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.SPP SciO wrote: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.dcambrid wrote: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?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.
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.
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.