Awesomely Run Event Stories

For anything Science Olympiad-related that might not fall under a specific event or competition.
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Adi1008
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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby Adi1008 » February 13th, 2017, 8:16 pm

All of the events I did at Berkeley (Astronomy, Hovercraft, Optics, WIDI, DP, and Hydrogeology) were pretty amazingly run. Overall, the tournament was fantastic; I think almost every event there would belong in this thread.
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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby jakool6 » February 20th, 2017, 2:53 pm

The Westlake test for Astronomy wasn't all that bad, it contained some information that you can't just Ctrl+F on your folder of 100+ downloaded Wikipedia pages (in other words, you needed actual Astro knowledge).

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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby Tesel » February 28th, 2017, 6:08 am

I wish I had gotten his name, but I had an AWESOME supervisor for Materials Science at Frankenmuth.
The test was divided up into 2 20 minute portions, one the lab with materials properties questions, and one the test with IMF's questions. Very difficult, we barely finished everything.
I think this was a state or nationals supervisor testing out his style of testing, since it was an official Science Olympiad supervisor and not just a school.
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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby magic_carp » March 7th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Invasives at Katy Regional Tournament - I think it was run by a few Seven Lakes SciO students and the test was really hard and it was run pretty well. There was a small issue with music playing in the background in the beginning and a few timers not working, but I really liked the test and how fast paced it was. There were also a bunch of really hard questions that you can't find from wikipedia searches and stuff like that

I wish invasives was an event next year :(

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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby moumantai » March 8th, 2017, 6:08 am

The Microbe Mission C test at Clark College (SW WA Reg) was challenging and well-done! It was ten three-minute, 3-5 question stations, with a remainder period to roam and make up things skipped. I guess the one flaw is that someone could have stayed at a station for the whole remainder knowing it was hard and people would want to go back, but nobody abused this. Really comprehensive test - I felt negative about it in the end, but I was also proud of myself for what I did know. (In the end, we ended up actually getting second!!)

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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby Avogadro » April 3rd, 2017, 6:06 pm

I had a fairly lengthy post in PRES, so let me acknowledge now all of the really cool things I've seen this year!

1. Stoga Optics - Although there were a couple of issues with time allotment for teams (which I don't think was the supervisors' faults), the proctors were extremely nice about handling the issues that arose, and the test (although perhaps not the most creative) was very challenging, which was much appreciated since I didn't have much experience at the time.
2. Tiger Optics - Run by the same people as at Stoga, but with the time allotment issues fixed this time! Also had a laser shoot that I was able to score a 49-ish on which is always fun.
3. Tiger MatSci - Simple yet quite functional lab, interesting questions that covered both theory and application, and knowledgable supervisors. Need I say more?
4. Tiger / Regionals Astronomy - I'll use this to pay a compliment to the PA state supervisor for Astronomy, who always creates (terrifyingly hard yet) awesome tests that really stretch how much you know. Is there some Wikipedia stuff? Yes, of course, but there's also plenty of inferential stuff, and although I typically leave the math to my partner looking back at it now these tests both had a good mix of mathematical concepts. A round of applause for this gentleman for both terrifying and fascinating me.
5. Regionals Optics - Was the test short/hard enough that several teams (mine included) finished early? Yes. Was the Laser Shoot run much better than I had seen before that made accidentally knocking the barriers when removing the coverings and strange inclines in the box less likely, also featuring a laser that wasn't just a straight up laser pointer so that there was no risk of that moving? Also yes. I really appreciated not having to worry about a ton of small variables potentially messing up the LS (and it might help that I scored very well on it :P)
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Placement Record:

Code: Islip | Conestoga | Tiger | Regionals | States
Out of: 61 | 42 | 36 | 37 | 36

Chemistry Lab: 9 | - | - | 4 | 4
Astronomy: 14 | - | 5 | 10 | 3
Material Science: 12 | 19 | 9 | 5 | 9
Optics: 14 | 7 | 3 | 4 | 2

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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby Magikarpmaster629 » April 9th, 2017, 7:00 am

Time for the one event I competed in that was well-run at Missouri state:

Rocks and Minerals: It's no surprise that this was the well-run event considering how good Fossils was last year. The same people ran it, and they had some excellent specimens. They also went beyond asking only basic ID and property questions: there were no "what's the cleavage of..." or "what hardness number is..." instead they asked for special properties and crystal habits of their specific specimens. They also had two insightful essay questions on the last two stations, which I thought was interesting and unique. Very good, 10/10.
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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby JasperKota » April 9th, 2017, 7:32 am

The Wright Stuff proctors at NYS were great. Included a station where you could check your motor weight, wing chord span, plane weight, etc. before competition and also had a huge pole to get planes out of the rafters. One proctor in particular went into detail about flaring blade propellers and torque meters when he saw me using one.

Handled everything smoothly; there was an incident with planes colliding, and a team decided to count their flight as a trial flight, but ran out of time before they could fly their second official.

They also allowed test flights whenever there were no official launches and kindly answered many questions.
2020 Events: Fossils, Gravity Vehicle, Wright Stuff, Ping Pong Parachute
2019 Events: Fossils, Mousetrap Vehicle, Wright Stuff
2018 Events: Helicopters, Mousetrap Vehicle, Parasitology, WIDI
2017 Events: Ecology, Invasives, Wright Stuff
2016 Events: Crave the Wave, Dynamic Planet, Invasives

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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby SPP SciO » April 9th, 2017, 9:52 am

The Wright Stuff proctors at NYS were great. Included a station where you could check your motor weight, wing chord span, plane weight, etc. before competition and also had a huge pole to get planes out of the rafters. One proctor in particular went into detail about flaring blade propellers and torque meters when he saw me using one.

Handled everything smoothly; there was an incident with planes colliding, and a team decided to count their flight as a trial flight, but ran out of time before they could fly their second official.

They also allowed test flights whenever there were no official launches and kindly answered many questions.
I didn't interact with them personally, but I second this, as my students reported that they were "cool dudes" and learned some things from them.

Also from NYS B this weekend, need to tip the cap to Brother Nigel (whom I know reads these forums) for handling a heartbreaking Scrambler penalty situation with grace and class*. I think there's a lot more value in a devastating failure than a mediocre success in a sciO event.

And, I forget the name of the Road Scholar supervisor, but she was amazing at managing attention to detail while being so kind and friendly with the students. The writer of Road Scholar also has a great imagination; I can't imagine the work that goes into putting those tests together.

*off topic, but to summarize for anyone curious: the falling mass for their Scrambler was a jar filled with sand. Should have been 2,000 grams, but it was a handful of sand over the limit. Simple solution - open the jar and remove excess sand. They physically couldn't unscrew the jar lid. Clock ticking. Tragic results. As soon as they got back to the team room, the jar was immediately opened, as were the tear ducts. I have no doubt those are lifelong memories, which will resurface with every stuck jar lid they ever deal with.
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Adi1008
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Re: Awesomely Run Event Stories

Postby Adi1008 » April 30th, 2017, 2:20 pm

Write It Do It at Texas State was run extremely well. Many people, including me, felt as if the structure the year before was a bit too short/easy for state (it took about 2 minutes to build completely), but this year's was quite long and had an impressive variety of materials, some of which I had never seen before, such as pieces of candy and gummy bears used in really creative ways. Doing this event was a joy at state due to its difficulty and how well it was run. I'm looking forwards to doing it again next year

Picture This at Texas State was also run quite well. I especially liked how the event supervisors had a timer that the competitors could see easily and personally, I thought that using a big pad of paper for each team was a nice idea.
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