New York 2021

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sneepity
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Re: New York 2021

Post by sneepity » January 8th, 2021, 9:09 pm

sciolyperson1 wrote:
January 8th, 2021, 7:20 pm
What's to prevent a team to send like, 5 students into one event...
Oh shoot- I haven't though of that. I mean this year is mostly depending on integrity anyway
yeah, it mentions the science olympiad honor code
Last edited by sneepity on January 8th, 2021, 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New York 2021

Post by caitlinwithaC » January 9th, 2021, 6:38 pm

sneepity wrote:
January 8th, 2021, 9:09 pm
sciolyperson1 wrote:
January 8th, 2021, 7:20 pm
What's to prevent a team to send like, 5 students into one event...
Oh shoot- I haven't though of that. I mean this year is mostly depending on integrity anyway
yeah, it mentions the science olympiad honor code
If I'm reading this right, there's not going to be anything that detects chat software or off-screen activity either - the test can be, for all intents and purposes, open internet.
Scilympiad at least tracks that (I think?). I wonder why NYS isn't using it..
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Re: New York 2021

Post by Name » January 9th, 2021, 10:41 pm

caitlinwithaC wrote:
January 9th, 2021, 6:38 pm
Scilympiad at least tracks that (I think?). I wonder why NYS isn't using it..
I can't find the source, but I remember NYS stated that the STAR system would be more equitable to teams that do not have a reliable internet connection and that teams would be more used to the system because of familiarity since it closely resembles the system used for AP exams. There might have been other reasons that I cannot remember off the top of my head.

(DISCLAIMER: everything stated here is only of my own opinion)
That being said, I believe the opposite to be true. With the strict deadlines and policy of not allowing submissions after the deadline, STAR system would disadvantage teams with unreliable internet further. With an online testing platform, Scilympiad will save your answers if you do disconnect and auto-submit the answers you already have if you happen to have if you have connection issues during the submission period instead of automatically being no-showed. Furthermore, the familiarity statement is even more flawed as essentially every other competition held is run via Scilympiad (But I guess they wouldn't expect teams to be familiar with Scilympiad after not allowing invites to be held within the state this year, which itself I find extremely disappointing).

Cheating is another concern, but even with Scilympiad, you are still relying on students to follow the honor code. I don't see why you don't have at least a small layer of cheating deterrence though. I also fear the security of STAR system if any teams manage to gain access to the tests early, however, I trust that NYS will securely implement this.

My biggest concern is with partner collaboration. The AP system worked (and even then not very well in my opinion) because only one person was supposed to be taking the test. How are we supposed to collaborate with 2 or 3 people, especially if it is not possible to meet up? Ideally, we'd be able to collaborate electronically and both access the same answer sheet in some way but the guidelines released makes it unclear if this is allowed or not (reading section 4 of special notes from regionals and states director). This is what Scilympiad was developed for. If the guidelines mean that this is not allowed, would we be expected to print the test? In that case that would significantly disadvantage teams that cannot meet up because they'd have to send and copy over answers to each other as only one answer sheet is allowed to be submitted. Giving an advantage to teams that could meet up would also discourage social distancing due to the nature of working together on a test and be generally an unsafe practice. Even if we are allowed to collaborate electronically, certain events such as Codebusters would encounter significant issues. Working on a file would be extremely annoying due to the nature of the event and completely ruin the event. Time question would also be completely unrunnable, and due to how easy it is to cheat in Codebusters alongside the difficulty in doing Codebusters virtually, I fear that teams who do so would automatically win or place near the top. Scilympiad's system resolves all these concerns.
As this is my last year competing, I find it disappointing that my experience competing will end with this. I do sincerely hope that the STAR system will work better than I expect and pleasantly surprise me.
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Re: New York 2021

Post by caitlinwithaC » January 10th, 2021, 11:26 am

I do remember taking the AP exams last year and a lot of people were talking about how they would bomb spectacularly because Collegeboard just wasn't build to handle hundreds of thousands of submissions at the exact same time. Come exam time, the submissions process actually worked fairly well - for most people. A small percentage of students couldn't submit on time/were frozen out of the exam/couldn't access it properly, but that was still thousands of students. If there's about 650-700 teams in NYS, that means that if an equivalent fraction of them can't properly access the STAR system, that's still a dozen, maybe twenty teams. It's not on the same scale, but I think that's still too many.

And on the topic of familiarity "with the system" - out of those 650-700 teams, hundreds of those are Division B teams. Any current ninth grader in Div B would have been in eighth grade last year, and under NYS curriculum, there is basically no room in an eighth grade course load to take an AP course. They wouldn't have experienced the "AP system" that NYS seems to be trying to emulate. But in comparison, some of the higher performing teams would undoubtedly have "attended" out-of-state invitationals (MIT, North Pocono) this year that did use Scilympiad. Maybe NYS was trying to avoid the type of advantage by putting everyone on a different playing field?

But it is important to remember that the coordinators of NYS Scioly are doing the best that they can. They had six or so months to realize that competitions this year would have to be entirely online, and they threw together a system as well as they could. Could it be better? Sure. Will there be issues? Yes - as there are for everything, COVID nonwithstanding. I've been trying to focus on the positive, which is the fact that at least Scioly is still running this year. February 6 is likely to be stressful, finicky, and will introduce a bevy of errors that regional coordinators hadn't even considered possibilities. But at least it'll be a meme to look back on for years to come.
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Re: New York 2021

Post by sneepity » January 10th, 2021, 6:52 pm

It's truly unique of NYS to use the STAR system instead of the Scilympiad platform. Sure, there are loopholes that kids can get around using (thanks Name and CatilinwithaC for letting me know!), but I'm confident that coaches will monitor them from doing wacky stuff.
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Re: New York 2021

Post by caitlinwithaC » January 26th, 2021, 5:28 pm

I hope this isn't weird to ask, but does anyone have a plan for what they/their team is going to use to edit the documents on the day of the tournament? How are you going to monitor concurrent progress on all the questions?

Our team is going to have one person on Acrobat editing the document, and probably share a screen or something on Google Meets.
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Re: New York 2021

Post by sciolyperson1 » January 28th, 2021, 9:26 pm

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Re: New York 2021

Post by caitlinwithaC » January 29th, 2021, 5:12 am

For those interested: NYS Education Law 2-d
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/EDN/2-D
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Re: New York 2021

Post by Giantpants » February 19th, 2021, 7:39 am

Update from the state director about the dates of state tournaments and some updates to the STAR system! I thought this was important enough to post on here. (sent by someone in the Discord server so it looks like it's already public)

Regionals:
Division B: 3/6/21
Division C: 3/20/21

States:
Division B: 4/17/21
Division C: 4/10/21
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Re: New York 2021

Post by syo_astro » February 21st, 2021, 9:07 pm

Giantpants wrote:
February 19th, 2021, 7:39 am
Update from the state director about the dates of state tournaments and some updates to the STAR system! I thought this was important enough to post on here. (sent by someone in the Discord server so it looks like it's already public)

Regionals:
Division B: 3/6/21
Division C: 3/20/21

States:
Division B: 4/17/21
Division C: 4/10/21
...I heard about this fastest here...I know that's the point of the forums, though, no surprises, thank you!
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