Junkyard Challenge B

User avatar
ichaelm
Member
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: October 23rd, 2008, 3:10 pm
Division: Grad
State: PA
Location: CWRU, Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby ichaelm » May 26th, 2010, 2:05 pm

Mrcadman: I really doubt that 14 teams got better than 60.0002 seconds. The reaction time of the person dropping the ball is not nearly that accurate. So even if the judges were using a perfect timing system (and they weren't), it would be impossible to be that accurate consistently. Also, our video showed 60.2 seconds between me dropping the ball and the 4th mouse trap tripping, and that doesn't even factor in my reaction time, so we probably got over 60.2 seconds, yet we still got 8th place.

Since you guys got 15th place, it's impossible that you got better than 6.2 seconds (assuming the mean score was somewhere close to accurate), as well as anyone between 9th and 14th. Not that you were bad or something; it all came down to human reaction time on both sides (the judges and the competitors). So if all of the 1st through 15th place teams had electronics (or something else that was just a good and actually creative), then it really all came down to luck between those places! So congratz to everyone who competed in the 15-or-more-sided dice roll for JYC at nats! Even if the judges had used a good timing system, it would have still depended on human reaction time, which can not be that accurate. Man, they really messed up on the rules this year.

Another note: if your device had a digital readout on it for the time, then that's really useless because it doesn't factor in the time it took for the ball to leave the person's hand and hit the switch, nor does it factor in the competitor's reaction time. Just wondering, what kinds of systems did everyone use? I saw some electric ones, like motors turning strings, or RC circuits. I used a BASIC stamp 1, and some high-power BJTs salvaged from this old computer I found on the side of the road. We used motors that tugged on short tight strings to trip the mouse traps. Did anyone here get a medal?

User avatar
gyourkoshaven
Member
Member
Posts: 459
Joined: April 14th, 2008, 12:16 pm
Division: C
State: PA
Location: SHHS

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby gyourkoshaven » May 27th, 2010, 8:23 am

LOL. 4th Post in the thread. Fester is psychic.

Uncle Fester wrote:About the only thing linking the video with the 09-10 event are the "four parts".

In short, what you're doing is:
assemble the thing on-site with all parts and tools crammed inside a box
drop the ball
snap mousetrap #1
snap mousetrap #2
snap mousetrap #3
snap mousetrap #4
and take a specified amount of time doing it.

Assorted penalties for stuff like mousetraps bouncing around, traps not snapping in correct order, timing being off, traps not being the correct distance from the center, etc.

20-way tie for first place!
Strath Haven MS:
2008: Regionals-3, States-5
2009: Regionals-2, States-4
2010: Regionals-1, States-2, Nationals-19 :)
2011 (Co-captain): Regionals-1, States-1, Nationals-11 :D

Nationals: Aquifers-37, Compute This-13, Dynamic Planet-25, Ecology-6, Experimental Design-7, Junkyard-33

Moving to C...

jander14indoor
Member
Member
Posts: 1538
Joined: April 30th, 2007, 7:54 am
State: -

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby jander14indoor » May 28th, 2010, 10:13 am

Note, the event was never 'intended' to be a precision timed, it was 'intended' to be build on site. Unfortunately the rules didn't implement that intent. If it had been foreseen to need this level of precision to distinquish results, the rules would have been changed. While it is possible to time to thousands of a second as discussed on this forum, the results would still have reflected random chance, NOT student expertise. As already mentioned, students reaction in dropping the ball to a prompt had error larger than a tenth of a second which covered multiple otherwise perfect teams!

Oh, and how did you time with a video to ten thousandths of a second? Normal frame rate is 30 frames per second, that's only good to 3 hundredths. Did you have a highspeed video? 10000 frames per second? You can get that kind of precision with audio, but not normal video.

OK, lesson learned, new rules for next year will hopefully get this event where it was intended, a build on site event which challenges students to prepare engineered solutions in advance, bring a plan of attack to the contest, but to react to 'surprises' the day of the event.

For next year:
The Junkyard contents will be specified for the students. Students provide the materials up to what will fit in a standard box along with all tools for impound. The items will be common, low cost materials, plates, straws, toothpicks, etc. Students provide junkyard contents to fill the box. No pre-assembly.
The tasks will be generically pre-specified with some degree of variation you only learn on site, but nothing like the unknown material of several years back.
The tasks break down into two broad categories. Structures and materiel movers. Students will learn which general task they must execute and its specific parameters at the tournament.
Scoring will be open ended efficiency type measures. No such thing as a perfect score like last year. No need for levels of precision which guanrantee random selection of the winner.

I'm not going to get more specific as the rules are still in draft and may change, but not hugely from that overview.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI

User avatar
ichaelm
Member
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: October 23rd, 2008, 3:10 pm
Division: Grad
State: PA
Location: CWRU, Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby ichaelm » May 28th, 2010, 10:29 am

Thanks for the info!!! Sounds kind of like mystery architecture from, I think 2007? That was a good/hard/fun event! Although I'll be in division C next year, so I (probably) won't have the opportunity to do junkyard.

wlsguy
Member
Member
Posts: 366
Joined: March 23rd, 2009, 9:08 am
Division: Grad
State: OH
Location: Ohio

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby wlsguy » May 30th, 2010, 6:34 am

I think next year that LESS rules is actually better. The idea of specifying the junkyard box contents will only increase the likelihood that every team will have the same device. They will look around and all copy each other. The rules this year were too restrictive.

I would suggest that the rules be made vaguer. Obviously glue, taping to the floor, dangerous items, and similar things should be banned. Other than that, everything should be ok.

The key is to change the task for every competition (like WIDI changes models) and give the task to the teams with a limited amount of time for pre-building (say a week before the competition). This allows for some (not all) pre-building, allows for the event supervisor to make modifications to make the tasks more difficult for their area (Ohio State vs Regional tournaments), and keeps everyone thinking throughout the season.

Bonuses still need to be awarded for teams finishing in 30 minutes and all teams must finish in the 1 time slot. The event supervisor at each tournament can come up with their own tasks and point structure (again like WIDI). Event supervisors can be encouraged to submit their tasks to the soinc site or add them to the wiki so they help others come up with new ideas and methods.

This is similar to the original concept of the event and would be better than another round like this year or another Mystery Arch.

What does everyone else think? I know that many soinc leaders read this forum and, if you have opinions, they may take them into consideration.

rjm
Member
Member
Posts: 75
Joined: March 31st, 2002, 4:07 pm
State: -
Location: Grand Haven, MI

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby rjm » May 30th, 2010, 10:08 am

This event will be very much like MA, with the exception that the materials you build with are specified in the body of the rules and not subject to the notions of some recently-recruited event supervisor. That will help. I coached MA from 2000 through 2006 and generally found that this was a difficult event to run well at tournaments.

MA and this version of JYC emphasizes creativity and insight rather than methodical engineering development. There will be no well-made devices, that's not the objective. The thought is that this will require problem solving under pressure.

When I coached MA, I wrote a large number of practice problems for my kids to use for building skills and for finding workable starting points for problems. When I handed the job off to another coach on our team, he had plenty of practices ready to use. One of the weaknesses of the event was that whoever was writing the problem for a given tournament might think of a structural or functional device in some completely off-the-wall manner, provide inappropriate materials, or an unrealistic scoring scheme, and the real contest became one of coping with these unknowns. So, there were times when the outcome measured the scientific or engineering problem solving skills of students and other times when a flash of insight and a lucky combination of circumstances led to success. What you can do to prepare is to pool your imaginations and experiences and develop good practices.

If the event is eventually run as a core set of rules and a library of off-the-shelf problems from which an ES may choose and lightly modify, then perhaps there is room for constructive input from this group in proposing interesting but buildable problems. Think about it.

Bob Monetza
Grand Haven, MI

biology+astronomy
Member
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 8:19 am
Division: B
State: PA

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby biology+astronomy » July 2nd, 2010, 8:48 am

When do they post the new task? I've been absolutely DYING to know so we can start working on it... and so we can ask questions in time this year. If anyone finds out, lemme know. Thankss(:
Delaware Valley Science Olympiad(:
Junkyard Challenge is the event... we aim to WIN.

User avatar
ichaelm
Member
Member
Posts: 440
Joined: October 23rd, 2008, 3:10 pm
Division: Grad
State: PA
Location: CWRU, Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby ichaelm » July 2nd, 2010, 11:16 am

Usually they come out with the official rules around September 15th, I think? That's not a definite date, that's an estimate. But if it helps at all with your ideas, read the post right above yours if you haven't already!

GoNerdHerd
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 56
Joined: April 10th, 2010, 7:31 am
Division: B
State: MI

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby GoNerdHerd » July 7th, 2010, 11:15 am

Does anyone have predictions/guesses towards the topic of 2011?
2010 Regionals
1st Dynamic Planet
4th Meteorology
8th Can't Judge A Powder

2011 Regionals
2nd Meteorology
5th Compute This
6th Battery Buggy

2012 Regionals
1st Meteorology
4th Disease Detectives
5th Awesome Aquifers

User avatar
brobo
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 445
Joined: April 8th, 2009, 2:44 pm
Division: C
State: TX
Location: MINECRAFT!
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby brobo » July 7th, 2010, 11:31 am

No one will no anything until the rules come out. However, a few little hints have been dropped, and it sounds like the topic will be less about building a functioning device and more about creatively building a device on site under pressure.

I think it sounds cool, I can't wait!
Image--Texas!

brobo's Userpage

"Let's put all our differences behind us, for science. You monster."

Ubuntu is awesome.

AlphaTauri
Staff Emeritus
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 829
Joined: September 11th, 2009, 1:41 pm
Division: Grad
State: PA
Location: 04h 35m 55.239s, +16° 30′ 33.49″
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby AlphaTauri » July 7th, 2010, 2:48 pm

So, if this happens, JYC will basically become a new version of Mystery Architecture (only more Rube-Goldberg-ish)? I've done stuff like this at school, and trust me, it's not easy to build anything that works in an hour. I shudder to think of all the logistical challenges involved in running such an event, especially at larger competitions with 40-60 teams. Still sounds cool, though!
Hershey Science Olympiad 2009 - 2014
Volunteer for Michigan SO 2015 - 2018

]\/[ Go Blue!

User avatar
brobo
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 445
Joined: April 8th, 2009, 2:44 pm
Division: C
State: TX
Location: MINECRAFT!
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby brobo » July 7th, 2010, 3:30 pm

Actually, the way I read it, its going to be more like the 2009 JYC, where you have a mystery item that you have to incorporate into your device... Idk. We'll just have to wait until September.
Image--Texas!

brobo's Userpage

"Let's put all our differences behind us, for science. You monster."

Ubuntu is awesome.

masterhat
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 44
Joined: February 10th, 2008, 7:53 am
Division: Grad
State: IL

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby masterhat » July 8th, 2010, 2:16 pm

I think that sounds kind of silly. I've heard that it allows students to use random items like paper plates and straws (but supposedly not the straw wrapper?). I think the concept is good, but the event is kind of going down the tubes. I believe that with this event as proposed, it will make it so that people have bad building technique. I also feel that teams will be more likely to cheat because they all have the same time and building materials to start out with.

I have heard a different set of rules that i believe is a better alternative. It is where 10 challenges are announced for the year (could be like tipping the scale, coin sorter, and mousetrap triggering). Then, a month ahead of a competition, it is cut down to 2 for regionals, 3 for state, and 4 for nationals. All of the parts could be predesigned like this year (but with stricter limits on things like microcontrollers) and put into a box. I think this would make teams realize that they need to use the same parts for different tasks and would be challenging and fun. It would also create a bigger spread between the best and worst teams.

User avatar
haven chuck
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 343
Joined: April 28th, 2007, 2:35 pm
Division: C
State: PA
Location: Strath Haven

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby haven chuck » July 8th, 2010, 3:11 pm

robodude wrote:Actually, the way I read it, its going to be more like the 2009 JYC, where you have a mystery item that you have to incorporate into your device... Idk. We'll just have to wait until September.

I think the whole mystery material idea is gone for good. Rather, I think it's a mystery objective. You bring a box of unaltered supplies, and have practiced before hand with a basic idea of the task (i.e. build a tower/bridge/cantilever). Then, at the competition they pick the specific objective, like "build the lightest tower to hold x mass" or "build the tower with a square base of 20 cm per edge and a max height of 20 cm with the greatest efficiency". This would reward teams who had practiced and knew how to use their materials, and would eliminate the "perfect score" idea from last year. This is just how I interpreted the brief summary of next year that jander14indoor posted a while back (quoted below). I could be way off, so take what I said with a grain of salt.
jander14indoor wrote:Note, the event was never 'intended' to be a precision timed, it was 'intended' to be build on site. Unfortunately the rules didn't implement that intent. If it had been foreseen to need this level of precision to distinquish results, the rules would have been changed. While it is possible to time to thousands of a second as discussed on this forum, the results would still have reflected random chance, NOT student expertise. As already mentioned, students reaction in dropping the ball to a prompt had error larger than a tenth of a second which covered multiple otherwise perfect teams!

Oh, and how did you time with a video to ten thousandths of a second? Normal frame rate is 30 frames per second, that's only good to 3 hundredths. Did you have a highspeed video? 10000 frames per second? You can get that kind of precision with audio, but not normal video.

OK, lesson learned, new rules for next year will hopefully get this event where it was intended, a build on site event which challenges students to prepare engineered solutions in advance, bring a plan of attack to the contest, but to react to 'surprises' the day of the event.

For next year:
The Junkyard contents will be specified for the students. Students provide the materials up to what will fit in a standard box along with all tools for impound. The items will be common, low cost materials, plates, straws, toothpicks, etc. Students provide junkyard contents to fill the box. No pre-assembly.
The tasks will be generically pre-specified with some degree of variation you only learn on site, but nothing like the unknown material of several years back.
The tasks break down into two broad categories. Structures and materiel movers. Students will learn which general task they must execute and its specific parameters at the tournament.
Scoring will be open ended efficiency type measures. No such thing as a perfect score like last year. No need for levels of precision which guanrantee random selection of the winner.

I'm not going to get more specific as the rules are still in draft and may change, but not hugely from that overview.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI
2010 Can't Judge a Powder- NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
2010 Science Crimebusters- 3rd in the NATION

AlphaTauri
Staff Emeritus
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 829
Joined: September 11th, 2009, 1:41 pm
Division: Grad
State: PA
Location: 04h 35m 55.239s, +16° 30′ 33.49″
Contact:

Re: Junkyard Challenge B

Postby AlphaTauri » July 8th, 2010, 8:06 pm

haven chuck wrote:
robodude wrote:Actually, the way I read it, its going to be more like the 2009 JYC, where you have a mystery item that you have to incorporate into your device... Idk. We'll just have to wait until September.

I think the whole mystery material idea is gone for good. Rather, I think it's a mystery objective. You bring a box of unaltered supplies, and have practiced before hand with a basic idea of the task (i.e. build a tower/bridge/cantilever). Then, at the competition they pick the specific objective, like "build the lightest tower to hold x mass" or "build the tower with a square base of 20 cm per edge and a max height of 20 cm with the greatest efficiency". This would reward teams who had practiced and knew how to use their materials, and would eliminate the "perfect score" idea from last year. This is just how I interpreted the brief summary of next year that jander14indoor posted a while back (quoted below). I could be way off, so take what I said with a grain of salt.
jander14indoor wrote:For next year:
The Junkyard contents will be specified for the students. Students provide the materials up to what will fit in a standard box along with all tools for impound. The items will be common, low cost materials, plates, straws, toothpicks, etc. Students provide junkyard contents to fill the box. No pre-assembly.
The tasks will be generically pre-specified with some degree of variation you only learn on site, but nothing like the unknown material of several years back.
The tasks break down into two broad categories. Structures and materiel movers. Students will learn which general task they must execute and its specific parameters at the tournament.
Scoring will be open ended efficiency type measures. No such thing as a perfect score like last year. No need for levels of precision which guanrantee random selection of the winner.

I'm not going to get more specific as the rules are still in draft and may change, but not hugely from that overview.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI
I think the mystery objective version would probably be the "best" way to run JYC (although the "structure" category is basically an organized version of the mad dash to build a bridge/tower/etc. while at the competition because you didn't build one beforehand). Personally, I didn't like this year's rules, because of the whole issue with several perfect scores and because, to me, it sorta killed the idea of the event (Rube-Goldberg-esque devices) and made it a lot more like Mission Possible instead.
Hershey Science Olympiad 2009 - 2014
Volunteer for Michigan SO 2015 - 2018

]\/[ Go Blue!


Return to “2010 Build Events”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests