New York 2011

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Re: New York 2011

Post by sciencegirl23 » March 20th, 2011, 8:17 pm

Phenylethylamine wrote:.

The one event that we did have a problem with- not in scoring, but in setup- was Mission. I understand that it might be difficult to orchestrate 30-minute setup times for all the teams on the day of competition, but it's not reasonable, with such a volatile event, to expect teams to set up the night before and then give them only five minutes the next day. As far as I can tell, the rules don't account for this. Splitting the time like this adds unnecessary stress, as well as presenting actual logistical problems- electrical wiring can't be left to run all night, and so on. We would almost certainly have done better than 23rd without the fractured setup time; in the chaos of the five-minute final setup, an alligator clip was left undone, and some of our electrically powered steps didn't run.
However, technically this was the same for all teams, so there's not really any grounds for appeal.
Congrats on your win, it was well deserved (: I had a problem with misson too.. If we were just informed of the set up issue, it would have gone a lot smoother. Another problem with misson, was that it was extremely crowded. Just as we finished setting up, another team knocked into our misson accidentally and it went off :shock: We tried to take out all the batteries..but we werent fast enough.. the whole thing except for the last couple steps went off perfectly without any touches :( Our misson was pretty much ruined in the process..the other team told the judges and we were given a little extra time to re-set up. We couldnt repair 5 of the steps.. which meant 5 touches and 16th place :cry:
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Re: New York 2011

Post by TheBalticSea » March 20th, 2011, 8:18 pm

One of hte odd things is that the contested placements for both spackenkill and syosset were both "33." I don't know how they do the scoring-- if they use an excel spreadsheet, or what-- but that seems like a peculiar coincidence. if anything, it makes it more likely that there was a mess-up.

it's true that appealing ecology only helps syosset, but refusing to hear that appeal only helps ward melville, so I think it's even. As much as syosset doesn't want to take a nat's qualification from ward melville, i'm sure ward melville doesn't want to win on the basis of a scoring screw-up, either.

& to adam of the syosset team: i wouldn't recommend having your principal or superintendent get involved. we (gns) tried the same when we got dq'ed and i think it probably only made things worse. they really take their deadlines--whether it be for registering (woops...) or lodging complaints-- very seriously. i think it may have seemed like we were trying to just use brute force to get ourselves into the competition... clearly, that didn't work out in our favor.
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Re: New York 2011

Post by Phenylethylamine » March 20th, 2011, 8:39 pm

TheBalticSea wrote:One of hte odd things is that the contested placements for both spackenkill and syosset were both "33." I don't know how they do the scoring-- if they use an excel spreadsheet, or what-- but that seems like a peculiar coincidence. if anything, it makes it more likely that there was a mess-up.
If it were, say, twenty schools that had unexpected 33rd places in events they thought they'd do well in, maybe there'd be a reason to believe they were connected. As is, with just two teams reporting this phenomenon, I don't think it's a reason to suspect an error particularly more.
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Re: New York 2011

Post by andrewwski » March 20th, 2011, 9:54 pm

personasaurus rex wrote:
pjgscioisamazing wrote: Our (Ward Melville's) MagLev got a time of 1.624, but our prediction was 2.15. We got 3rd place
Yeah the track was really weird. Back at home with a 300 something gram sled ours would be taking something like 4 seconds, so we predicted that. But instead, it went in 1.7 seconds, which was faster than our practiced time with a 250 gram sled.
Can you confirm that the track was actually the right size? My former team apparently had an issue where their vehicle wouldn't fit on the track. The vehicle was 2-17/32" wide (I can confirm this, measured it myself), which should fit on the 2-9/16" wide track just fine, however, they said the vehicle did not fit onto the track (don't know much more as I wasn't there). I know the dimensions of the vehicle didn't leave much of a margin, but it still should have fit. But I wasn't there to see what they were struggling with either.
personasaurus rex wrote:
TheBalticSea wrote:Review of Grading or Scoring for an Appeal
Event supervisors are required to remain one hour after their event ends. The event supervisor is the only person who can explain the grading or scoring of the event and, therefore, any appeals must be made within one hour after the event ends."
how could you appeal about scores an hour after the event ends? The awards ceremony doesn't even start an hour after the last event ends...
That's not the point of appeals. Appeals are for when you feel something was unfair or incorrect about an event - not because you did poorly when you thought you did good. It's very possible to feel good about an event, but if everyone else does too, then you're not necessarily going to come out on top. Appeals are for when you find that something is being run incorrectly in an event, someone is breaking the rules, part of the rules weren't followed, etc.

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Re: New York 2011

Post by Flavorflav » March 21st, 2011, 2:30 am

FueL wrote:
personasaurus rex wrote:And just wondering, if there did turn out to be a mistake in the ecology grading, would they force WM to return their trophy? That seems a tad too harsh haha. Honestly, if I qualified for nats through score recheck, I'd feel bad lol
Yes, they would. We had a less serious issue last year at regionals where they switched our A team's SumoBot score (1st) with our C team's, who didn't do Sumo at all. At the awards ceremony we were called for third, but someone noticed the mix up on the score sheet. The team that had gotten second was just getting on their bus to leave when our coaches found them to exchange trophies. :|
Yeah, that was my fault. Sorry about that.
andrewwski wrote:
Can you confirm that the track was actually the right size? My former team apparently had an issue where their vehicle wouldn't fit on the track. The vehicle was 2-17/32" wide (I can confirm this, measured it myself), which should fit on the 2-9/16" wide track just fine, however, they said the vehicle did not fit onto the track (don't know much more as I wasn't there). I know the dimensions of the vehicle didn't leave much of a margin, but it still should have fit. But I wasn't there to see what they were struggling with either.
There were two tracks, and students were allowed to test both and choose the one they wanted to run on. Our vehicle fit on our track at home which was only 2-17/32", and it ran with no problem, so at least one of the tracks had to wider than that.
Phenylethylamine wrote: Also, yes, there are probably scoring errors that decrease good teams' scores. But you have to assume that there's a roughly equal probability of a scoring error that increases a given team's score, so on the whole, averaged out over many years of competition, all the scoring errors balance out. I know that's neither comforting nor helpful, but it does mean that, practically speaking, Harold Miller's lack of transparency isn't hurting anyone in the long run.


But it would be in everybody's interest to reduce scoring errors. When I grade something at regional, there are five or six of us working on it. At States, you mostly grade by yourself. As a result you have to work much, much faster, and that's when mistakes get made. Problems could be greatly reduced simply by increasing each coach's proctoring assignment to 2 hours instead of one, and assigning the people freed up by that to help grade. Harold seems to think it is too big an imposition. If you want to do something to improve the process, have your coaches volunteer to have longer assignments. It would be more fair, too - between the three of us, our team's coaches spent about 15 hours running events and grading them, not to mention the time it takes to write them. Most school's total assignments add up to two hours. Asking your superintendent to call is only going to make Harold mad, but your coach offering to work longer hours might actually produce a change.

ETA: oops, that should have been about 20 hours of supervision and grading we provided this year, and that is just time at West Point. That's over ten times the amount that most teams provide.
Last edited by Flavorflav on March 22nd, 2011, 2:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New York 2011

Post by starpug » March 21st, 2011, 4:45 am

paleonaps wrote:I know, and I think that number of teams (over 600, I mean, come on) should also be a reason to split.
You guys do realize CA has only 1 team from the North, and 1 team from the South, right? California only has 2 teams as a total for the entire state. Even if they did decide to split New York, no way are they giving NY 4 teams at nationals either, since that would mean moving two of the states who always send 2 teams down to 1
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Re: New York 2011

Post by gneissisnice » March 21st, 2011, 5:34 am

Phenylethylamine wrote:They really can't include any more teams; in fact, some years they can't even have 60, because there just isn't space at the venue. 60 is already pushing the logistical limit.

I'll add this to the anecdotes being thrown around: Gneissisnice can probably tell you more about this, but in 2008, WM placed 3rd at States by a single-digit number of points; they got 27th in Sounds of Music, despite the judges clearly being impressed with their instruments, and despite having done exceptionally well in the event with the same partners and same or similar instruments the previous year. Appeals were unsuccessful.

I don't know if what we should take from this is that you might not have done as well as you thought you did, or that the appeals process doesn't work, but either way, the outcome is the same: regardless of what actually happened, the results are unlikely to change.
That's pretty much the story. The two girls who did it had ALWAYS gotten 1st or 2nd in Sounds of Music at States, and a few years back, one of the girls had gotten 1st at Nationals. The judges said they were very impressed with their instruments and their playing, and they explicitly told them that they got some tricky physics questions right that other teams got wrong. So we were utterly shocked when we found out they got 27th or so. When asked, the judges said "Oh, all the teams placed within half a point of each other, it was very close", and we all had a very hard time of believing that. Appeals didn't work. We missed Nats by 9 points.

But whether there really was a grading mistake or not, the fact was that we just weren't going to Nationals. The judges couldn't just go "Grading was unfair, we redid and sorry Spackenkill, you're not going to Nats anymore". So we missed out on Nats, and that was that. Everyone was upset, but we just had to move on and there was nothing we could do. I know it sucks, big time, but there isn't anything you can do.
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Re: New York 2011

Post by Flavorflav » March 21st, 2011, 6:32 am

A couple of interesting phenomena from States. Most notable of course is how close the top four were, but the whole cluster at the top is closer than it has been before. In the last three years there has always been a gap of at least 150 points somewhere in the top four places (between 3rd and 4th in 2008, 1st and 2nd in 2009, 2nd and 3rd in 2010). This year, the biggest gap in the whole scoresheet is only 78 points. The competition seems to be getting tighter. One other thing I noticed is the rise of Plattsburg. They were literally last place two years ago, and they got 14th this year. One to watch, perhaps - they are rising even faster than Spackenkill (or should I say Spockenkill?) did in the first years of this millennium.

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Re: New York 2011

Post by baker » March 21st, 2011, 7:07 am

Anyone have the winning times for Helio? I saw Chaminade's, 2:08. Ward Melville, Goshen, care to brag a little??

I watched Pelham's tower compete, Ithink I heard them say it was 6.7 gram tower and it broke right at the 15K load, that puts in the 33.5 range. Outstanding work. Congrat's

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Re: New York 2011

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » March 21st, 2011, 10:17 am

What I think about this whole debate is that, if I were in this position, I would at least want to know why I had placed so low. It wouldn't be so much the fact that I want our place to be changed, but that I want to know the reasoning behind our place.
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