Poorly Run Event Stories

For anything Science Olympiad-related that might not fall under a specific event or competition.
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windu34
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by windu34 » April 16th, 2018, 6:42 am

Verdigris wrote:Just realized I never posted about Remote Sensing C at Regionals...

The test was written by someone who claimed to be an expert in the field of remote sensing. While this may have been true, the test was only 11 questions long- 5 or so of them were multiple choice, and all of the multiple choice questions had at least one joke/throwaway answer. I mentioned this to my coach (who is also the regional director) afterwards, and she said that the person in question had never written a Scioly test before.

@ First time proctors, please make sure your test has enough questions to take up the entire time allotted (especially in tests that don't have time as a tiebreaker), and that the questions are challenging enough to separate the teams that studied from the teams that didn't.

Luckily, Remote Sensing C at State was a lot better, according to my teammates (I couldn't compete in it at State due to scheduling conflicts).
I wrote the state test ;)
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by SPP SciO » April 18th, 2018, 8:47 am

sciencepeeps wrote:
wzhang5460 wrote:NYS Div B States Mystery Design was disappointing.

The event had the worst scoring rubric possible. We were given 12 paper cups and nothing else and asked to build a tower at least 1.5m tall. If you stacked all the cups end to end, it would only be about 1.2m or so. The formula for the scoring was the number of cups you did not alter, (cut, rip, tears count as altering) plus the square root of the tower height (If it was below 1.5m, the height would count as 0), divided by the time block you were in. (each time block was ten or so minutes, for a total of 4 time blocks). It was literally impossible to get a freestanding 1.5 m tower, so much so that only 2 teams in the entire competition managed to do so.

Eventually, this turned into a "who could give up the fastest" sort of challenge. The longer you went, the more cups you would alter and the more time you would use. We realized nobody would build up to 1.5m (the majority of the height scores would be 0) and gave up in the 2nd time block with 6 cups not altered, with a final score of 3. However, if a team gave up in the 1st time block with no altered cups, they would've ended up with a score of 12 and easily top 5.

We placed 11th, which isn't that bad of a bomb considering the event, but I wish we would've gotten 10thso we could get a medal for giving up.
Wow... that is absolutely horrible. I’ve never seen an event run like that.
For what it's worth, I do believe that Mystery Architecture had the same ES as Mystery Design last year - which was also the most baffling of events, in terms of deviating from the prescribed scoring rubric in the rules.

Personally, I'm happy, since my students got 1st place, which was our only state gold medal in history. But, when you look at the score sheet, and see that out of the top 10 overall teams, only two earned top-10 in Mystery Architecture ... yet, five medals went to teams 27th and below - you can tell it's a "wildcard" event. I imagine that this event is one of the least-correlated with team success (along with WIDI) but I agree that at NYS, it wasn't a high-quality event.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by NovaXY1 » April 18th, 2018, 7:14 pm

So I'm in 8th grade and this is my first year on science olympiad but I've heard many things from previous years:

1. Last year at our state tournament, (I'm in Mississippi) our team won experimental design. They went in the room and came back out 5 minutes later. Apparently, the proctor who was in the room got lazy and used the exact same practice experiment that our team had done in class....

2. This year, me and my partner walk into the room for Dynamic Planet (we ended up getting first) and realized we were taking the test in a freaking auditorium when we were on a college campus with hundreds of classrooms we could have used. 10 minutes into it, this girl walks in late, and they let her take the test! We did the entire 50 question test on clipboards also ("fun"). The proctors also did not check the notes, so I could have walked in with 20 pages and know one would have known (I didn't though; I only used 8 like the rules say).

3. In rocks & minerals this kid walks in 10 minutes late and they let him in.

4. In herpetology this team walked in late and they restarted the ENTIRE event just for them.

5. And finally, in crime busters they gave us a lab that had NO CRIME SCENE and they made us label a bunch of stuff that wasn't even relevant to the wimpy scenario they gave us. The only thing that was relevant was the hairs, but they were so small you couldn't see them in the microscope, so me and my partner guessed and got 2nd place.

ok I'm done ranting now......

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by dxu46 » April 18th, 2018, 7:20 pm

NovaXY1 wrote: 1. Last year at our state tournament, (I'm in Mississippi) our team won experimental design. They went in the room and came back out 5 minutes later. Apparently, the proctor who was in the room got lazy and used the exact same practice experiment that our team had done in class....
How does one even write an experiment with a plan in 5 minutes?
NovaXY1 wrote: 3. In rocks & minerals this kid walks in 10 minutes late and they let him in.
facepalm
NovaXY1 wrote: 4. In herpetology this team walked in late and they restarted the ENTIRE event just for them.
FACEPALM
"Hmm, one team arrived late. Should we restart and disrupt the entire schedule? Why not? Let's just ruin the schedules of all competitors!"

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by PM2017 » April 18th, 2018, 8:15 pm

dxu46 wrote:
NovaXY1 wrote: 1. Last year at our state tournament, (I'm in Mississippi) our team won experimental design. They went in the room and came back out 5 minutes later. Apparently, the proctor who was in the room got lazy and used the exact same practice experiment that our team had done in class....
How does one even write an experiment with a plan in 5 minutes?
NovaXY1 wrote: 3. In rocks & minerals this kid walks in 10 minutes late and they let him in.
facepalm
NovaXY1 wrote: 4. In herpetology this team walked in late and they restarted the ENTIRE event just for them.
FACEPALM
"Hmm, one team arrived late. Should we restart and disrupt the entire schedule? Why not? Let's just ruin the schedules of all competitors!"
I can understand your sentiment for numbers 1 and 3, but I don't see a problem with number 3. It's happened to me once or twice due to a previous event running too long, and I think that the reduced time is penalty enough for being late.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by NovaXY1 » April 18th, 2018, 8:48 pm

I see where you are coming from but the event already started 10 minutes late, so he should have already been there. I had crime busters right before it and I had to leave early and run all to my team room (it was pretty far), get my binder, and meet up with my teammate. I got there 15 minutes early (really only five but because it was late), so I know that he should have gotten there on time too.

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by NovaXY1 » April 18th, 2018, 8:49 pm

@dxu46 about the experimental design thing I don't really know because that was before I was involved in science olympiad.

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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by PM2017 » April 18th, 2018, 8:58 pm

NovaXY1 wrote:I see where you are coming from but the event already started 10 minutes late, so he should have already been there. I had crime busters right before it and I had to leave early and run all to my team room (it was pretty far), get my binder, and meet up with my teammate. I got there 15 minutes early (really only five but because it was late), so I know that he should have gotten there on time too.
I don't want to start a whole argument (I say, as I respond in opposition to a response to my response...), but what reason is there to not let the guy walk in. There are some events that you just can't leave early, or some other unforeseen situation may have arisen.

I would like to see an ES's thoughts on this matter.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by knottingpurple » April 18th, 2018, 9:53 pm

PM2017 wrote:
NovaXY1 wrote:I see where you are coming from but the event already started 10 minutes late, so he should have already been there. I had crime busters right before it and I had to leave early and run all to my team room (it was pretty far), get my binder, and meet up with my teammate. I got there 15 minutes early (really only five but because it was late), so I know that he should have gotten there on time too.
I don't want to start a whole argument (I say, as I respond in opposition to a response to my response...), but what reason is there to not let the guy walk in. There are some events that you just can't leave early, or some other unforeseen situation may have arisen.

I would like to see an ES's thoughts on this matter.
If the team's late entrance disrupted the event, as it seems to have in 4, that's reasonable to be upset, but whether the team in 3 was held up by something important, or got lost, or was just goofing around, I don't see why it would harm other teams if they're allowed to participate with reduced time. It's certainly something up to the event supervisor's discretion, and there are some ESes who might really care about being on time, but I don't see why allowing a late team to participate constitutes a poorly run event.
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Re: Poorly Run Event Stories

Post by Unome » April 19th, 2018, 5:22 am

PM2017 wrote:
NovaXY1 wrote:I see where you are coming from but the event already started 10 minutes late, so he should have already been there. I had crime busters right before it and I had to leave early and run all to my team room (it was pretty far), get my binder, and meet up with my teammate. I got there 15 minutes early (really only five but because it was late), so I know that he should have gotten there on time too.
I don't want to start a whole argument (I say, as I respond in opposition to a response to my response...), but what reason is there to not let the guy walk in. There are some events that you just can't leave early, or some other unforeseen situation may have arisen.

I would like to see an ES's thoughts on this matter.
If I count as an ES (which, I guess I do seeing as I've run events at regionals and state), I'd let them in late (and have done so in the past). As mentioned, there's no reason to not let someone in, and the lost time is quite a sufficient penalty, especially for a station event where it means they get zero points on the stations they missed.
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