Technical Problem Solving C

EastStroudsburg13
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

I think you might be in the minority, most of the people I interact with prefer it to have slightly more guidelines, that way there's actually a starting point. Before, there was no way to study for it because literally anything could be part of the event.
East Stroudsburg South Class of 2012, Alumnus of JT Lambert, Drexel University Class of 2017

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fourLoko
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State: WA

Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Yeah, probably. Tons TPS event supervisors stretch the rules pretty often anyways so I guess it's a moot point.
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Dragonshark
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Joined: January 4th, 2012, 9:02 pm
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Location: West Allis, WI

Re: Technical Problem Solving C

So, about that WI state TPS test...

We were expecting a test on sound and enzyme kinetics. Instead, we got a test about orbits and gravity.
The problems weren't that difficult, anyways. We were given formulas and just substituted numbers in to answer the questions.
The main issue was that the test was mind-numbingly repetitive and time-consuming. It was rather annoying to have to keep constantly flipping back pages in order to find previous answers to use in the current problem. We ended up not finishing it.
Nathan Hale HS SciO
2011 - Regionals/States: Anat/Phys [1/1!!!], Chem Lab [1/2]
2012 - Regionals/States: Chem Lab [1/6 >_< ], Forensics [2/1!!!], Protein [1/2], Team [9]
2013 - A/P, Chem Lab, 4N6, TPS, C/A (trial)

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Joined: April 14th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Division: C
State: WI
Location: Boyceville

Re: Technical Problem Solving C

So, about that WI state TPS test...

We were expecting a test on sound and enzyme kinetics. Instead, we got a test about orbits and gravity.
The problems weren't that difficult, anyways. We were given formulas and just substituted numbers in to answer the questions.
The main issue was that the test was mind-numbingly repetitive and time-consuming. It was rather annoying to have to keep constantly flipping back pages in order to find previous answers to use in the current problem. We ended up not finishing it.
Last year was my first year in this event. The test at state last year was a set of physics problems, focusing on orbits, as well (Not the same test). To second what you said, there was a complete absence of enzymatic reactions or sound problems. There was no lab portion. My partner and I were both tired as this was our last event of the day, and we nearly fell asleep repeatedly simply plugging in numbers.

sturmde
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Joined: March 17th, 2011, 6:43 pm
State: ME

Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Sorry to hear you guys received such non-standard non-rules TPS events. I ran and designed the Maine TPS event this year again. Groups rotated among three stations:

Station I: Isolating and identifying the fundamental frequency of a vibrating rubber band, using a Vernier microphone sensor connected to the TI InspireCX handheld. (Hence, a station on Harmonics.) I'd expect a National tournament might have sonometers (stretched music wire, similar to a "flat" guitar). You could try out probes on a guitar, and see if you can identify the harmonics.

Station II: A closed cylinder of unknown volume had a Vernier pressure sensor connected to a TI InspireCX handheld via one port. A second port was attached a graduated syringe. By compressing the syringe a known volume, find the pressure as the volume is increased. As a result, work backwards to estimate the unknown volume. (Hence, a station on Pressure. Since PV = nRT, assume T is reasonably constant, nR is very constant, thus V is a function of (1/P). When you get to half atmospheric pressure, you know you've doubled the volume. Read the volume off the syringe, and you know your unknown volume.) PV = nRT. It's not just the law, it's a good idea to really understand this equation, as it explains about everything. Throw in knowing density D = m/V, and you know why hot air balloons rise, and cold air balloons, even cold helium-filled (put balloon in liquid nitrogen) fall.

Station III: Known quantities of sugar, yeast, and water at 70 degrees C, are added together. A Vernier temperature probe on a TI InspireCX handheld gives you constant readout of temperature digitally and as a graph. Determine if there is a temperature increase or not with the specific amounts of substances. (Hence a yeast catylase reaction, using a Temperature probe.)

Tiebreaker question: The classic TPS question: Estimate how many Whopper candies of a known size given will fit in a cylinder of known size given.

It wasn't perfect, but it was in the spirit of the rules, and I think comparable to what one should expect at a National Tournament. I can only say, that I feel badly for those of you who didn't have a rules-based experience like our teams in Maine had. As the event sponsor, I can tell you it took only a reasonable amount of planning. Texas Instruments loaned all of the equipment we needed for probeware and TI handhelds (I'd expect you'd see exactly the same at Nationals), and I only had to gather a few other pieces of apparatus I already have in my physics department.

Best of luck to you all!
David Sturm
UMaine

Mathdino
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Re: Technical Problem Solving C

Hey, does anyone have any info on what the topics will be next year? (If of course 2014 TPS is as narrow as 2013)
"If, in other sciences, we are to arrive at certainty without doubt, and truth without error, it behooves us to place the foundations of knowledge in mathematics."
-Roger Bacon, The Opus Major of Roger Bacon