Nationals Event Discussion

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » June 7th, 2019, 6:18 am

Collecting people's ratings yields these average ratings (sorry people who didn't provide numerical ratings, but I didn't try to guess what you would have given :P )
Anatomy: No ratings
Battery Buggy: 10 (4 ratings)
Boomilever: 9.5 (2 ratings)
Circuit Lab: 8 (1 rating)
Crime Busters: 9 (1 rating)
Density Lab: 8 (1 rating)
Disease Detectives: 6 (2 ratings)
Dynamic Planet: 10.3 (4 ratings)
ELG: 5 (1 rating)
ExpD: No ratings
Fossils: 7.6 (5 ratings)
Game On: 7.5 (2 ratings)
Heredity: 9 (1 rating)
Herpetology: 7 (1 rating)
Meteorology: 11.5 (2 ratings)
Mystery Architecture: 5 (2 ratings)
Potions and Poisons: 7.5 (1 rating)
Road Scholar: 9 (1 rating)
Roller Coaster: 10 (3 ratings)
Solar System: 9.5 (2 ratings)
Thermodynamics: 8.7 (3 ratings)
Water Quality: 2 (2 ratings)
WIDI: No ratings
Anatomy: 8.3 (4 ratings)
Astronomy: 10 (1 rating)
Boomilever: 9 (1 rating)
Chemistry Lab: 8 (2 ratings)
Circuit Lab: 10 (1 rating)
Codebusters: 9.3 (4 ratings)
Designer Genes: 9 (3 ratings)
Disease Detectives: 7 (5 ratings)
Dynamic Planet: 6 (1 rating)
ExpD: 8.5 (1 rating)
Fermi Questions: 9.7 (3 ratings)
Forensics: 8 (2 ratings)
Fossils: 10 (1 rating)
Geologic Mapping: 9 (1 rating)
Herpetology: 3 (3 ratings)
Mission Possible: 8 (1 rating)
Mousetrap Vehicle: 10 (1 rating)
Protein Modeling: 8.3 (2 ratings)
Sounds of Music: 5 (1 rating)
Thermodynamics: 9 (1 rating)
Water Quality: 6.5 (2 ratings)
Wright Stuff: 9 (1 rating)
WIDI: 8 (1 rating)
Keep those ratings coming!
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by TheWood » June 7th, 2019, 7:50 am

I didn’t assign actual ratings to my events so here goes
Expd:6/10
Code:9/10
Geomapping:7.5/10
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Oldies But Goodies

Post by SOcoachB » June 7th, 2019, 12:04 pm

Apparently, the placings for the Oldies but Goodies events are not coming. They posted the first-place winning teams on the screen before the opening ceremony, but that's it. Nobody else who participated in these events gets to find out how they did.

I don't get it. The people running these events must have scored the tests to find the winners. Why can't the tournament put the rankings on a spreadsheet and post it somewhere?

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Re: Oldies But Goodies

Post by sciolyperson1 » June 7th, 2019, 1:25 pm

SOcoachB wrote:Apparently, the placings for the Oldies but Goodies events are not coming. They posted the first-place winning teams on the screen before the opening ceremony, but that's it. Nobody else who participated in these events gets to find out how they did.

I don't get it. The people running these events must have scored the tests to find the winners. Why can't the tournament put the rankings on a spreadsheet and post it somewhere?
If anything, they should release raw scores as well - I get why they may not release raws for regular events, but for trials and oldies, it doesn't even affect team placement...
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Re: Oldies But Goodies

Post by chalker » June 7th, 2019, 7:28 pm

sciolyperson1 wrote:
SOcoachB wrote:Apparently, the placings for the Oldies but Goodies events are not coming. They posted the first-place winning teams on the screen before the opening ceremony, but that's it. Nobody else who participated in these events gets to find out how they did.

I don't get it. The people running these events must have scored the tests to find the winners. Why can't the tournament put the rankings on a spreadsheet and post it somewhere?
If anything, they should release raw scores as well - I get why they may not release raws for regular events, but for trials and oldies, it doesn't even affect team placement...
As I posted in the other thread, these events weren't run by the usual group that handles scoring. We weren't provided with any details / results from the events, so unfortunately don't have anything to share. I know they are trying to see if they can dig up any records, but I don't know that they are still available as we didn't treat the events like normal trial events. Sorry about that.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by Pastaman202 » June 7th, 2019, 8:03 pm

i already types this on mobile but it deleted and now im lazy and will only give a brief summary

DP B-1st place
from the few posts I have read, people are like "owo very hard and good" tbh I felt it was a bit short. Maybe cuz I just had a good partner and we split up the test (I did section c and above). i think we only struggled on section b i think. luckily I had carryover knowledge from density, my most hated event, which actually helped for that pressure question. All in all, pretty good analysis questions, pretty easy multiple choice questions, kinda short for my liking. maybe i have a bias or like an inner need to flex, but 7/10 also um Nat2019, do you know when the "prize package" will come to the school? gracias

circuit-5th
holy beejesus this ecent was gosh awful. the lab was first of all extremely easy, with one only needing to measure 1 thing with a multi-meter, 2 is your feeling extra cautious, and you get like a full 5 min to do that. a bit easy and short, but then comes the test. the test itself was only 40 questions, with almost every question being around "which was does current flow", zero questions on AC, magnetism and electric fields, and a handful of illegal and unanswerable questions. This test was the equivalent of finding like a trash summer study test, taking out mildly difficult questions, and then calling it a day. my disappointment is immeasurable and my day was ruined. -1/10

Herps-10th
we started on statiion 4, so at first i was like "wow these stations are very short and easy, i might come in third!!! (after josh and solon obviously)" and then i reached the dreaded frog skeleton station. it was worth about 20 points, and cuz our binder is trash we got about 5 of them. then there was a question about both habitat and state reptiles, and since we arent allowed to take stuff out of the binder, we only got about half way between time was up. the main problem of this test was some stations took 30 secs to complete and other about 5 min. kinda disappointed by my score but ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 5/10

potions- 3rd
the lab was pretty fun, but we didnt know what the table up front was because we had cabbage juice indicator in our cheatsheet for some reason. once we realized, we said "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh" very loudly and that was when the supervisor started hating us. I mean i kno im annoying but must you roll ur eyes every time i ask a quesion? not very cash money. the test on organisms and oils was very sketchy as it was almost all trivia. im biased buz this was (not anymore) my fav event sooooooooo 6/10

ELG-14th (ooooooooofffff)
during practice, we werent too bad, average of about 30 secs. probs not placing material but probs top 8. during the actual comp we pulled a bid dumb boi. my first flight was ok, 28 secs, kinda nervous but mostly good. then my second flight just failed and got 21 secs. I gave my partner a chance and i think he was nervous cuz his average 28 secs became average 13 sec. i did the final flight, hoping for a miracle, then we got 23 secs. very disappointed in myself. proctors were nice, but they forced us to measure wing side down, and then they pushed it down, and as our wings are foam, it was a big no no and our wings got a bit messed up. 5/10

food: la comida de la cafeteria son muy grasa y mal. no me gusta. our team did have a sit in dinner that was pretty good though.
4/10 too much pizza

ice cream: i got it when there was a short line and it was cheap for a large portion, very creamy (a bit watered down/melted) and brings back memories.
https://www.google.com/search?q=7.8/10+ ... fzUynGE3tM:

opening and closing ceremonies: a bit too many speeches, a bit too many gift exchanges and awards, very quick award ceremony. photos strange as the winner of the event didnt hold the sign that said "winners".
7/10

overall: i came in with high expectations as this was my first nats competitions and my friends were hyping it up. it felt more like a good invitational in the end (like 2018 centerville). the tests were meh, but the overall beauty of Ithaca was astounding. the waterfalls were gorgeous. also shameless plug in follow my insta at kqian14
6/10
Last edited by Pastaman202 on June 8th, 2019, 2:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by MoolaSmoola » June 8th, 2019, 10:17 am

Water Quality (2):
Way too easy for a Nationals test; I came in thinking that the salinometer portion would have been negligible but it in fact was more than likely the deciding factor for many teams' placements. The event was organized pretty well and I appreciated (?) the dedicated salinometer station, test structure, and room layout, but we referenced our cheatsheet a total of 2 times, one of which was to make sure that we hadn't forgotten to study alderflies. Personally don't enjoy multiple select in my multiple choice but it was relatively straightforward, even though I strongly feel that WQIs were handled pretty terribly in that respect, as they usually are. Macros were pure identification and I thought the separate sheet for it was nice. I'm a bit confused over the food web chart and nutrient cycles they handed to everyone, which were completely superfluous, but I did appreciate the "real life" application questions, which required a bit more thinking than straight up regurgitation. Still think its easiness was a bit ridiculous for a nationals caliber test; states, regionals, Duke, and MIT were harder. (Can't wait for y'all to take the 2020 Nationals test, our state supervisor for WQ is super knowledgeable and cool :) ) Overall: 4/10

Experimental Design (31):
yikes. Premise was interesting enough but a bit out of left field and left little room for interpretation. We settled on percent error but in retrospect that was a pretty odd choice. Didn't like working on the benches because I had to bend over at a 90 degree angle for most of the test, but the supervisors were wonderful and were the first competent ones we've had all year. Overall: 8/10

WIDI (32):
We looked over all the previous Nationals tests prior to taking this one, and this year's was a bit of a departure from the "vertical cup/bowl with things stuck into it and inside it" format we expected. It was more of a bowl with trash dumped in it, but was completely doable in my opinion. It was perfect time wise and I liked the suite of rooms dedicated to WIDI, but it was extremely hard to see the build from where I was sitting, especially since the stuff in the bowl was only visible from the top. The supervisor wouldn't let anyone move the bowl closer to the center of the table 4-5 people shared, and I ended up leaning over on the chair, on my knees, to see the build. Also, apparently color didn't matter but writers weren't told that (??) That was the third test this year that color hasn't been a factor. I vastly preferred the MIT build, but probably because we did way better on that one. Overall: 5/10

pretty cool experience and the best scioly season I've had but I really wish the keynote speaker knew what scioly was. and wasn't weird, outdated, and patronizing towards women and female people; I think we all knew that women could do science before he got up on that stage and blew our minds :roll:
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by Ashernoel » June 8th, 2019, 11:50 am

On the whole, I had a great Nationals experience. I competed in five events, and three of them were better run than any previous tournament that I have attended this year. From my perspective, this reflects NSO's increasing commitment to involve alumni (with the Alumni Task Force) and consistently upgrade the quality of both the events that are chosen each year and the credibility of the national results.

In the coming years, I think NSO should adopt three initiatives to further these goals, and I write them in this forum because all three have been central in my experience in my events at Nationals this past year: 1) NSO should institute a more exhaustive review process for national tests, which should be relatively simple, as many invitationals already do this. As a result, distributions like Herpetology 2018 and Herpetology 2019 would rarely happen again, if at all. 2) NSO should update its event offerings so that there is a higher proportion of Computer Science-related events. Science Olympiad's mission statement claims to aim to create a "technologically-literate workforce," but the realities of the current 23 Division C events suggests a different story. As someone who is considering going into CS in college, I wish Science Olympiad had provided more opportunities for me to explore this avenue of science and STEM. It is time for Science Olympiad to invest heavily into updating its event slate so that it is more fit to equip budding scientists the skills that they need in 2019, not 1999. 3) NSO should update resources for study events so that it is more clear that competitors are expected to have a strong grasp of introductory college material, especially at the national level. As a consequence of MIT, SOUP, and Princeton (among others) raising the bar in terms of event difficulty and test quality, this change would primarily help teams that don't have the funds or opportunities to attend competitive invitationals or see those tests before Nationals. At the same time, it could protect competitors from event supervisors that have the urge to pull impossibly hard questions from graduate level resources. And, of course, everyone loves equity of opportunity in Science Olympiad.

Astronomy (1): Everyone expected the Astronomy team to put together a great test, and they delivered. I did Sections B & C, and I only found two questions to be 'confusing' (what "width at 20% max" meant and how to treat an annulus as compared to a sphere for Stefan-Boltzmann), but I seemed to have survived and done well enough. I took my time answering the explanation questions and regularly used the extra space at the bottom of the answer sheets to ensure that I conveyed all of my ideas, pacing myself so that I narrowly finished. Evidently, the two sections could have been a little bit longer if the supervisors wanted time management to differentiate teams, but I did enjoy the relaxed speed. Although I did not complete Section A myself, my partner finished with 5-10 minutes to spare, so that section could be extended if desired as well.
Compared to last year, I liked how there were more relatively more computational problems and that no one problem could "make or break" a top 10 score. The "width at 20% max" question probably came closest to being classified as this, but at least some of the latter sub-questions could be answered without having gotten the initial sub-question correct. The JS9 question was well-written, and I'm excited to see the program continue to develop over the next few years! Carroll and Ostlie's "Introduction to Modern Astrophysics" continues to be an indispensable resource, and I've loved how recent tests have not hesitated to jump into advanced concepts. Over the past three years, Astronomy C has been a life-changing experience for me, from MIT 2017 to the friendships to the research opportunities to now. I've had the fortune of having the best partners, mentors, and pupils that I could have ever asked for: my first partner and best friend welcomed me into the Science Olympiad community, and I hope that I have been at least a fraction of that for my second partner, Irene. Although my time competing has come to a close, I look forward to giving back to Astronomy C and Science Olympiad by supervising at MIT and beyond! 10/10

Circuit Lab (2): Honestly, I'm surprised that the partial credit was generous enough for this result to happen. Although I was working at full speed the whole time, I did not get to do a few of the lengthier problems and did not attempt the second half of the lab. That said, my partner may may have done one of the problems that I didn't get to, so I'll be sure to thank him. Windu did an amazing job running the event, as has been discussed earlier. I found it interesting how the results compared to SOUP (1. Harriton, 2. New Trier), which is probably a reflection of the high test quality. Overall, I greatly enjoyed my time in Circuit Lab this past year. For a few months, I considered doing EECS in college, as this event helped me discover that circuits were really magical, cool, and incredibly hard. My only complaint is that I wish Science Olympiad had more opportunities for CS related events, which is why I wrote about "Suggestion (2)" above. In retrospect, because I'm not particularly gifted at solving circuit analysis or physics questions, I only achieved this result because I chose to practice solving problems from introductory circuit textbooks, such as Foundations of Analog and Digital Circuits, Electricity and Magnetism, Electric Circuit Analysis, and Basic Engineering Circuit Analysis. It feels weird to me that many teams have no idea that this is the expectation when competing at the highest level in Science Olympiad, so it is these problems (and my many, many failed solutions) that inspired "Suggestion (3)" above. Circuit Lab is not my strongest event, but I have enjoyed how it has been my most computationally challenging. In many ways, Astronomy feels more like a biology event because of the extensive readings, and Thermodynamics has been more about history, designing an optimal box, and the application of simpler concepts. I look forward to supervising Circuit Lab at competitions next year! 10/10

Thermodynamics (3): This event was really well run: the supervisor used syringes (+1), they gave us 50 minutes for the test (+1), and the test incorporated a wider variety of concepts and difficulties than any invitational test I had seen previously (+1). I did not have time to check over ~30 points worth of multiple choice, but the rest of the test was great. I found the most challenging problem to be calculating the change in enthalpy of Argon in kj/kg as a result of a change in temperature without a periodic table, but it was only 3 points so I probably decided on an erroneous method. Much like Circuit Lab, I'm surprised by this result. The supervisor did not give us a cotton ball (which I take responsibility for), and, consequently, we lost ~8 points on the build, as it cooled much more than expected, and then our prediction was off by a lot. However, it feels good to have gotten this medal for, if nothing else, my sophomore partner. It was her first year on varsity, and she, as evidenced by our placing in spite of our build, did a great job on the test and worked diligently all year. 10/10

Fermi Questions (9): There isn't much to be said about this test: It was well run. On another day, I probably would have placed plus or minus 10 or 20 places, but that's just the nature of the event. Although the vast majority of the questions did not rely on memorized facts (or at least memorized facts that we had), one question did ask about the number of trees in the world, and that validated our 1000+ term quizlets, which was nice. In my experience, Fermi results have been been strongly associated with practice and time investment, so, to anyone reading this post whenever Fermi returns, practice as much and memorize as many facts as possible. 10/10

Chem Lab (15): This was my first and last time ever competing in this event or any chemistry related competition; as a result, even though this was my lowest scoring event, I am entirely content with the result. While taking the test, I was honestly surprised that I knew how to do so many problems, given that I had only prepared intermittently for a few weeks. I tried an unconventional method for the second lab, and that likely lost us a lot of points, but otherwise, it was a fun time! My partner, a sophomore, was placed on the event a few months ago after the first senior member with competitive chemistry experience left the team, and it was great to see him step up and prevent the event from bombing. The future of the team is in good hands :P I'm refraining from giving this event full marks because it was easier than it should have been, and, for the amount of work that we did, we should not have placed as highly as we did. 7/10.

Overall (8): Science Olympiad has given me everything: friends, opportunities, dreams, a community, and maybe even the foundations of a marketable skillset. One only has to go a few years back in my forums post history to see at least a little of my growth experience over the past few years ;). With multiple senior members leaving the team in the middle of the season and abundant other teenage-related drama, I'm really proud of the strides that the team has made and how, in the face of all of that, they pulled off this remarkable finish at nationals. Sure, the nationals experience wasn't perfect, but my team and I enjoyed it more than previous years, and, to me, it's that improvement that counts. Goodbye for now Scioly, but see you again next year!
Last edited by Ashernoel on June 10th, 2019, 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by syo_astro » June 8th, 2019, 3:18 pm

EastStroudsburg13 wrote:Collecting people's ratings yields these average ratings (sorry people who didn't provide numerical ratings, but I didn't try to guess what you would have given :P )...Keep those ratings coming!
No pressure, but can you or anyone see how event placings correlate with rankings? Just an obvious source of systematics for those that give it.
Ashernoel wrote: 1) I found two questions to be 'confusing' (what "width at 20% max"...Compared to last year, I liked how there were more relatively more computational problems and that no one problem could "make or break" a top 10 score. The "width at 20% max" question probably came closest to being classified as this, but at least some of the latter sub-questions could be answered without having gotten the initial sub-question correct.
2) I've had the fortune of having the best partners, mentors, and pupils that I could have ever asked for: my first partner and best friend welcomed me into the Science Olympiad community, and I hope that I have been at least a fraction of that for my second partner, Irene. Although my time competing has come to a close, I look forward to giving back to Astronomy C and Science Olympiad by supervising at MIT and beyond! 10/10
Just a few things (edited what you wrote, hopefully ok without context...also posting so others who did astro might chime in!):
1) Width at 20% max is a legit standard teams should know (if Tully-Fisher is in the rules)! The issue is that the standard itself is a little vague, and very few people know how to find sources about Tully-Fisher stuff apparently. It's really one of THE doable Tully-Fisher questions being honest. I didn't write the question or anything, I just happen to know a lot about it. It's been made clear at least to me over the season that a lot of teams struggle with graph and data interpretation.
2) Just < 333.
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Re: Nationals Event Discussion

Post by Unome » June 8th, 2019, 3:57 pm

syo_astro wrote:very few people know how to find sources about Tully-Fisher stuff apparently
can confirm
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