Can't Judge a Powder B

MariaK
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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MariaK » February 28th, 2015, 11:51 am

Is it important to test the materials they already gave us like the water, HCI,and NAOH, to test for any differences?

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby samlan16 » February 28th, 2015, 3:16 pm

Is it important to test the materials they already gave us like the water, HCI,and NAOH, to test for any differences?
Yes, it helps to establish a control in order to compare your results after rxns; particularly, things like pH, conductivity, or temperature.
Remember, we are proud of every team that participated and you are all winners.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MareezyWA » March 1st, 2015, 2:48 pm

I am sorry but I simply cannot find the way to post a new topic so hope you won't mind me asking this here. The rules say that test tubes are allowed (for students to bring) as well as spot plates, well plates, reaction plates, beakers or similar small containers for mixing.

I wanted to make sure that plastic (disposable) test tubes with caps are allowed. They make swirling very easy and not messy. These would appear to be legal because they are test tubes and they are also small containers for mixing.

Have students used these in the past and was there a problem?

Thanks for your help.

Mareezy

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MareezyWA » March 1st, 2015, 3:04 pm

Thank you to all who responded. But there were questions about temperature and nearly all the other teams had thermometers. In looking at our state website, there were no rules clarifications posted. We are really thinking that we needed to ask the event supervisor for one... and that is why they looked so flat when all we said was "no" when they asked us if we had one. We should have said, "No, the rules said that event supervisor may provide." Perhaps they thought if we knew the rules, we would ask for it... but this was our first time and we are not sure what to ask the judge just yet. Our coach is going to try to get clarification before state. Thanks again. It makes me very sad that things have to be so confusing to prevent cheating.
Just bring a printout of the rules to all of your events - especially the lab events. When I did CJAP, the "STUDENT MATERIALS" and "SUPERVISOR MATERIALS" were one of the first things listed, and it was written out in a very simple to read list. Don't be afraid to call out the event supervisors for not following instructions - a lot of these people are unpaid volunteers and won't get anything out of this (unlike the competitors, who have a chance of earning medals and bragging rights) so they may or may not care as much.
Make sure your coach brings his or her rules as well in case someone on the team wants to challenge an event for a rules violation.
We had our coach check recently by contacting the regional coordinator. She asked the even supervisor and they apparently were told to provide thermometers. Teams were NOT supposed to bring them. So when they got to us and we told them that we did not bring one (pretty much all other teams had them), they threw out the questions that had to do with temperature. I guess they would have had to DQ a lot of teams for bringing something that was not on the list so the judges thought this was easier. Fine with that. Also, for Crime Busters, at our regional the rules said that distilled water would be provided but they made us take water out of the tap. Wow, with some of these pH's on powders hanging at about 8, distilled water would seem to be pretty important because tap water can vary from pH of 6.8-8.2. Gosh, you are right, you gotta watch everything... sure hope that it is just a lack of experience and not an attempt to give certain teams an advantage because we know that cheating does go on... but I would hope that judges would not enable that.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby Skink » March 1st, 2015, 5:21 pm

I am sorry but I simply cannot find the way to post a new topic so hope you won't mind me asking this here. The rules say that test tubes are allowed (for students to bring) as well as spot plates, well plates, reaction plates, beakers or similar small containers for mixing.

I wanted to make sure that plastic (disposable) test tubes with caps are allowed. They make swirling very easy and not messy. These would appear to be legal because they are test tubes and they are also small containers for mixing.

Have students used these in the past and was there a problem?

Thanks for your help.

Mareezy
These topics are for all-inclusive individual event discussion, so you're correct in posting here!
Anyway, some schools don't, even, have glass over plastic test tubes. You don't see them often, but they are out there. They're absolutely small containers for mixing, at any rate. Now, should they be substituted for glass if available? I'm supposing not. My primary concern is excessive heat from hot plates or matches. They're probably made to not readily melt within acceptable temperature ranges, but I'm not sure about that. You can get stoppers for glass test tubes, too! They're probably not necessary for any mixing seen in this event, though.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby dholdgreve » March 2nd, 2015, 5:40 am

Be careful here... This issue is not with the plastic tubes, but with the caps. The rules specifically do not say that any type of stoppers or caps are allowed, which means they are not, and should be treated as contraband. If you have caps for your tubes, while everyone else does not, you are exercising an unfair advantage over the other teams. I'll be running CJAP at Regionals in a few weeks, and teams with unauthorized equipment will be penalized 5 points for each item I find in the kit that is not on the approved list, whether they have used it or not...
READ THE RULES CAREFULLY!
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"For the betterment of Science"

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MareezyWA » March 2nd, 2015, 5:52 am

Thank you very much. I thought the tubes would be OK but was wondering about the caps. If you say the tubes are OK, we will proceed WITHOUT caps. The caps come with the tubes and are sure not necessary. Glad that you are strict about the rules. At regional, there were students with test tube clamps that are not on the list. Most of the students also had thermometers which were not on the list that students could bring. I am so grateful for this forum and for the opportunity to ask questions so that we do not repeat some of the mistakes that others made but were not penalized for. Our coach always tells us to bring just what is on the list and told us to check because with you because she thought the caps would not be allowed either. Glad that she thinks like you do.

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby dholdgreve » March 2nd, 2015, 6:32 am

Your coach is a wise, wise person! (LOL) Seriously, allowing some teams to have caps or thermometers, while others don't really penalizes the teams that respect and follow the rules. At our regionals, I will be applying a 5 point penalty for every piece of equipment found in the kits that is not on the list... and you will still not be allowed to use it! This will get very costly if you bring in a bag of stoppers!.. In addition, review your safety PPE... Hair shoulder length or longer MUST be tied back AND KEPT BEHIND YOU at all times!... Lab coats and aprons are required to be at least to the knees. Teams that are not in compliance with all safety rules will not be allowed to compete until they are. Most chem aprons are sleeveless, so you must have a long sleeve shirt on under that. If you have a long sleeve shirt on, I can overlook a long sleeve lab coat, since it places a double layer requirement with lab coats and a single layer with aprons, but that's about the only safety issue I can work with.
Dan Holdgreve
Northmont Science Olympiad

Dedicated to the Memory of Len Joeris
"For the betterment of Science"

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby chalker » March 2nd, 2015, 7:01 am

..... At our regionals, I will be applying a 5 point penalty for every piece of equipment found in the kits that is not on the list... and you will still not be allowed to use it! ......
A couple comments here, which as always are unofficial:

1. Keep in mind there are something like 300 regional tournaments that will be held this year, every one run by a different event supervisor. Not all event supervisors will be this diligent to details, nor have the resources they need available.

2. I personally am VERY against applying any sort of penalty per your description. The rules do NOT explicitly call for penalties of this nature (in fact it only says supervisors have the right to penalize up to 10%, which this technique could easily surpass). To the contrary, general rule #5 says the opposite: "Officials are encouraged to apply the least restrictive penalty for rules infractions (see examples in the Scoring Guidelines). Event supervisors must provide prompt notification of any penalty, disqualification or tier ranking." Simply taking away a device they attempted to bring in (and expected to be able to use) is penalty enough. I know I am not alone in this opinion when it comes to others involved at the National office level.

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National Physical Sciences Rules Committee Chair

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Re: Can't Judge a Powder B

Postby MareezyWA » March 2nd, 2015, 10:04 am

Your coach is a wise, wise person! (LOL) Seriously, allowing some teams to have caps or thermometers, while others don't really penalizes the teams that respect and follow the rules. At our regionals, I will be applying a 5 point penalty for every piece of equipment found in the kits that is not on the list... and you will still not be allowed to use it! This will get very costly if you bring in a bag of stoppers!.. In addition, review your safety PPE... Hair shoulder length or longer MUST be tied back AND KEPT BEHIND YOU at all times!... Lab coats and aprons are required to be at least to the knees. Teams that are not in compliance with all safety rules will not be allowed to compete until they are. Most chem aprons are sleeveless, so you must have a long sleeve shirt on under that. If you have a long sleeve shirt on, I can overlook a long sleeve lab coat, since it places a double layer requirement with lab coats and a single layer with aprons, but that's about the only safety issue I can work with.
Thank you once again. We will follow the rules to the letter. I have a brother that was in SO years ago and he warned me too to follow the rules EXACTLY and that penalties can be enforced for violations. That is comforting, actually because our school witnessed outright cheating in other events and if judges were briefed on all the ways that teams can cheat, they may not be caught off guard when someone shows up with something they are uncertain about... it is middle school and they want to see everyone get a chance to do their best... but some schools are so competitive that supervisors need to really take a hard line. I hope the supevisors at state read your remarks. Thank you!


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