New Team

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bossaru_ben
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New Team

Postby bossaru_ben » June 21st, 2015, 7:42 pm

Hey Science Olympians,

I heard of Science Olympiad and I was planning to make my own team at my school. I know a little general information but I'm still very in the dark. I was wondering if you guys could tell me some information to be prepared with before the school year begins.

I live in Texas and am in high school.

Thank you for your help! Im really looking forward to entering this community :D

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Adi1008
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Re: New Team

Postby Adi1008 » June 21st, 2015, 9:00 pm

Hey Science Olympians,

I heard of Science Olympiad and I was planning to make my own team at my school. I know a little general information but I'm still very in the dark. I was wondering if you guys could tell me some information to be prepared with before the school year begins.

I live in Texas and am in high school.

Thank you for your help! Im really looking forward to entering this community :D
I can't really help you with the part about forming the team, as I was lucky enough to be in a program that was already established and competitive (Beckendorff). However, I do think I can offer some advice.

I think the first thing you should do, if you haven't already, is to get acquainted with how science olympiad is structured and how all the events, ESUS, etc work. As a seventh grader, this was something that I struggled with, and as a result, my first year of science olympiad wasn't really that much fun.

There are 4 types of tournaments in scioly: Invitational, Regional, State, and National. For invitational, they're just competitions you can go to throughout the year, regardless of where you live and how good your team is and stuff. Some teams will travel across the country (for example, Beckendorff went to Ohio for the Wright State invitational, and I think Troy (in California) went to MIT). The reason that a team would do this is because they want to get exposed to higher levels of competition (like competing against Solon, who have won 7? out of the last 8? nationals [they're like super super good]), but since this will be your first year, you probably need not worry about that. Since you're in Div C (high school) in Texas, some invitationals would be Cy-Falls (early November), Langham Creek (I think it's division C at least), and the MIT alumni one in Kingwood (early December).

The first elimination round is regional. In most states, the regional you go to is determined by where your school is, but in Texas, you can go to whichever regional you want. In my experience, a good one is the UT Austin one in late March or the Texas A&M Galveston one in early February. The top few teams go to the state tournament (there are 30? in total), and in Texas, the top 2 teams go to the national tournament. Texas is super super competitive in Dvision C, with three super good teams in LASA (third place at nats), SLHS (*generally* top 10 but got 13th this year), and Clements (narrowly missed going to nats by 7 points).

Another thing you should know is how events are scheduled. Events are put into time blocks that you compete in throughout the day. If you have multiple events in the same time block, you can't compete in all of them (only 1), because you can't be in multiple places at the same time. Building events can be done anytime during the day, and generally teams sign up for times to do them beforehand using something called ESUS. In rarer cases, you just walk in whenever and do it (I personally am not a fan of this).

If you already have a team (generally 15 people and a coach or two minimum), your biggest challenge will be making sure they care about science olympiad and are motivated. Given that I have never started a team or been on a new team, I can't really help there.

So, if you want to start preparing, the first thing to do is take a look at all the events for next year (there's a post somewhere by this guy called "chalker" that has all the events for next year, you can find it somewhere in the general chat place) and start studying for them. There's not much to success in scioly aside from studying and working really really hard in my opinion.

Another thing you might want to take a look at are your goals for the year - are you trying to make regionals? state? nationals? win nationals? Division C in Texas is super tough and very competitive.

I hoped this helped a bit (not sure what stuff I should explain because imo scioly can be complicated), and if you have any questions, feel free to message me. I'm going to be in Division C too next year (at Seven Lakes HS); maybe I'll you around!
University of Texas at Austin '22
Seven Lakes High School '18
Beckendorff Junior High '14

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John Richardsim
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Re: New Team

Postby John Richardsim » June 21st, 2015, 9:45 pm

Alright, already a good post in here, let's keep it going:

As Adi1008 said, it will be challenging, but just remember that the greater the challenge, the greater the rewards. Looking back at my first four years of Science O, I would say it has changed everything for me.

Here is an article about starting a team: http://scioly.org/wiki/index.php/Starti ... mpiad_Team

Here is a document with tips for starting a team and keeping it going: https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/110307C ... ooklet.pdf (some of this information is specific to Michigan (e.g., the registration fees may be different in Texas and for whatever region you choose), but the general tips are very useful in my opinion)

The soinc page about starting a team: http://soinc.org/start_a_team (their tip document also looks useful: http://soinc.org/sites/default/files/up ... ntPrep.pdf)

Here is the list of events that Adi1008 was referring to: http://soinc.org/sites/default/files/up ... -12-15.pdf (if an event has a special topic for next year, it is denoted in parentheses)

Alright, that's some stuff. Once again, feel free to ask any questions you have.

And just as a closing note, I would just like to remark that many top teams at state competitions and even the national competition did not have teams 5 or 6 years ago...
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Unome
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Re: New Team

Postby Unome » June 22nd, 2015, 7:59 am

On the note of choosing which Regional to go to (if Texas is anything like Georgia in this sense) make sure to a) for your first year, and until you know your team is good enough to make State in the more competitive Regionals, try to choose a Regional without much competition (if you can find old team lists, you can compare the teams in certain Regionals against old results here to see which teams generally perform better or worse at State; if Texas is like Georgia, then teams will often stay with the Regional they have gone to previously). And b) make sure to sign up for Regionals early, so that the Regional that you want to go to isn't out of space.

Edit: The team list on the Texas state page claims to list the teams by which Regional they are most likely to attend (this may be outdated, but you would have to check the edit history to be sure). Additionally, my Google search shows that several Texas regionals have websites, and if any old regional results are posted there, that will tell you what teams went there, as well as how easy or difficult it would be for a new team to break in.
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Adi1008
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Re: New Team

Postby Adi1008 » June 22nd, 2015, 2:16 pm

On the note of choosing which Regional to go to (if Texas is anything like Georgia in this sense) make sure to a) for your first year, and until you know your team is good enough to make State in the more competitive Regionals, try to choose a Regional without much competition (if you can find old team lists, you can compare the teams in certain Regionals against old results here to see which teams generally perform better or worse at State; if Texas is like Georgia, then teams will often stay with the Regional they have gone to previously). And b) make sure to sign up for Regionals early, so that the Regional that you want to go to isn't out of space.

Edit: The team list on the Texas state page claims to list the teams by which Regional they are most likely to attend (this may be outdated, but you would have to check the edit history to be sure). Additionally, my Google search shows that several Texas regionals have websites, and if any old regional results are posted there, that will tell you what teams went there, as well as how easy or difficult it would be for a new team to break in.
If you are wondering about the regionals you can go in Texas (directed at bossaru_ben, not Unome), there is a list on the Texas State Science Olympiad website on the right column: http://outreach.science.tamu.edu/scienceolympiad.php

LASA and Clements go to the UT Austin one (or at least they did last year as far as I know), and SLHS usually goes to the Texas A&M Galveston one.
University of Texas at Austin '22
Seven Lakes High School '18
Beckendorff Junior High '14

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samlan16
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Re: New Team

Postby samlan16 » June 22nd, 2015, 2:51 pm

I heard of Science Olympiad and I was planning to make my own team at my school. I know a little general information but I'm still very in the dark. I was wondering if you guys could tell me some information to be prepared with before the school year begins.
Although I came from a well-established B division team, my C division team was so weak it was like starting from scratch. PM me if you want more advice, but I would say the hardest yet most important thing is to make sure your team is well- rounded for all 23 events (i.e. not everyone is an engineer, but there are some people into geology, others into the life sciences, etc.) and extremely disciplined. You will need to convince, possibly persuade, your teammates to treat practice as they would a sports practice.

Science Olympiad is not one of those academic extracurriculars that you can just prepare for in class during regular school hours. There will be plenty of times that your team will have to stay late, and you may individually have to pull all-nighters to qualify for state. You need to plan on getting with your team sponsor and establishing times during which you can hold practice, and you will need to convince everyone to show up and work.
Remember, we are proud of every team that participated and you are all winners.

bossaru_ben
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Re: New Team

Postby bossaru_ben » June 24th, 2015, 4:15 pm

Hey Science Olympians,

I heard of Science Olympiad and I was planning to make my own team at my school. I know a little general information but I'm still very in the dark. I was wondering if you guys could tell me some information to be prepared with before the school year begins.

I live in Texas and am in high school.

Thank you for your help! Im really looking forward to entering this community :D
I can't really help you with the part about forming the team, as I was lucky enough to be in a program that was already established and competitive (Beckendorff). However, I do think I can offer some advice.

I think the first thing you should do, if you haven't already, is to get acquainted with how science olympiad is structured and how all the events, ESUS, etc work. As a seventh grader, this was something that I struggled with, and as a result, my first year of science olympiad wasn't really that much fun.

There are 4 types of tournaments in scioly: Invitational, Regional, State, and National. For invitational, they're just competitions you can go to throughout the year, regardless of where you live and how good your team is and stuff. Some teams will travel across the country (for example, Beckendorff went to Ohio for the Wright State invitational, and I think Troy (in California) went to MIT). The reason that a team would do this is because they want to get exposed to higher levels of competition (like competing against Solon, who have won 7? out of the last 8? nationals [they're like super super good]), but since this will be your first year, you probably need not worry about that. Since you're in Div C (high school) in Texas, some invitationals would be Cy-Falls (early November), Langham Creek (I think it's division C at least), and the MIT alumni one in Kingwood (early December).

The first elimination round is regional. In most states, the regional you go to is determined by where your school is, but in Texas, you can go to whichever regional you want. In my experience, a good one is the UT Austin one in late March or the Texas A&M Galveston one in early February. The top few teams go to the state tournament (there are 30? in total), and in Texas, the top 2 teams go to the national tournament. Texas is super super competitive in Dvision C, with three super good teams in LASA (third place at nats), SLHS (*generally* top 10 but got 13th this year), and Clements (narrowly missed going to nats by 7 points).

Another thing you should know is how events are scheduled. Events are put into time blocks that you compete in throughout the day. If you have multiple events in the same time block, you can't compete in all of them (only 1), because you can't be in multiple places at the same time. Building events can be done anytime during the day, and generally teams sign up for times to do them beforehand using something called ESUS. In rarer cases, you just walk in whenever and do it (I personally am not a fan of this).

If you already have a team (generally 15 people and a coach or two minimum), your biggest challenge will be making sure they care about science olympiad and are motivated. Given that I have never started a team or been on a new team, I can't really help there.

So, if you want to start preparing, the first thing to do is take a look at all the events for next year (there's a post somewhere by this guy called "chalker" that has all the events for next year, you can find it somewhere in the general chat place) and start studying for them. There's not much to success in scioly aside from studying and working really really hard in my opinion.

Another thing you might want to take a look at are your goals for the year - are you trying to make regionals? state? nationals? win nationals? Division C in Texas is super tough and very competitive.

I hoped this helped a bit (not sure what stuff I should explain because imo scioly can be complicated), and if you have any questions, feel free to message me. I'm going to be in Division C too next year (at Seven Lakes HS); maybe I'll you around!

Wow, first I have to thank you, all of you, for giving your time to support and help me in this.

Secondly, I've been doing a lot of research and taking notes on general Olympiad information. Adi1008 You really cleared up how the competitions work and what invitationals really are. These are great suggestions, and over the next few days I'm going to look up invitationals so when I get a team up and running we have a few places to practice and get ready for regionals. Considering we are a first year team, I don't think we'll get past regionals, but I'm going to tell the team the goal is to get to state to motivate them.

But thats when school begins, I was wondering if it would be beneficial to the team if i begun to study events and make general study guides for the team to start from. I'm really encouraged and am ready to put in the work for this. You did a fantastic job of supplying me with information I barely know how to reply.

I have general information down on how to guide the team and what to look up for us to study. The first hurdle will be to start the team at my school and register, but once past that the real work is gonna come in. Thank you so much for your help everyone. And I will be looking through the links in this thread for more information and such.

Hope you guys have a good summer!

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Re: New Team

Postby atommot8 » August 5th, 2015, 8:52 am

Quick Question to Everyone:
My school is pretty small and limited and therefore doesn't have the "safety" necessary to preform events such as Chem Lab and Forensics as well as other high demand chemical safety events. How can I overcome this and help propel my team to states and nationals in the future?

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samlan16
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Re: New Team

Postby samlan16 » August 5th, 2015, 9:19 am

Quick Question to Everyone:
My school is pretty small and limited and therefore doesn't have the "safety" necessary to preform events such as Chem Lab and Forensics as well as other high demand chemical safety events. How can I overcome this and help propel my team to states and nationals in the future?
By safety do you mean adult supervision or a fume hood? If it's the latter, you don't really need one for SciOly.
Remember, we are proud of every team that participated and you are all winners.

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Re: New Team

Postby atommot8 » August 5th, 2015, 10:18 am

Quick Question to Everyone:
My school is pretty small and limited and therefore doesn't have the "safety" necessary to preform events such as Chem Lab and Forensics as well as other high demand chemical safety events. How can I overcome this and help propel my team to states and nationals in the future?
By safety do you mean adult supervision or a fume hood? If it's the latter, you don't really need one for SciOly.
I mean like proper counter space and places that you can work properly. We only have 1 sink in our lab since our school is just a bunch of mobile homes stuck together with brick on the outside...


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