Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by IcsTam » February 22nd, 2020, 7:52 pm

Hey guys!! I’m the Sounds of Music supervisor! If you have any reviews or specific questions for Sounds, I would be happy to answer/get feedback on the event! Hope everyone enjoyed the tournament!!
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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by Name » February 22nd, 2020, 7:54 pm


Astro (3): Fair but somewhat challenging DSO section, but very doable. I liked the less emphasis on ID and more on concepts. However the techniques or whatever we didnt know like any of. Math was a different story. We didn't finish it and idk about most of the math section, but the last 2 questions were extremely challenging. Very well written test, and I appreciate the time extension we got due to being late. Also anyone know the song they played? Because I didn't get to listen with our time extension. (10/10)

Code (1): Relatively standard time question that we solved 1:32 (? 1:30something), while lots of other teams solved 2-3 min in. The test was well done considering they didn't use toebes for some reason. The test was very challenging (we missed 2/3 patristo, 1 bacon, and one vignere) and possibly made errors elsewhere but idk. I think there might be only one team (?) who solved 2/3 patristos and I'm almost certain no team solved 3/3 patristos. My only complaint was the pollux (they might have left out a space or two? or maybe i screwed up), and the RSA which used bigish numbers and took my partner forever. Otherwise everything was ran well (9/10)

Fossils (8): Too easy, not enough questions, too much time for everything. They gave a break station after every 3 stations to go back, and 30 second to move over one table. Also I'm pretty sure at one station they gave a real otodus teeth as specimen B and a megalodon tooth as a specimen B picture and told us to ID. Would be a ok test at easier comps, but I expected more from SOUP (6.5/10)

Overall: There were definitely some issues with how things went- getting to events was a problem because basically everything was locked. They managed to get volunteers to do a good job opening doors but it was still a issue for some.
Also gravity vehicle was a issue. They had to throw it out after giving the wrong distance measurement.
I wouldn't quite say it was a poorly ran compitition, but for one of the biggest invites, it could've been ran much better. It was still a fun experience to come back here again after not coming last year. (8/10)

Congrats to Boca Raton for winning!
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Events!: Astro, Code, Fossils
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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by builderguy135 » February 22nd, 2020, 8:11 pm

Name wrote:
February 22nd, 2020, 7:54 pm
Code (1): Relatively standard time question that we solved 1:32 (? 1:30something), while lots of other teams solved 2-3 min in. The test was well done considering they didn't use toebes for some reason. The test was very challenging (we missed 2/3 patristo, 1 bacon, and one vignere) and possibly made errors elsewhere but idk. I think there might be only one team (?) who solved 2/3 patristos and I'm almost certain no team solved 3/3 patristos. My only complaint was the pollux (they might have left out a space or two? or maybe i screwed up), and the RSA which used bigish numbers and took my partner forever. Otherwise everything was ran well (9/10)
7th was a 2:41 timed. missed 3 patristos, 1 aristo, 1 bacon, 1 vigenere (3200 missed points). pollux was fine i think though, that was a pretty quick solve
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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by pepperonipi » February 22nd, 2020, 8:14 pm

Detector (3): I can't think of anything that was really run poorly here besides not being able to get our own calibration water for testing a variety of temperature ranges in the calibration period (we were only given two cups, one filled with hot water and one filled with cold water). The test I thought was actually very nice - covered a good range of topics and was a good length imo. The official testing stations also seemed fine. 9.5/10

Ornithology (5): Room was a typical orni room. Finding the room was surprisingly easy (I thought it would have been harder to find given the distance it was from some other rooms), but the entrance to the building was oddly locked. Thank you for not allowing us to use chairs!! That made switching between stations muucccchhhh easier and less painful. The stations/answer sheet were formatted well and I thought most things were given a fair amount of points. I do have a few criticisms, though. First, I don't really see the purpose of requiring us to flip the station paper over before moving to the next station, and then having us all wait about 10 seconds before allowing us to start the next station. I heard/saw many teams abusing this, and just flipping the station over before being told to begin. (No big issue, but still, for the future/other ES's that may be reading this ;)) Either reduce this time by a few seconds or just remove it completely. Second, a more comprehensive song ID station would have been nice. Only testing one bird's song was a little incomprehensive in this regard. Third, the test was an okay length. Maybe I just prefer longer tests, but there were definitely some stations where my partner and I had a good 10-30 seconds remaining, so some longer stations may have been nice. Other than that, no big issues. A good range of birds was tested. 8/10

Codebusters (13): Basically a Toebes test without the usual Toebes formatting. Timed question was not bad, and the rest of the test was pretty typical with a good amount of questions. Happy I got to take another run at this event in the 2020 season! :) 10/10

Overall (1): This tournament was really nice. Thank you for having a bigger awards room, even if that meant the addition of some keynote speakers and a brief intermission period. The gravity vehicle issue was pretty unfortunate... as said by some, this definitely could have been run better at SOUP. Overall, I had a fun time. Many of our team members/coaches said that multiple other schools/coaches/competitors showed our support for us, so thanks if you're reading this! I think it's fair to say that you can let us know if you need anything. <3

Also big shout out to Kevin, pro 1st place awards presenter!! True legend
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February 22nd, 2020, 6:48 pm
- Boca looks terrifying this season
I really hope we can make some damage this season...
remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds

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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by Giantpants » February 22nd, 2020, 10:39 pm

So, my last ever invitational as a competitor, meaning it's my last chance to write the reviews! I'll try to keep it short lol

Astronomy (15) - Didn't expect much better than 15th in terms of placement for this, but the test was definitely high quality. There was some stuff I knew but also plenty of stuff I didn't know, and it was clear that it was a good test with a lot of effort, thought, and work put into it. I can imagine the scores were probably pretty low since it was pretty hard, but yeah. A great test, I'm looking forward to learning a lot from the key hopefully! 9/10

Dynamic Planet (23, ouch) - This placement kinda hurt, especially since I did actually finish this marathon of a test (although apparently not too well oops). Despite it being long, I thought it did a good job balancing conceptual knowledge with binder-based questions, with doable segments and really hard segments. I thought it was a solid and challenging test, and I was happy to take it even if I wasn't happy with the result. 8/10

Geologic Mapping (14) - The test seemed good to me, it was quite long but wasn't ridiculously hard or anything, and it covered the rules quite nicely. I was confused about how I got some stuff wrong but I'm sure it will be more clear when the key comes out how I was mistaken. We missed the whole thickness problem which probably hurt us a little, oops. Good test tho! 9/10

Sounds of Music (6) - Lol. I got to this one 15 minutes late because me and another girl on my team accidentally locked ourselves outside in an enclosed area and had to wait to be let back in, and THEN I had to run all the way to the chem building while carrying my cumbersome instrument, and when I got there, the door was locked. My partner had made enough progress on the test in that time without me that it turned out alright for me getting there so late. The test itself wasn't too hard, had some questions that were puzzling, but I think will make more sense on seeing the answer key. Overall, solid. I had to stay into the next time slot to test my instrument due to a time crunch, but all was well because I didn't have an event. The instrument test was well run and conducted, and pretty fun too haha. Ignoring my personal story, the event was a 8/10.

Overall (17) - 17th felt kinda disappointing as an ending to our pretty successful invitational season thus far, but honestly, given some circumstances, we did the best we could have, and it was alright. One of our team members suddenly couldn't attend the day before the competition, and I believe having them there would've helped us out in some events, but that's alright haha. As others have mentioned, the Gravity Vehicle issue was kinda unfortunate, and I feel like it affected our placing in the event, but we aren't gonna worry about that since it wasn't counted anyway. There are a few other things regarding event placements, but overall, yeah. I think this is a good indication of how much work we are gonna need to put in for the next three weeks leading up until our states, so our placement is ultimately good for us no matter what. And it was awesome to compete against so many powerful schools!

For being such a large and high-level competition, the organizers and hosts of SOUP definitely deserve a huge commendation for all their work organizing the tournament. Although at times I may have been frustrated by a locked door when I was late to Sounds of Music, or how tiny the desks were for Geologic Mapping or Dynamic Planet, or how at times I had single minutes to run across campus due to events going over, I understand these can't always be controlled, and so they're not important to the grand scheme of such a large and challenging and successful invitational. I also had a great time seeing Name, Anomaly, sciolyperson1, builderguy135, and lots of others, so yeah, I greatly enjoyed it! So thank you, UPenn, for hosting us. A true honor to have my last invitational here!
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2020 Events: Dynamic Planet, Geologic Mapping, Sounds of Music, Astronomy
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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by ChimpLopez » February 23rd, 2020, 6:12 am

Fossils(4): The questions were very very easy, along with the ID themselves and they gave us way too much time per station. Wasn't the biggest fan of the "review" stations they gave like every three stations because they allowed teams to go back to stations and answer questions they may have missed, which only made the test easier than it already was. The scores were probably really close because the test was only like 80 something questions and a lot of placements were probably determined by tiebreakers or just one or two points. But other than that, none of the questions were off topic and the event itself was run fairly well. 6/10

Protein Modeling(6): The test was fine and asked fair questions. I enjoyed the short answers on the written test portion, and we were able to finish the test with enough time left. Some of the questions on the Jmol exploration were a little easy. Overall a quality test of decent difficulty. 9/10

Ornithology(6): It was a good test and fast paced with only 100 seconds per station. I wish the call section was a little more comprehensive, because there was only one call. The station questions were not taped down well, so as the event went on some of the question sheets kept moving along the table until a lot of teams were clumped at one end of the table, all doing different stations. Because of this, I felt pretty crowded in the room and maneuvering my binder was difficult. We were also told to turn the stations over after the time was up and don't turn over the next station until they say so, but this was widely ignored by many teams who instantly flipped over the page once they got to the next station. The test questions themselves were of good difficulty and the IDs were fine also. 7.5/10

Congrats to Boca and everyone else who competed!
I also go by Chino.
2017-2018 Events: Herpetology, Ecology
2018-2019 Events: Herpetology, Fossils, Dynamic Planet, Geologic Mapping
2019-2020 Events: Ornithology, Fossils, Protein Modeling
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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by Limke » February 23rd, 2020, 6:40 am

I seldom post on the forums and when I do, it’s usually under my event threads but I guess I’ll do event reviews because SOUP was my last ever high school invitational and all tiredness aside, it was a good one.

Anatomy (19)
Not the best placement, but I think the test was pretty well written. There was a good mix of the types of questions that were asked, ranging in difficulty to type. It was a bit difficult to keep track of three packets in auditorium desks though. I had difficulty with identifying the integumentary diseases based off of pictures, but that’s just something I need practice with. I enjoyed the practical applications of knowledge. Overall, I enjoyed this test and can’t wait to learn from all the things I didn’t know! (9/10)

Forensics (2)
The event supervisors were all super friendly and I enjoyed taking this test! Forensics is always fast paced and stressful, but I felt as if the majority of the test was doable in the time that was given. I didn’t think that it was too difficult where I left a bunch of sections blank, but I also wasn’t finished with a lot of spare time to spend on my conclusion either. I did feel as if I had to run back and forth quite a few times for blood/chrom/soil testing, but otherwise I think the event was ran very well. (10/10)

Protein (6)
I did the test part (mostly biochem/CRISPR) and my partners focused on APOBEC/Jmol stuff. There was a good range of questions and application of concepts. The test was challenging but didn’t feel undoable by any means, which I enjoyed. Everyone was a bit thrown off by the timing, since the wrong end time was written on the whiteboard, but I appreciated the ES giving an extra minute just to wrap things up when the timer went off earlier than we expected. (9/10)

Sounds (14)
I was a bit later to this event than I would’ve liked to be since Protein was in a different building and ran over a bit. The test wasn’t too long, but it was also difficult to go back and forth writing answers since the answer sheet was only 2 pages and one was double sided, especially since we weren’t allowed to write on the test packet. The instrument testing room was also slightly difficult to locate. The test did offer a decent range of music theory/physics questions which I appreciated. (8/10)

Overall, I had a really good experience at SOUP. I got to see a bunch of people from other schools and it was cool getting to see an alum from my school as an event supervisor (I hear you write a mean astro test). Congrats to Boca (You guys rock!) on 1st and all the other teams on how they did yesterday.
2019 Events: Anatomy & Physiology, Designer Genes, Forensics, Protein Modeling.

2020 Events: Anatomy & Physiology, Protein Modeling, Forensics, Sounds of Music

do not eat the forensics powders

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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by dragonfruit35 » February 23rd, 2020, 7:10 am

Somehow, this was my last invitational ever???? 😭😭 We've never been to SOUP before, or any invitational this competitive, so this was quite the experience! Here goes:

Experimental Design (1) I have literally no idea how this happened. I was put on ED on Monday and I never took an actual practice test... but here we are. The prompt/materials combination was pretty interesting, but unfortunately, there weren't a whole lot of experiments you could do to get quantitative data. Also, many teams, including ourselves, needed a scale for the experiment, and there was only one scale for a room of around 10 teams, which created some delays at the beginning. Overall, the event was run pretty smoothly, though! [8/10]

Codebusters (4) Wow, this was not a good test for us (partially due to us just not doing as well as usual, partially due to having a new partner, partially due to the test being a very challenging one.) We were second in our session for the timed question (2:xx?), but we ended up missing 2 vigeneres, a bacon, 2 patristos and 2 aristos... It seems like the test was long enough that no one finished it, and I appreciated the challenge, even if we kinda choked. My only complaint would be that the supervisors almost gave some of the other teams a copy of the test they weren't supposed to write on, but thankfully, they fixed it. I'm glad SOUP listened to the feedback on that one! [9/10]

Gravity Vehicle (8) The announced target distance was 11.15, but the whole ordeal where the event supervisors realized that they messed up the track happened in my session, so we thankfully knew to measure the track before we started (it was around 11.66m). Ultimately, we were about 10cm off, all of which was due to being too far to the right. We didn't adjust our angle enough from the first run to the second run, but after we finished competing, we measured the start line, and as far as we can tell, our initial error with the angle might have been due to the start line not being perpendicular to the imaginary centerline of the track. Overall, I appreciated the fact that the ES's did the right thing by throwing out the event and not telling any other teams about the error to keep it fair, but the fact that it happened in the first place was sorta concerning. [5/10]

Ping Pong Parachute (38) This event was held in a less-than-ideal space, since there were rafters everywhere in the top ~15 feet of the room, but the gaps between them were big enough to shoot a rocket between. On our first launch, we tried to shoot for a lower height than the rafters to make sure we didn't hit them, but our rocket still ended up brushing off one of them on the way down. On the second one, we went for a higher PSI (go big or go home, right?) and managed to avoid the rafters. Our parachute was up around ~30 feet, but unfortunately, it fell to the ground without even partially deploying, which has never happened before :/// The event supervisors were really nice, though, and they allowed all teams to do practice launches (with their own launchers) off to the side, which allowed us to gauge what PSI to start with a little better. Overall, I think the ceiling might have affected us more than others because our rocket doesn't go super straight - teams with rockets that went roughly vertically wouldn't really have had a problem. [9/10]

Overall (6) This tournament was largely well-run, and I enjoyed the challenging tests and super nice ES's, plus getting a medal from the illustrious Kevin. However, there were a few issues that really affected a few events, like the track issue in Gravity Vehicle and a scoring error in another event (which hasn't been acknowledged but hopefully will), which made the experience a little less enjoyable. Nonetheless, I'm glad my team got to go to an invitational with so many great teams to kick off the States season, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well we did, considering that a lot of people on my team weren't super confident going into awards. My only other note would be that there was basically zero leadup to the announcement of the sixth place team (I'm not sure, but it seemed like maybe they advanced the slide accidentally?). Still, last one best one! Congrats to Boca and all the other teams that competed yesterday! See you in May, hopefully :D
2019 (Duke/Regionals/Cornell/States/Nats)
Mission 3/7/- Sounds 4/2/- Herp -/-/11/1/26 MV 2/3/7/3/10 Code 3/1/1/1/5
2020 (CMU/Regionals/SOUP)
Detector 4/📏/- GV 6/🥢/8 Code 1/1/5 ED -/-/1 PPP -/-/38

R.I.P. Nationals 2020 :(

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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by smayya337 » February 23rd, 2020, 8:21 am

Here are my impressions of SOUP:

Sounds of Music (3) Not much to say about this one. Everything went smoothly, the test was decently challenging, and I noticed no big issues with the event overall. My only gripe would be the awkwardness of writing answers on the test, since there's no space to put anything on with those tiny desk/table things and we couldn't write on the test. [9/10]

Codebusters (5)
dragonfruit35 wrote:
February 23rd, 2020, 7:10 am
...partially due to having a new partner...
I basically concur with dragonfruit35 on this event. [8/10]

Machines (26?! :cry: ) The test seemed decently well run (though some people wrote on the image sheets in previous sessions and the ESes never noticed?) And like in sounds, the whole "no writing in the test booklet" thing was annoying, especially since we didn't get scratch paper (I ended up writing in our binder lol). But yeah, not bad overall. [8.5/10]

Overall (6) I'm lazy and also concur with dragonfruit35 here (except, hopefully, for the "last one" part). Nice job everybody!
Last edited by smayya337 on March 1st, 2020, 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
2020 Events: Code, Machines, Sounds

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Re: Science Olympiad at Penn Invitational 2020

Post by Unome » February 23rd, 2020, 8:54 am

Congratulations to Boca. Strong performance from Ward also. Harriton was... not terrible, but not up to previous standards, I think they're favorite to win state but not by a lot, and I wouldn't be too surprised to see them outside of top ten at Nationals. Why is Clark so low though? They looked perfectly fine at MIT.
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