National Qualification

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eta150
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Re: National Qualification

Postby eta150 » October 27th, 2009, 9:24 am

The problems mentioned above make implementation of standardized testing very unlikely. How would the “top 60 teams from each division be determined?
If they wanted to have the most competitive possible national tournament, the "standardized" test results would be compiled into a national pool, resulting in the top 60 teams nationally moving on.
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Re: National Qualification

Postby Phenylethylamine » October 27th, 2009, 12:39 pm

Who knows, maybe other countries could get involved and it could be a real world event.
If it does go this way, it will not be by accident. It will take all of the SO alumni to remember how it helped them and do their part to help others.
This is unlikely, since there are already the International Science Olympiads in specific sciences such as chemistry, etc. True, those are a very different sort of competition, but they do seem to fill that international niche (not to mention the naming problems. Those already have the name "International Science Olympiad." If our SciO expanded outside the US, what would they call it? lol this probably isn't the biggest problem, but still).
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Re: National Qualification

Postby Deeisenberg » October 30th, 2009, 8:34 am

The problems mentioned above make implementation of standardized testing very unlikely. How would the “top 60 teams from each division be determined?
If they wanted to have the most competitive possible national tournament, the "standardized" test results would be compiled into a national pool, resulting in the top 60 teams nationally moving on.
I had written a rant, but I feel like being concise. Here is an outline of why the current system is superior to any all star team or standardized test/national regionals idea.

-If you have a "nationals-regionals" with standardized tests in which the 60 best teams go to nationals then...
-There is no need for nationals, you already have national rankings of all teams.
-People will whine that it is unfair who makes it to "national-regionals" because some states and regions are more competitive, so getting spots still harder than in some places than other places.

-Standardized testing is impractical because...
-For building events you would need near identical floors, ceilings, ceiling heights, air currents, temperatures, humidities, etc. for things to be fair.
-You would need identical weather, or else it would be unfair to people who, lets say have their sounds go out of tune because they needed to run through the rain.
-You would need multiple schools across the country to agree on a single date, and be provided with event supervisors with similar knowledge of the test being given and the subject at hand, all who are equally willing to provide help in explaining a question that may be badly worded.
-You would not be able to get these venues to agree on one date because they all have different things going on.
-Sending the tests all over the country could result in leaks.

-National-regionals are impractical because...
-There isn't time in the year.
-They increase the cost pressure on individual schools by increasing travel expenses for the year.
-Making it there would be no more "fair".
-Any extra competitions require extra money. You can't run these competitions for free.
-You may not be able to find people willing and able to run all events at the designated times in all of the different locations across the country creating complications.

-All star teams are faulty because they...
-Make it hard to organize things.
-Cost too much.
-Increase cost pressure on school districts.
-Best on the test at the competition still doesn't mean best in the state (It can, but if you've been to as many competitions as I have, you will realize this is fare from always the case.)
-They go against the spirit of Science Olympiad by diminishing the influence of teamwork.
-They go against the pro-teamwork beliefs of most educators.
-They encourage teams not to try to strive in all areas, but to strive in one or two areas so they can make it to nationals.
-They make nationals too big and expensive.
You can read about why they chose to do it that way here: http://soinc.org/allstar_teams
Great reasons there too.

and so on, and so on...

The current system is...
-Cost effective
-Working
-Tried and true
-No more unfair than any other system
-Practical
-Easy to organize (Well at least in comparison to other systems.)
etc.
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Re: National Qualification

Postby sean9keenan » October 31st, 2009, 6:09 pm

I'm going to keep this short because I should be writing college essays right now, but...

Oftentimes I'm faced with the question of why someone should want to do Science Olympiad over say TSA (Technology Students Association)
From what I can tell they do have a system that works, and is very different from the system that we currently implement in Science Olympiad. They DO in fact focus more on individual events over the team on a whole, which from what I've seen not only reduces teamwork, but reduces the competitiveness of the entire affair, people aren't as motivated to work on their events. I know one of the reasons that I work hard on my events is that I know everyone else on my team is, and I don't want to let them down. Science Olympiad was founded on teamwork and what I think makes our team so special, and Olympiad so special, is that it really is a team, I love my team, and it's not about the individual events. TSA also faces higher costs for competitions, seems less competitive, and all in all is more of an ego/resume booster for people. Maybe it only seems that way from my perspective at my school, but I like the way that we do teams now, not only because of ALL the points that Deeisenberg pointed out, but also because of the way that Science Olympiad was founded. I believe it was founded in the idea of teamwork, if I remember correctly the idea of how science olympiad was to be run was mocked, people didn't think that it would work, they had TSA, people thought that that would be better. Now personally I'm glad that I'm in Science Olympiad, and it obviously has become quite a success. There are other differences I point out when i recruit people, but those are the ones that concern the difference between an All-Star idea and the system that we have in olympiad.

Just my 2 cents,

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Re: National Qualification

Postby eta150 » December 3rd, 2009, 12:42 pm

When the time comes, is this also the place where the national qualifiers are to be posted?
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Re: National Qualification

Postby gh » December 3rd, 2009, 11:47 pm

This is Science Olympiad. It's (practically) completely within the US. Yes, the winning team would not contain the best individuals for the events. If there were an international SO, this would put the US at a disadvantage against the communists (especially the Soviets, as the Chinese only beat us in the IMO and IOI). However, there is not an international SO, and so we're perfectly content with the less competitive system.

This is the same reason why we rank people instead of doing single-elimination rounds between individual participants. It matters less who is the best, but instead... something else that sounds better when written in a fancy, well-crafted mission statement for a non-profit.

More importantly:
I am against the national-regionals tournaments, or that those should decide which teams are invited to the national tournament, because FIRST has that system. I have no need to say more.
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Re: National Qualification

Postby sciencegeek100 » February 20th, 2010, 9:29 pm

Every state should get 2 teams regardless of size, competitivness etc. It's the only way to be completely fair to everyone and not cause problems. Any agreement to adjust that i.e give some states 3 others 1 needs to be agreed on by a certain number of the states.
of course 2 schools from some place like rhode island and another like california are completely different, way more teams in cali and so cali should get more...
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Re: National Qualification

Postby sisomg11 » February 21st, 2010, 11:20 am

I am a cross country runner, and I don't see why a variation on a cross country system could not be put into place. What I mean is that in cross country "playoffs" (as in golf) the best team(s) advance to the next round. However, individuals with high places can also advance separately from their teams. From a SO perspective, the top team in each state could go to nationals as well as the gold medal winners in each event (many of which admittedly would be the same) so that the best people in each event as well as the best overall team could be crowned national champs.
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Re: National Qualification

Postby AlphaTauri » February 21st, 2010, 3:48 pm

Personally, I like the system as is. True, it may not be the 60 best teams in the country, but if we decided to have the 60 best teams in the country compete, it would be very, very lopsided. Powerhouses like Ohio would be able to send lots of teams to nats, and lesser states wouldn't get to compete at all.

Plus, it would be difficult to switch to a new system after 26 years of this one.
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Re: National Qualification

Postby zyzzyva980 » February 21st, 2010, 8:02 pm

Actually, in Kansas, at least last year, winners at the regional level were able to advance to state even if their team didn't.
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