of changing the specific topics from year to year.

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by windu34 » April 5th, 2017, 7:59 pm

Since everyone is talking against the rotations in the tech cycle, I will speak for them. The tech events in scioly are not meant to teach students how to program or solder or manipulate electronics. The main point of the events is INNOVATION. Sure, students will learn certain skills doing certain events (some more than others people may argue), but learning skills isn't the point. Skills can be learned in college. Innovation and problem solving are a frame of mind that can be hard to teach - some will be better at it than others naturally or from practice. Id argue events like mousetrap and gravity vehicle are WAY harder than EV or robot arm because they focus on basic principles and optimization. Getting speed out of an EV is just a matter of throwing money towards a good motor/ESC. Getting high speeds from a mousetrap has so many elements: optimizing the leverage of the mousetrap, minimizing weight (something not significant at all to EV seeing as how my car weighs 3.5 kg), creating a perfect, adjustable chassis, etc.
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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by Xuax » April 5th, 2017, 9:12 pm

windu34 wrote:Since everyone is talking against the rotations in the tech cycle, I will speak for them. The tech events in scioly are not meant to teach students how to program or solder or manipulate electronics. The main point of the events is INNOVATION. Sure, students will learn certain skills doing certain events (some more than others people may argue), but learning skills isn't the point. Skills can be learned in college. Innovation and problem solving are a frame of mind that can be hard to teach - some will be better at it than others naturally or from practice. Id argue events like mousetrap and gravity vehicle are WAY harder than EV or robot arm because they focus on basic principles and optimization. Getting speed out of an EV is just a matter of throwing money towards a good motor/ESC. Getting high speeds from a mousetrap has so many elements: optimizing the leverage of the mousetrap, minimizing weight (something not significant at all to EV seeing as how my car weighs 3.5 kg), creating a perfect, adjustable chassis, etc.
My problem is that 0 events involve electricity next year. The rotation doesn't make much sense. If you have four events involving electricity (Wind, Circuit, EV, Robot), why would you have 3 of them at the same time for two years, then none for another two years?

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Re: Events 2017-2018

Post by kenniky » April 6th, 2017, 5:06 am

Hovercraft involves electricity; also those four are split into two committees that can make their own independent decisions
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