Event Horror Stories

For anything Science Olympiad-related that might not fall under a specific event or competition.
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by jimmy-bond »

For the entire genera category of Fast Facts at a tournament, we put lowercase words and thus got them all wrong.
I was tossing around the football with friends and accidentally hit our boomilever, but there was minimal damage. My heart dropped for a second.
Since all invites in Hawaii are considered low-stakes, I agreed to solo code busters with two people who didn't do the event as ghost partners. It sure felt like I was living a horror story.
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by jaspattack »

My first year I had to solo Wright Stuff with no prior experience with building or anything of that sort. I had used a kit and it was kind of awful, though that was more of my inexperience than the kit's fault. Anyway, it was April in Missouri meaning that it was ultra windy on campus, and while my partner and I were running in circles trying to find where the event was held my plane snapped in half. I ran after the pieces, gave them to my partner and told her to try and make it to the gym while I sprinted back to the crash room to grab super glue and accelerator.

I am not a runner.

Luckily, I made it back and glued it while we were waiting in line to fly. Placed 13th, which is VERY impressive considering everything.
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by MoMoney$$$;)0) »

I yoloed building a wright stuff plane in Division B, the day before competition, no trim flights, no winder, yet we still got like 10th place, even without knowing the plane would fly (we had plans to go in the morning, but we got to the invitational very late). :lol:
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by Giantpants »

I have a funny story going back to Cornell 2019-2020 here lol

We are on the way up to Ithaca, it's our first invitational of the year, and we were leaving in the middle of the Friday school day (11/22/19) to avoid beating the exiting the city rush hour traffic so we were kinda rushing to pack the bus. My Sounds of Music instrument is a really large and clunky device, so I kinda positioned it in a seat and hoped it wouldn't fall.

So after we've exited Kellenberg and we are about 30 minutes on the way to Cornell, the instrument like topples over. I immediately get really worried since it had only been done for about two weeks and I still wasn't sure of its durability or to what extent it could lay on its side, so I jump out of my seat and hop over bags and builds in the back. I start rearranging things in the back of the bus, and while I'm doing that, I accidentally lean on a box a little hard and hear a very quiet crunch. I look inside, and it's our A team Boomilever. Oh boy..

After securing the instrument I go back and tell scioly2345, our epic Boomilever builder, whom I happened to be sitting with, that I thought I heard a noise from the Boomilever box and that she should go check it out. She was like kinda asleep, but I asked her to do it like 10 times, so she went and checked. She came back and quietly said "Yeah it's broken. It will be fine though don't worry." and consoled me not to worry and she fell asleep really quickly. I couldn't believe how calm she was about it lol she told me not to worry, it wasn't my fault, meanwhile, I spent the rest of the long ride to Cornell worrying and fussing over what I feared would be a failure in an event on my account. Every sentence I said to her started with "I'm sorry" but she really was not worried at all and seemed more annoyed with my apologies than with the actual breakage itself lol

So we get to the hotel, she takes the box in and says to me "Alright well it's grind time." and she texts me again at about 1:30 am that morning "Okay it's fixed." She sends me a picture, and sure enough, it's completely fixed. I still obviously felt horrible about being the cause of such an ordeal, but yeah.

And thankfully she ended up getting 1st in Boomilever at Cornell, getting us our first medal of the season haha. Had we gotten anything less, I don't think I ever would've forgiven myself for potentially costing her a win. Truly the best possible ending to a ridiculous and horrible situation lol it was a good lesson on how thankful I should be for her as such an awesome teammate and an even better friend. She was nothing but kind and forgiving about it, when she had every right to be angry at me lol

So yeah, I guess the moral is to be careful where you lean when rearranging stuff, and if you do break something, make sure it's something that belongs to someone extremely capable, forgiving, and kind! May not be a true horror story, but it sure felt like one on the bus ride up to Cornell :shock:
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by EastStroudsburg13 »

I've got a couple stories.
  • In 6th grade I was on Dynamic Planet. The topic was Glaciers. I didn't have any idea yet what I was doing, and I had put most of my effort into Meteorology, so I was pretty clueless the entire time. I don't think I helped with a single answer. I forget where we placed but it wasn't good.
  • In my freshman year, we had someone drop from Disease Detectives right before regionals. Since I didn't really trust anyone else, I decided to put myself into Disease and solo it without notes (this was the first year notes were allowed), and let my Remote Sensing partner solo that event. Apparently, he never got the memo, so he waited for me outside the room until the event was finished, so we got a No Show. It ended up not mattering as we finished 15th overall and not that close to states.
  • Also my freshman year at regionals, I got put in Picture This with a senior. We didn't really practice since she was rarely at practice, and we were completely out of sync. Finished 16th, and that was better than I thought we'd do. Luckily that was the worst I ever placed in Div C at regionals...
  • That same year, I went to states with my old middle school team as a student coach. At the competition, an opposing spectator/coach (not sure which) accidentally tripped over the box containing our Wright Stuff. The two guys in the event had to basically reconstruct the plane. They still managed to get 9th place, but I'm pretty sure they would have medaled with their original plane.
  • Maybe not necessarily a horror story, but my middle school team got 6th place at states in Road Scholar for 3 years in a row. Top 5 got medals. So yeah, that was something.
  • Senior year, when our high school made states for the first time, we had two members on our team that only had 1 event each. That event was Anatomy and Physiology, which they did together. They got dead last. A lesson to all of you, sometimes it's not worth it to have a full 15-person team if some people aren't pulling their weight.
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by RiverWalker88 »

A couple of years back, at state our Herpetology team was the same team that our WIDI team was. The two events wound up conflicting (you never know for New Mexico until about 2 weeks before), and the team decided to go to WIDI. So, I wound up in that event with someone else. When we first got into the event, we had no idea that you were only allowed a binder or a field guide, so we had brought both. The event supervisor asked us to choose which one we wanted, and without even blinking, much less asking me, my partner handed the supervisor the binder (I figured the binder would have been more helpful, but his thought process was that the field guide had more information. Reasonable thought process).

After that, the event supervisor had told everyone very clearly, "Do NOT touch the cages."

The event was set up as stations, and we were struggling, literally guessing at everything we didn't find. We didn't even have the Organism Classification Ranks memorized. During the event, we were at a station with a little lizard (1-2 inches long) in a cage. I had carried the field guide over, so I set it on my right side, and my partner was on my left. We knew nothing about the lizard, so he reached for the field guide (which was on the other side of the table) a little too quickly and knocked the lizard cage off of the table! The lid of the cage fell off when the cage hit the floor and the lizard escaped. My partner and I jumped back from the table while two volunteers jumped underneath the table to try to catch the lizard before it escaped. We must have apologized to the event supervisor 15 times after that.

In the end, we somehow managed to get 7th in the event, despite knowing nothing and knocking a cage off the table.
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by T-55M »

Connected 12V motorcycle battery backwards, destroyed all motors in robot arm instantly.
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Re: Event Horror Stories

Post by aakoala »

6th grade DP at UMSO, we lent our binder to another team that was competing before us. (We were told the night before that our school could have another team, so they competed in a different time block)
Turns out that they took the figures/pictures packet from the test room and put it into our binder. My binder had really poor ring quality, and the desk that my partner and I sat at was really small. We accidentally push our binder off the table, making the pages go everywhere and causing everyone in the room to look at us.
We spend 5 minutes trying to put our pages back into the binder, and at the end of the block, the ES told us to stay in the room.
He apparently saw the figures sheet that neither my partner nor I was aware of, and asked for them back. We left the room, stressing for hours before the award ceremony.
Somehow didn't get disqualified, and ended up placing 6th.
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