Binders

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Binders are a key tool for several study and lab events of Science Olympiad. Competitors generally hole-punch factsheets or notes in the binder.

Rules

The following rules generally apply for events that allow the use of binders.

  • All papers must be hole-punched. Event supervisors may shake the binder or open it to inspect the binder.
  • The binder may be the only help (other than their partner) that competitors get to use.
  • The binder may not be used to hide a device (phones are usually taken away).
  • Many events and competitions limit the number of binders per team to one, but some allow one binder per competitor.
  • Competitors cannot look at other team's binders.

Competition Tips

Some events, such as Invasive Species and Rocks and Minerals generally require a two-inch binder due to the number of factsheets/notes that competitors bring. For some events such as the two previously listed, color photos are not required but are advised to have on each page. Some events like Wind Power do not require a thick binder, so a 1 or 1.5 inch binder would be fine. It is also advised (but not required) to use dividers to help locate sections. Sheet protectors are okay, but if a binder contains many different documents, it may be expensive to use protectors for every single page. Hole reinforcements tend to be cheaper.

It is advised to copy any ripped pages in case of a circumstance that they might fall off. Ripped pages that fall when shaken cannot be used and therefore the competitors lack some useful information. Teams who use these might be disqualified.

If space in the binder becomes an issue, using double-sided pages as opposed to single-sided pages can help in reducing space. This may also help make the binder more navigable.

Events That Allow Binders

NOTE: The following list may be incomplete.

Astronomy
Invasive Species
Optics
Rocks and Minerals
Wind Power