Class for Scioly Rumors

For anything Science Olympiad-related that might not fall under a specific event or competition.
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby PacificGoldenPlover » May 1st, 2016, 7:36 pm

For the record, Troy does not have and has never had science olympiad classes.

Beyond this point, classes don't help, and sometimes may hurt. For example, my middle school had a class for two years. Those were the two years they didn't go to state. Reasons should be obvious.
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby syo_astro » May 1st, 2016, 8:07 pm

That's the thing about any sport/activity; the teams that don't do too well accuse the teams that do well of having extra resources that they don't have, just as an excuse. But, I've never heard of a class for Science Olympiad, even thought that would be great! :D
Many schools don't have classes, and as Pacific said, those that do don't really do any better. To do well in competitions, the amount of effort minimally takes some time outside of normal classwork, so an hour a day isn't too much in the long-run especially if it's in the middle of other classes and people get distracted. I bet some do have it somewhere, though. I've also heard of some people trying to use scioly as research projects and various schools having a class/elective for research, so maybe it sorta comes from that.

To demonstrate why classes aren't such a big deal, here is a summary of how FIRST went at my HS when I was there. We had a class that met everyday for 50 minutes. Typically this meant rushing before competition because prep work and start up during class took forever. Even with deadlines, one would have to be superbly organized to get everything done in that time, which would necessarily require some extra time outside of the class anyway. A few hours on weekends can end up being more effective just because of how the time spent can be more focused. Sure we might spend 30 minutes as a sort of "HW" for the class, but even then that doesn't necessarily result in dedicated work aimed for success. On that note, because of these issues, I think the teacher/some student helped to change the class a little to improve it.

Also, to be fair, schools DO have unequal resources, which especially come from prior success/some initial push from a good coach. I think this snowball effect has been mentioned on the forum, though, and I imagine it is a very large hurdle to get past for schools that are for example just starting out/poorer (I don't mean this in terms of money spent, which is different, so let's not argue that point). From that I think there are schools that to be fair could justifiably accuse other teams of that, but this is a bit of an aside and you probably mean competitive schools close to the top.

Even then, teams still have a legitimate "accusation" over unequal resources simply because prior nats wins = magnitudes more motivation (one reason why teams tend to streak after getting to nats once). So...it's not necessarily an excuse. The class rumor might just be teams trying to reason why others are better. It does have to do with hard work, don't get me wrong, but it also has to do with experience, efficiency, etc, which can be quite variable.
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby Schrodingerscat » May 1st, 2016, 8:15 pm

In the past, one of my old coachs talked about making it a class, but it never caught on. However, his intent was for internal reasons: getting a higher priority when there are time conflicts with other activities, especially with the ones that do have classes (eg. choirs).

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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby zyzzyva980 » May 1st, 2016, 9:38 pm

These rumors have been going around for about as long as this site has been around. I've never heard of any that were actually valid.

In public schools, there is a zero percent chance that a "Scioly Class" is offered as a part of the curriculum. That just won't happen with all the hoops and red tape public schools would have to go through.

Private schools are a little closer to being able to make a "Scioly Class" a reality, but that's like saying Venus is a little closer to the Sun than Earth. It's still millions of miles away.

The most plausible way for such a class to exist would be to have it billed under another name with a teacher (likely the SO coach) who pushes all of the kids in the class to do SO. But I've seen such a class with my own eyes -- we had one that fit that description perfectly at Olathe North -- and the majority of students in that class did not do SO. Even if they did, as mentioned above, a class itself does not provide enough time to get everything done that you would need to do to get to nationals.

TL;DR: These rumors are silly and none of them are true.
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby GoldenKnight1 » May 2nd, 2016, 3:20 am

These rumors have been going around for about as long as this site has been around. I've never heard of any that were actually valid.

In public schools, there is a zero percent chance that a "Scioly Class" is offered as a part of the curriculum. That just won't happen with all the hoops and red tape public schools would have to go through.

TL;DR: These rumors are silly and none of them are true.
A public school near ours has a Scioly class. This is not rumor or picking on a strong team. They are a great, strong team with nice coaches and students in my experience.
Co-Curricular Science Electives
Science Olympiad** EL
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 .25 or .5 credit
3405 semester 1 3 periods per cycle (.25 credit) /// 3415 semester 2 3 periods per cycle (.25 credit)
3407 semester 1 6 periods per cycle (.5 credit) /// 3417 semester 2 6 periods per cycle (.5 credit)
This class is designed for students who are interested in enhancing their knowledge base and understanding through practical applications of science. The course consists of technology, engineering, and theoretical aspects of science. The course activities include but are not limited to the design and construction of devices such as trebuchets, robots, balsa wood structures, and cars. Extended experiences pertaining to laboratory activities such as forensic identification, experimental design, and chemistry/ physics labs will also be emphasized. Finally students will have the opportunities to examine the finer domains of science that are not currently being offered in the science curriculum such as astronomy, geology, fossils, and health sciences. Students may register for this course in one or both semesters. This class will support participation in the interscholastic Science Olympiad program.
Note: A double asterisk (**) next to a course name indicates that a student may take the course more than once for credit.
http://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/ ... 80/POS.pdf

At Rustin we considered having a class (though I doubt we could have gotten it running) but we thought it would be better not to run one for many of the reasons already mentioned. Also how would such a class be thought? Would everyone learn a little about each event or would individuals learn about the events they are passionate about? What about people who join the class who are not part of the team? I also see the time after school as being much more effective. We did decide and were able to have a Science Olympiad homeroom and that has been really good. It has made it easier for administrative tasks like permission slips/forms for competitions and short team meetings. It also allows event partners a time where they can talk about when they are going to practice. FInally I think it has also increased a sense of "team" as freshmen mingle with seniors and nearly everyone is there every day.

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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby Panda Weasley » May 2nd, 2016, 4:54 am

It was rumored in my region for a while that my middle school team had a SciOly class since they usually dominate regionals. While we don't have a class, our weekend practices are 5 hours long. Like many have said, this is probably more useful than a class during the school day anyways.
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby SPP SciO » May 2nd, 2016, 6:55 am


In public schools, there is a zero percent chance that a "Scioly Class" is offered as a part of the curriculum. That just won't happen with all the hoops and red tape public schools would have to go through.
Not exactly zero - it certainly depends on the school. Small schools certainly have more flexibility when it comes to programming decisions (but conversely, they may lack the space/human resources to support a wide variety of electives).

I'm a public school teacher in NYC (best job in the world) and we're trying to transition into having individualized programming - honors/remedial classes, Regents classes (a NY thing), and especially, electives. Right now, all of our students - the brainiacs and the struggling readers alike - all take 8 periods a week of ELA and 8 periods a week of math, 6 periods each of science and social studies, 2 periods of PE, and 5 periods spread between advisory/foreign language/either Music, Art or Theater, depending on the grade. That one-size-fits-all strategy doesn't work for everyone, and we want to introduce subject-based electives to enrich their experience. The best part - these are to be completely designed by the teachers!

I'm working right now to establish two classes - Design & Production, which would be a low-tech version of all the hip new "maker" classes, and Science Research, fostering independent projects culminating in one of the various science expos around the city. These classes wouldn't specifically be Science Olympiad, but they'd definitely support it, and the Olympians would absolutely use their class time to practice their events.

My current teaching program is entirely 8th grade science, which is a very broad curriculum. Our department is small, and we have the freedom to design our own unit plans. The scope and sequence is standardized throughout the city, so kids that transfer between schools won't miss out on content, but there's a lot of wiggle room. "Differentiated instruction" is a huge buzzword - the kids are all different, so their work should all be different. I'd be lying if I said I didn't use that to the advantage of our SciO team. We're a team of mostly 8th graders, so when we're learning about the human body, say, there are definitely some kids hard at work researching for Anatomy; the Bio-Process kids explore stuff above and beyond what others do in labs; etc. From January through March, the SciO students I teach basically cluster up in each class, I give them computers, print practice tests, and they're self-directed 100%. As long as they can demonstrate that they've mastered the content they need to receive in 8th grade science (not too challenging for the SciO set), they have a green light to dive as deep into their events as they'd like. In fact, if I didn't provide them with that opportunity, I wouldn't be doing my job. SciO is an awesome vehicle that motivates students to explore some cool science - both in class and out of it, as far as I'm concerned.

My suggestion to students out there: ask your science teacher if you can work on your events during class! Of course, if you're in AP chemistry, you're more likely to get a "no" than if you're in 7th grade science - but if "regular science class" is a cinch and you're cruising through with a 95+ average, your teacher would probably love to see you embark on a more difficult journey.
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby aherthabey » May 2nd, 2016, 9:00 am

So Mounds View High School actually had a Science Olympiad class starting in about 2011 (I think it's since been discontinued), called Hybrid Applied Science through Science Olympiad. "With the inception of a new Hybrid Applied Science class for the 2011-2012 school year, students have the opportunity to earn academic credit for participation in Science Olympiad."

Article about Hybrid Applied: http://www.mvviewer.org/editorials/2013 ... -to-excel/
Hybrid Applied course description: https://issuu.com/moundsviewpublicschoo ... _1-4-16/38
Old Mounds View website description: http://mvscioly.org/about-us.html
Wayzata High School Science Olympiad 2013-2016

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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby John Richardsim » May 2nd, 2016, 10:42 am

Yeah, working on Science Olympiad when you have extra time during a class is something I think we all do. I have giant invasives IDing quizlet sets that I often spend a few minutes with here and there. One of my teammates tells me about how much SO stuff he does in 20th Century (that's his "Science Olympiad class").
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Re: Class for Scioly Rumors

Postby daydreamer0023 » May 2nd, 2016, 6:43 pm

It was rumored in my region for a while that my middle school team had a SciOly class since they usually dominate regionals. While we don't have a class, our weekend practices are 5 hours long. Like many have said, this is probably more useful than a class during the school day anyways.
That's quite interesting - the middle school I went to actually did offer scioly as an elective, which isn't as bad as one may think. I honestly had quite a bit of fun with it, especially in Crime Busters (more havoc). :) However, you had to try out for it in 6th grade, then they picked 36 of them to do the class for 7th grade as JVs. Then they cut that pool in half for the next year's Varsity team, which makes getting onto Varsity quite an honor.

It might seem a bit as a sort of unfair thing, but our coach did not feed the material to those in the scioly class - we had to study it ourselves, so it was more of an extra study period. The hard work really showed when many of us went to compete at the high school level, where we had to tryout for specific events and were selected based on how well we did, did very well at states in the following years as a result of having attained such study skills.

Does anyone else know of a school that has a similar system like this?
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