*AlWAYS WRiGHT* wrote:So does anyone find it suspicious that Bearden had won State every single year Tennessee has had a SO program except for 1 year?...Not that I would ever infer that they have an unfair disadvantage since many of their coaches work at UT with the SO program and sometimes make the tests.
You have got to be kidding? First off, Bearden has FAR more coaches from other colleges and few from UT. None of them wrote ANY tests for State. Even if they had, it would have been subject to peer review. There also would have been so many challenges the event would likely have been zeroed. The coaches and students put forth so much effort because they see Bearden takes Science and this challenge seriously, it's not just some after school playtime. Bearden has NEVER had a coach from UT that was involved in the tournament in any capacity.
2nd, Bearden wins so often because they actually live and breathe their events. They know the rules and clarifications inside out; they work long hours and have demanding coaches. The students are taught to THINK, search for information and ideas, and how to study properly. What's more, Bearden is only 6th to 8th grade, competing against almost every other schools (up to) 9th grade students.
3rd, Bearden Middle won during the years that the tournament was held at Oak Ridge and UT Martin.
4th, because of Bearden’s enviable track record, they are the bird-on-the-wire, the target of every team, complaint and challenge. If UT for one second lets themselves appear biased in our favor, there would be riots.
I'll give you a few of examples of what Bearden must overcome when competing at State.
Last year, it was thought that Bearden somehow received the State Schedule 1 day early (6 weeks out). Bearden's head coach didn't know others didn't receive it at the same time. A huge ruckus ensued and the schedule was changed just a few weeks before State. Bearden never had any real advantage, and poetically, the new schedule was a godsend.
In a recent years State Board meeting, the ex-director actually stated, "We have got to find a way to keep Bearden Middle from winning every year." I challenge ANY team to stand up against that kind of attitude.
This very year in Trajectory, there is a bucket shot. They may use any bucket from 1 to 5 gallon in size. The projectiles are limited to racquet, tennis, practice golf and ping pong balls. While every other tournament we've found has used 5 gallon buckets, litter pails, or at least a metal gallon paint can, UT chose to use some Fischer-Price sand pail, with a flat side and narrow bottom as well. Even ping pong balls would knock it over. Mind, the better devices use heavier projectiles to overcome the influence of the air. You couldn't even just DROP a racquetball in the bucket and not tip it over, let alone stay. This effectively took ALL bucket shots off the table for scoring. When Bearden addressed this, on behalf of ALL teams and the spirit of the event, they were dismissed outright, with a look of disdain from the event Proctor.
The Trajectory rules also clearly state that the DISTANCE to the bucket be posted after impound. The event proctor posted the coordinates, NOT the Distance. How many 6th graders have had Trig? Bearden’s team knew exactly what to do because they prepare for the worse case scenario, always assuming the event coordinator would only skim the rules, and always assuming the worse interpretation possible. In this case, the word "distance", not "data" was very clear, but because it was Bearden that brought up the issue, it was dismissed entirely, and with disgust. Bearden's team was just fine with the proctor's inability to read the King’s English and very prepared for it. It was NOT to Bearden’s advantage to even bring it up; it was in fairness and consideration for all teams, in particular the younger students. Surely, these college profs, charged with educating the minds of the future might be somewhat familiar with when TRIG is taught to students, and the English language. So was that just a PhD being prideful? If the UT Director himself hadn't been standing right there, perhaps so.
Were you there at the awards ceremony? Did you hear when they called Bearden for 1st places? Did you really listen? It's on HD video, and it's said so often with obvious contempt, like the guy had stepped in something, especially when announcing the overall first place winner. This didn't go unnoticed by Bearden’s kids, parents or coaches. It didn't go unnoticed by other team’s kids, parents and coaches either. It was on display for all the world to hear and it said volumes about what Bearden is up against at UT.
The only thing Bearden has ever expected at any tournament was a level playing field for the children and adherence to the rules, but unlike every other team, Bearden isn't really allowed to ask for that, even when it's in the best interest of all the teams or the spirit of the event itself.
I submit that what you "didn't infer" speaks more for your own character rather than Bearden’s, and it speaks VOLUMES.
You see, at Bearden, we not only teach Science, we also teach the kids how to think, the value of hard work and dedication, the value of responsibility and accountability, along with respect, fairplay and good sportsmanship. While experience certainly helps, it's Bearden's character that earns their Title.
Really, the suggestion that Bearden has any influence at UT is patently absurd, unfounded with no basis in fact, and the exact opposite of the truth.
Furthermore, what you "didn't infer" was a pathetically gross dismissal of Bearden students abilities, hard work and dedication to this program.
Shame on you for that.