Is Science Olympiad worth it?

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CookiePie1
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by CookiePie1 » June 4th, 2019, 1:39 pm

Unome wrote:hey we should resurrect this thread
As a scioly kid, of course I would say that it's worth it.
- Scioly helps you develop valuable and lasting relationships with your teammates
- Scioly really develops your teamwork skills
- Scioly lets you learn in a new way and increases scientific literacy
- Scioly encourages you to think about what you do and come up with new ideas that aren't necessarily conventional. Scioly also improves critical thinking skills.

However, I know a lot of my teammates decided to quit scioly for other reasons. For many other reasons, scioly isn't worth it to some kids.
Scioly is a HUGE time commitment, especially if you work hard and want to do well. Even if your team doesn't meet a lot, you still have to put in a tremendous amount of time into it. A lot of my teammates were really caught up in other extracurriculars, school stuff, and athletics, so they didn't have enough time to work on scioly. As a result, they didn't do well, and lost their motivation. They decided to stop doing scioly and work on other things that they would be more successful in.

This is completely understandable. I stopped doing math olympiad when I got into high school because I just wasn't very good at it, and I wasn't willing to spend a lot of time on something I wasn't good at. Of course, that's a paradox and I probably would have been better at math olympiad if I worked harder, but that's also where motivation and priorities come into play. I wasn't motivated to work on it, and I didn't do well in it, so it sorta created a negative feedback loop which ended up in me quitting math olympiad.

This may be a fault in our team's structure, but how a person does towards the beginning of the season can decide their fate for the whole year. For us, we had check-ins where the captains would make sure you were working on your events. Some kids lacked a stimulus to work in the beginning of the year. Instead of being encouraged to work harder, they were just taken off of their events. This resulted in them being more or less forgotten, and those students ended up not going to competitions for the entire year, and none of them are going to do scioly next year.

For some schools, an unsuccessful team may also be a factor in kids deciding not to do scioly. For example, my school has a very successful robotics team. They go to the robotics equivalent of nats every year. However, our scioly team is not as good. In scioly, we do pretty well too, but not as well as the robotics team. For the last 5 years, we were consitently in the top 6 at states. For scioly standards, I would consider this to be very good given our situation. However, take a moment to step into the shoes of someone not in either team. Which looks better, a robotics team that goes to nationals, or a scioly team that only got 6th place in new jersey? Even though this is comparing apples and oranges, the robotics team looks much more appealing than the scioly team at our school. The interest for these two teams reflects this too. Many more kids are interested in doing robotics than scioly at our school.

But, by all means, If you're given a chance to do scioly, go for it, and decide for yourself. I think there can't be a blanket statement to this question, since everyone's situation is different. However, the only thing is that you should at least try it before you decide not to do it.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by Killboe » June 4th, 2019, 3:07 pm

CookiePie1 wrote:
Unome wrote:hey we should resurrect this thread
As a scioly kid, of course I would say that it's worth it.
- Scioly helps you develop valuable and lasting relationships with your teammates
- Scioly really develops your teamwork skills
- Scioly lets you learn in a new way and increases scientific literacy
- Scioly encourages you to think about what you do and come up with new ideas that aren't necessarily conventional. Scioly also improves critical thinking skills.

However, I know a lot of my teammates decided to quit scioly for other reasons. For many other reasons, scioly isn't worth it to some kids.
Scioly is a HUGE time commitment, especially if you work hard and want to do well. Even if your team doesn't meet a lot, you still have to put in a tremendous amount of time into it. A lot of my teammates were really caught up in other extracurriculars, school stuff, and athletics, so they didn't have enough time to work on scioly. As a result, they didn't do well, and lost their motivation. They decided to stop doing scioly and work on other things that they would be more successful in.

This is completely understandable. I stopped doing math olympiad when I got into high school because I just wasn't very good at it, and I wasn't willing to spend a lot of time on something I wasn't good at. Of course, that's a paradox and I probably would have been better at math olympiad if I worked harder, but that's also where motivation and priorities come into play. I wasn't motivated to work on it, and I didn't do well in it, so it sorta created a negative feedback loop which ended up in me quitting math olympiad.

This may be a fault in our team's structure, but how a person does towards the beginning of the season can decide their fate for the whole year. For us, we had check-ins where the captains would make sure you were working on your events. Some kids lacked a stimulus to work in the beginning of the year. Instead of being encouraged to work harder, they were just taken off of their events. This resulted in them being more or less forgotten, and those students ended up not going to competitions for the entire year, and none of them are going to do scioly next year.

For some schools, an unsuccessful team may also be a factor in kids deciding not to do scioly. For example, my school has a very successful robotics team. They go to the robotics equivalent of nats every year. However, our scioly team is not as good. In scioly, we do pretty well too, but not as well as the robotics team. For the last 5 years, we were consitently in the top 6 at states. For scioly standards, I would consider this to be very good given our situation. However, take a moment to step into the shoes of someone not in either team. Which looks better, a robotics team that goes to nationals, or a scioly team that only got 6th place in new jersey? Even though this is comparing apples and oranges, the robotics team looks much more appealing than the scioly team at our school. The interest for these two teams reflects this too. Many more kids are interested in doing robotics than scioly at our school.

But, by all means, If you're given a chance to do scioly, go for it, and decide for yourself. I think there can't be a blanket statement to this question, since everyone's situation is different. However, the only thing is that you should at least try it before you decide not to do it.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by Name » June 4th, 2019, 6:58 pm

On one hand it's a huge time drain. Also can be extremely stressful. And the information learned can be semi useless (nobody cares approximately how many atoms are in the observable universe or whatever), and the time spent memorizing that is probably better off spent doing something else. It can be somewhat expensive depending on how many compititions you go to and how well funded you are. And very depressing after the hours and hours you spent on something isn't even good enough to medal. And if you have bad partners... Well have fun. And expect everything possible to go wrong because it probably will go wrong.

On the other hand it's fun. 10/10 would recommend.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by Adi1008 » June 4th, 2019, 9:57 pm

Name wrote:...nobody cares approximately how many atoms are in the observable universe or whatever...
I've heard a lot of people say this about Fermi Questions (and I admittedly thought the same before I studied it for fun as a senior) but I don't think it's quite the case. I use what I learned in Fermi Questions nearly every day in my classes in college (particularly my Astrophysics and Organic Chemistry classes) and especially so in my (astronomy-related) research. Some of the questions in Fermi Questions are pretty outlandish and unrealistic, but even they teach you the right skills about estimation and order of magnitude. For the questions that are a bit more realistic, they directly relate to actual useful stuff, particularly within research!

I know you're probably mostly joking when you say that; just wanted an excuse to talk a little bit about Fermi Questions haha
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by Name » June 4th, 2019, 10:58 pm

Adi1008 wrote:
Name wrote:...nobody cares approximately how many atoms are in the observable universe or whatever...
I've heard a lot of people say this about Fermi Questions (and I admittedly thought the same before I studied it for fun as a senior) but I don't think it's quite the case. I use what I learned in Fermi Questions nearly every day in my classes in college (particularly my Astrophysics and Organic Chemistry classes) and especially so in my (astronomy-related) research. Some of the questions in Fermi Questions are pretty outlandish and unrealistic, but even they teach you the right skills about estimation and order of magnitude. For the questions that are a bit more realistic, they directly relate to actual useful stuff, particularly within research!

I know you're probably mostly joking when you say that; just wanted an excuse to talk a little bit about Fermi Questions haha
Skills about estimation are obviously important skills to have, and that skill is emphasized in Fermi. I'm not saying that Fermi is useless, rather the memorization aspect of it.

Being able to estimate the number of atoms in that are in your human body by the knowledge of your weight, the fact your mostly water, the molecular weight of water, and that there's 3 atoms in one molecule of water is a useful skill. Simply memorizing the number of atoms in an average human body isn't really a useful skill.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by JojoCho » June 5th, 2019, 5:13 pm

I think SciOly should be something you enjoy no matter how good you are at it or how good your team is. Every team goes through times where they bomb a tournament, but in the end it's not about the medals or winning. Personally, I don't know what I would've done without SciOly and my fondest memories are all from it as well. So yes, it's definitely worth it.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by eagerlearner102 » November 7th, 2019, 5:59 pm

It is only my second year, but I can say with full confidence that Science Olympiad is worth it. I gained a lot of skills from the build aspect of Science Olympiad. Before, I assumed that I would not like building and hated the fear of failure. Eventually, I became used to obstacles in building. Sounds of Music really helped me overcome that failure and encouraged me to do a build event each year so I am not solely studying. I also learned to collaborate with other people. It also made me learn for the sake of learning, not for some letter grade or test score. Science Olympiad helped me develop intrinsic motivation when it comes to academic competitions.
What really makes me like Science Olympiad is that I get to learn topics that wouldn't be taught in detail at school.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by Lorant » November 11th, 2019, 8:16 pm

All right look. My first year in science Olympiad, I placed 7in all of my events at regions. (8th in heli after an arbitration). I walked away from comp, thinking I bombed all of my events and felt like I wasted a year of work. At that point I honestly felt like SciOly wasn't worth it. It wasn't until the next season that I realized that in my fruitless effort to win a medal, I became quite good at autoCAD, learned an absurd amount about static structures, helicopters, material science, 3d printing, laser cutting, and time management among other things. Long story short, even if it may not be evident at first, SciOly is worth every minute, every build, every tear.
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Re: Is Science Olympiad worth it?

Post by BigBootyBason » November 12th, 2019, 5:04 pm

I bombed school for scioly. it was worth it

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