Biome Blast

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Nerd95
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Biome Blast

Postby Nerd95 » June 1st, 2012, 6:11 am

During my time participating in Science Olympiad, I have worked on creating what I think would be the perfect event. I would like to push for this event to enter the official Science Olympiad scene this year if possible.

Event supervisors and tournament directors, I would love to get your feedback on this event. If you would be willing to run it at your tournament, that would be great. I would be happy to help with test writing if needed.

Students reading this post, please email me (biomeblast@gmail.com) with your input on the event. I would love to hear what you guys think so I can make it better.

Thank you.

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The event is called Biome Blast. Think back to what was Ecology, but turn the focus on the biome rather than the ecological principles. But, to call this event an off-shoot of ecology would be wrong. It brings a completely different, and difficult, twist to Science Olympiad. This event will change "focus biome" every year so there is no "returning advantage" that is common with many Science Olympiad events. The event works to combine the features of many Science Olympiad events - Meteorology, the Identification Events (Forestry, Ornithology, etc.), Ecology, and many more.

Here is a link to the rules: https://sites.google.com/site/biomeblast/

Let me know what you guys think as I would love to see this as a trial event at various state competitions and (hopefully) at a national tournament.
Event Supervisor (Mass & Missouri)
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silvertongue
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Re: Biome Blast

Postby silvertongue » June 1st, 2012, 8:17 am

Can you explain to me how this is significantly different than Ecology? The only difference I see is the inclusion of identification of organisms. Does this difference change what competitors would have to learn, or does it just add a section of the test that will almost certainly be pure memorization?

rocketman1555
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Re: Biome Blast

Postby rocketman1555 » June 1st, 2012, 9:28 am

I agree with silvertongue that it does not seem significantly different from Ecology. Adding identification to an event does not change the rest of the event. You may want to look at the National Science Education Standards and be able to show how the changes you made improve the event.

I also have a few questions about general policies outlined in the rules. Having run events before, some of the general rules that are included worry me a little.

Why are no resources allowed? As an event that includes identification resources are almost necessary. Without resources the event becomes pure memorization and students often do not learn much. On a well written test it will not matter who has what resources because they will not have enough time to use them.

Are calculators allowed? Based on the current rules I would not stop teams from using them, as it is not addressed. If they are not allowed that limits the amount of math based questions that supervisors can ask.

Why must the test be run as five stations? I do not see any reason that they are needed. Stations are not always the best way to run an event, especially if there are space restrictions where it is hosted. And with only five stations you will almost have to set up more than one of each station at any competition. A regional will often have 10-15 teams at the least, meaning 2-3 of each station. That is more work for the supervisor.

I would suggest you talk to an event supervisor to strengthen the rules, make sure all parts of the rules are well defined, and ensure that the event is significantly different from ecology.
I am a practitioner of the art of magic known as science.

Paradox21
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Re: Biome Blast

Postby Paradox21 » June 2nd, 2012, 9:37 am

I always loved the Ecology event, and I can definitely see how this could be different from Ecology, although I think the current draft rules don't necessarily emphasize that as well as they could. My concern would be that at the national level, this event might lend advantage to certain states. For example, going to high school in Minnesota, I have a much better understanding of grassland and forest biomes than, say, deserts. Moving from MN to college in the chaparral biome, I was amazed at how much less I know about chaparral. So I think that an intensive focus on any one biome could lead to a non-trivial advantage for people who have spent their whole life in that biome. This same effect was present in Ecology with the biome sections, and really you can argue that this is present in several other existing Science Olympiad events.
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