Highest Scores this Year

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blakinator8
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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby blakinator8 » May 18th, 2015, 9:21 am

Our Device (5th at Nats) received a score of 1096.2, after not receiving credit for one of 6 ETS's. Our time was 111.3 seconds, 0.3 off of the ideal time.
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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby bernard » May 18th, 2015, 9:33 am

Our Device (5th at Nats) received a score of 1096.2, after not receiving credit for one of 6 ETS's. Our time was 111.3 seconds, 0.3 off of the ideal time.
Did you not receive credit for one ETS because it didn't work or because it wasn't legal?

Also, being off by 0.3 seconds didn't affect your score since scoring points/penalties are for each full second.
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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby blakinator8 » May 18th, 2015, 9:34 am

I'll explain the legality issue with the device in another post. I'd be curious if anyone else who medaled would be willing to post.
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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby SWAnG » May 18th, 2015, 12:36 pm

We had 118 golf balls and 6 ETSs

But then Table 8 happened.... rip 5 out of our 6 ETSs....

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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby JonB » May 18th, 2015, 12:39 pm

We had 118 golf balls and 6 ETSs

But then Table 8 happened.... rip 5 out of our 6 ETSs....
How big was the device? And what happened at Table 8?

We had a part fail that had never failed us before causing a premature buzzer and a stray ball to roll out of the device. It's such a crazy event... But a whole lot of fun either way.

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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby SWAnG » May 18th, 2015, 3:06 pm

53x53x53

The event supervisor at table 8 took away points from people's device because of a specific ruling of his, numerous appeals were sent in (including Troy and myself) and the rules committee rejected these appeals. Sad thing is that if we had been at one of the other 8 tables, things may have been different.. and the committee doesn't allow students to represent themselves, either. In an event as complicated as mission, it's hard to explain to many coaches what you are defending. Our same device was accepted at EVERY single one of the six tournaments I competed in this year (including state), with no questions asked. Spent a solid 100+ hours on our mission, and had been up-to-date with all the rules and FAQS (I even sent my own FAQs in). I'm sure Troy and other teams did too. The ambiguity of the rules is ridiculous. If there is even a possibility of two different interpretations both should be accepted, correct? It's not like we are able to understand what each event supervisor is going to think when we get there... I have no idea what I could have done more to be aware of this specific interpretation of the rules. I've competed at the national tournament for 4 years, and mission last year. I never have encountered an event supervisor who was so close-minded to other interpretations before. In his statement on the appeal, he even made up a quote from me and drew several diagrams on a point he hadn't mentioned during the judging previously.... Though mission is no longer running next year, I sincerely hope effort is in place to prevent these type of incidents for other events in the future. It reflects poorly on the organization when certain event supervisors are try to take away hard work that students have put into their events, and when the committee fails to see that in the appeals as well.

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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby blakinator8 » May 18th, 2015, 4:19 pm

As promised, here is a post about how our device worked. With nationals over and this event out of the rotation for the foreseeable future, I hope that others are willing to share the methods they used for this event as well.

Here is a video of the device running(no audio, but you can imagine when the buzzer sounds): https://vimeo.com/125410065
The ASL we created is also attached to this post. We decided to use purely mechanical and electrical transfers, mostly because of the headaches we had with chemical, thermal, and emag transfers last year.
StateNationalsASL.pdf
(115.01 KiB) Downloaded 108 times
The bulk of the transfers were created out of modified relays. The relays were used only as a means to get a mechanical movement from an electric current, per the "one transfer per component" rule. Two external wires were attached to the relay, which were pushed together by the armature on the relay. Image
Each golf ball is dropped by a motor allowing the ball to fall in, which subsequently hits a microswitch visible on the side of each motor housing. This setup was created from scratch after the FAQs in early March were posted.
Image

The variable time requirement was met by using two mechanical timers. These timers worked in the same style as egg timers, but had a range of 60 seconds instead of 60 minutes. This allowed us to get precision within a second. The timers were initially triggered by pulling out a nail wedged between two gears, and trigger the buzzer by hitting a microswitch when the second timer reaches completion. This was possibly the trickiest and least reliable part of the device. Image
Image

We made the device as small as we were realistically able to. Here are some images with scale, for reference.
Image
Image
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Our score at Nats was 1096.2 (as the proctor mentioned to us). It would have been 50 points higher if the proctor had agreed with our understanding of the rules. I essentially want to copy and paste what SWAnG had posted- We have taken a version of this device to seven competitions this year, including MIT, Wright State, and our State competition. Our proctor at Wright State was also judging our device at nationals, and he had no issue with our initial golf ball drop at the earlier tournament. One of the reasons our team goes to so many tournaments throughout the year is to figure out these sort of problems before it really matters. My partner and I also submitted numerous FAQs throughout the year, albeit none specifically about the issue the proctors ended up having with our device. Even if we had known the night before that they had this interpretation of the rules, we could have done something about it. Applying the general rules of science olympiad, I think that our interpretation of the rules should have been deemed acceptable because we did not " interpret the rules [to] have an unfair advantage," per the national general rules policy. It is difficult to identify what the "spirit of the problem" is when the rules and FAQs are seemingly contradictory and changing completely two months before the national competition. Additionally, I agree that students need to have a chance to explain themselves to an arbitration committee. I had to spend an hour during the day explaining the nature of the problem to my coach and writing an appeal, instead of worrying about the study event I still had.

We were right next to table 8- here's a photo of us running the device and then frantically searching for relevant FAQs, lol.
Image
Image

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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby SWAnG » May 18th, 2015, 4:59 pm

Completely agreeing with you. The fact that all of the complaints were ONLY at table 8 made the ruling quite ridiculous....

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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby patil215 » May 18th, 2015, 5:05 pm

I was blakinator8's partner on Mission this year. I'll add a little bit about the history of our initial device and how it changed throughout the year.

Initially at the beginning of the year, the event required lifting golf balls into scoring jugs in between ETS's. Initially, we started by using mousetraps to launch them into the scoring jug.

Later, for the MIT competition, we modified the design to lift golf balls vertically through a tube. The way this worked was via a threaded rod connected to a motor with a wingnut on it. When the rod rotated, the wingnut moved up and pushed golf balls.

We also used relays for all the ETS's. The way we did this was by having each relay convert between electrical and mechanical and increasing the number each time, so the first ETS would we M->E->M, the second M->E->M->E->M, the third M->E->M->E-M->E->M, etc. Later we had to modify this slightly by removing the cover from the relays and having them connect two external wires, as blakinator stated, but the general concept still remained.

Here's what we took to MIT, minus the relay boards and the second tube. We initially planned on having 6 ETS, but the night before the competition parts began failing so we only got 1. We placed third with this device:
Image

The tube on the side contained three golf balls that were lifted one at a time by the motor in between ETS. In the empty space under the golf jug was where the boards containing the relay was placed. The key concept for triggering each ETS was the presence of magnetic switches attached by strings of the right length to the wingnut that moved up. As a golf ball was dropped, the magnetic switch would be triggered, shutting off the motor and starting an ETS, which would subsequently start the lifting motor again.

Once the rules were changed in march (for god's sake, why), we had to modify our device to what blakinator has already described. With this device we were able to place first at State and fifth at Nationals. Had it not been for the 50 point deduction the proctors took due to inconsistent and unclear interpretations of the rules, we had a very high likelihood of winning this event.

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Re: Highest Scores this Year

Postby chalker » May 18th, 2015, 6:53 pm

..... and the committee doesn't allow students to represent themselves, either. In an event as complicated as mission, it's hard to explain to many coaches what you are defending. ...... The ambiguity of the rules is ridiculous. If there is even a possibility of two different interpretations both should be accepted, correct? ......
I don't know any specific details of what happened at Mission, beyond the high level report I heard Sunday from the arbitration committee, so I can't speak to your specific situation. However, I can share the following:

1. The national arbitration committee is completely independent of the event supervisors, and in many case hasn't been involved in creating the rules or the FAQs. This is partially on purpose, so they have a somewhat objective, 'outsider' perspective when appeals are being considered.

2. There were several MP appeals Saturday (8 or 9 i think). Only 3 involved 'table 8', and 2 of those were rejected and 1 accepted.

3. The arbitration committee believes strongly in the idea that as long as it's within the spirit of the event and not explicitly forbidden, it's allowed. Over the years I've seen NUMEROUS event supervisors get upset at them for not ruling based upon their 'intention of the rules' versus what is actually written in the rules.

4. The arbitration committee will (and has) as needed solicit input from sources other than the coach (including personally visiting the event venue, examining devices, and talking to students). All appeals need to start from a coach as a matter of policy, which is important because it usually forces teams to sit down and concisely summarize what the issue is. They don't have enough time to have people rambling on in front of them trying to get to a point.

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