Events 2015-2016?

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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby Skink » May 19th, 2015, 2:26 pm

Chalker, are you able to tell us what the other events that had strong pushback were?
I admit that this caught my attention, too. However, I expect that we won't be hearing that detail ;) .
On a different note, I worry a bit about invasive species as the ID event. Entomology is like my favorite event ever, but even it was easy at most invites, both years at state, and even last year at nationals (props to the coordinator this year though for a great test). So I'm trying to imagine an event where everything on the list (assuming it has that kind of format) is so different and wide ranging, as opposed to entomology where many of the insects only have subtle variations. How hard can it be to differentiate between an Asian Carp and a Zebra Mussel? Sure, a good coordinator can make other questions that are hard, but still. I can see 20-way ties for first happening, especially if we will be allowed to use book like entomology. That's my opinion.
Remember that this group of events isn't strictly about identification. Rather, identification happens to, just, be a part of it. It may be easy, but what accompanies it may not be. See, for amp rep/herpetology, the event that we had expected next season, you could extract a single chapter or two out of a zoology text and be prepared for the general anatomical and behavioral questions. To get the general stuff in invasive species already covers more ground because the organisms on the list don't fit into a neat group. Furthermore, the fact that there's no single field guide (which means binder preparation?) involves more work. The test may be easy after the work is done, but that's how it should be!

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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby mk3966 » May 19th, 2015, 2:53 pm

Chalker, are you able to tell us what the other events that had strong pushback were?
I admit that this caught my attention, too. However, I expect that we won't be hearing that detail ;) .
On a different note, I worry a bit about invasive species as the ID event. Entomology is like my favorite event ever, but even it was easy at most invites, both years at state, and even last year at nationals (props to the coordinator this year though for a great test). So I'm trying to imagine an event where everything on the list (assuming it has that kind of format) is so different and wide ranging, as opposed to entomology where many of the insects only have subtle variations. How hard can it be to differentiate between an Asian Carp and a Zebra Mussel? Sure, a good coordinator can make other questions that are hard, but still. I can see 20-way ties for first happening, especially if we will be allowed to use book like entomology. That's my opinion.
Remember that this group of events isn't strictly about identification. Rather, identification happens to, just, be a part of it. It may be easy, but what accompanies it may not be. See, for amp rep/herpetology, the event that we had expected next season, you could extract a single chapter or two out of a zoology text and be prepared for the general anatomical and behavioral questions. To get the general stuff in invasive species already covers more ground because the organisms on the list don't fit into a neat group. Furthermore, the fact that there's no single field guide (which means binder preparation?) involves more work. The test may be easy after the work is done, but that's how it should be!
I understand that these events aren't strictly identification, but in almost every entomology competition identification was the only part that could differentiate the scores. Typically, the other questions were easy ones (often repeats). So when the identification factor is minimized, the "lower quality" tests at invites and states could have tiebreaker issues. This is not a huge deal (like Game On is), and I have no problem with the event itself, but I'm just saying I'm not sure if it will work as well as ento, the god event.
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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby ochterski7 » May 19th, 2015, 4:06 pm

Does anyone know if the division C event will be Bridges or Elevated Bridges?

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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby watermydoing14 » May 19th, 2015, 4:08 pm

Unpopular opinion here:
I kind of like Scratch. I have very little programming experience. I have started quite a few online coding courses but never completed them and didn't retain much. Scratch makes me feel like I can actually be creative with at least some kind of programming and I think it makes me more likely to learn other programming languages in the future. And isn't that the point of Science Olympiad? Not to give students and opportunity to prove that they're super smart by acing an APCS-like test, but to encourage students to pursue different fields of science?
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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby Unome » May 19th, 2015, 4:29 pm

Unpopular opinion here:
I kind of like Scratch. I have very little programming experience. I have started quite a few online coding courses but never completed them and didn't retain much. Scratch makes me feel like I can actually be creative with at least some kind of programming and I think it makes me more likely to learn other programming languages in the future. And isn't that the point of Science Olympiad? Not to give students and opportunity to prove that they're super smart by acing an APCS-like test, but to encourage students to pursue different fields of science?
If you're starting programming, I'd suggest GameMaker, since it's both easy to learn like Scratch, but has a lot more functionality for more advanced users as well. Scratch is a good introduction, but it has so many limitations that I jsut can't see it working in Science Olympiad (I'd agree with you, however, that most online classes don't help much).
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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby bernard » May 19th, 2015, 4:37 pm

Unpopular opinion here:
I kind of like Scratch. I have very little programming experience. I have started quite a few online coding courses but never completed them and didn't retain much. Scratch makes me feel like I can actually be creative with at least some kind of programming and I think it makes me more likely to learn other programming languages in the future. And isn't that the point of Science Olympiad? Not to give students and opportunity to prove that they're super smart by acing an APCS-like test, but to encourage students to pursue different fields of science?
If you're starting programming, I'd suggest GameMaker, since it's both easy to learn like Scratch, but has a lot more functionality for more advanced users as well. Scratch is a good introduction, but it has so many limitations that I jsut can't see it working in Science Olympiad (I'd agree with you, however, that most online classes don't help much).
What online classes have you tried? I've used Codecademy and it's allowed me to do some pretty cool things.
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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby chinesesushi » May 19th, 2015, 4:44 pm

Does anyone know if the division C event will be Bridges or Elevated Bridges?
Looks like Elevated Bridges.
Unpopular opinion here:
I kind of like Scratch. I have very little programming experience. I have started quite a few online coding courses but never completed them and didn't retain much. Scratch makes me feel like I can actually be creative with at least some kind of programming and I think it makes me more likely to learn other programming languages in the future. And isn't that the point of Science Olympiad? Not to give students and opportunity to prove that they're super smart by acing an APCS-like test, but to encourage students to pursue different fields of science?
I agree with other replies to your comment. Even way back when I was beginning learning, Scratch was quite limited, and also did not really have much programming-like setup at all. GameMaker as Unome suggests is quite a powerful and has something for both novice and advanced users, with scripting in its own language for the latter. If you want to get a feel for what programming is like, I would suggest not using Scratch, as it is not really representative of programming. Beyond that, any online coding courses will obviously take time and effort, and Scratch seems like it might actually be detrimental and give you an incorrect viewpoint of programming languages.
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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby chalker » May 19th, 2015, 5:21 pm

Chalker, are you able to tell us what the other events that had strong pushback were?
I admit that this caught my attention, too. However, I expect that we won't be hearing that detail ;) .
Actually, I would be interested in sharing 2 of them (mainly because they are in my committee and I'd like to solicit additional thoughts on them). Both are tentatively scheduled not for NEXT year (2015-2016), but rather the following year (2016-2017).

1. Mag Lev (Div B). Here are some old draft rules: http://soinc.org/sites/default/files/MagLevB11.pdf As many people know, it was a Div C event for the past couple years. The concerns generally boil down to 2: the cost of the track / magnets and the safety / complexity of high speed motors.

2. Radio Lab (Div C). Here are some old draft rules: http://soinc.org/sites/default/files/up ... 7-9-12.pdf The concerns generally are due to it being somewhat vague and uncertain as to the infrastructure, software, hardware needs for the event supervisors.

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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby watermydoing14 » May 19th, 2015, 6:07 pm

Chalker, are you able to tell us what the other events that had strong pushback were?
I admit that this caught my attention, too. However, I expect that we won't be hearing that detail ;) .
Actually, I would be interested in sharing 2 of them (mainly because they are in my committee and I'd like to solicit additional thoughts on them). Both are tentatively scheduled not for NEXT year (2015-2016), but rather the following year (2016-2017).

1. Mag Lev (Div B). Here are some old draft rules: http://soinc.org/sites/default/files/MagLevB11.pdf As many people know, it was a Div C event for the past couple years. The concerns generally boil down to 2: the cost of the track / magnets and the safety / complexity of high speed motors.

2. Radio Lab (Div C). Here are some old draft rules: http://soinc.org/sites/default/files/up ... 7-9-12.pdf The concerns generally are due to it being somewhat vague and uncertain as to the infrastructure, software, hardware needs for the event supervisors.
Speaking to the safety concerns of maglev, I know we did have some minor injuries from the propeller spinning, etc. Minor cuts, but nevertheless, if that happens with C div students who were juniors at the time, there definitely is a safety concern with B div students. Granted, one of our students that got injured is quite accident-prone, but so are middle schoolers :)
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Re: Events 2015-2016?

Postby fantasyfan » May 19th, 2015, 6:53 pm

Chalker, a few questions:
* I know this isn't in your committee, but are the anatomy systems you stated finalized, because if so that would be a huge change from previous years? Skeletal and Muscular were two separate systems in the past, and Aging isn't even a system, it's just a subtopic which was covered under integumentary and nervous.
* Also, will Invasives be inserted into the Bio ID rotation before Herpetology, because it is my understanding that it functions very differently from an ID event in that it is much heavier on knowledge about the organisms, and less on actual ID?
* Has the robot event been decided yet?
* Will it be elevated bridge or bridge building?
* Has the focus for astronomy been decided yet?
Looking forward to anatomy, protein, fossils, and optics (NYS trial) this year!


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