Division C Events

Earth/Space Science


(section: 2 / line: 1)

2014-02-27 12:11 Is it up to an event supervisor's or tournament director's discretion whether or not to allow the use of laptops as a resource at a regional competition?

No. Regional supervisors should follow the National rules, which explicitly state that laptops are allowed. Not doing so would give teams a disadvantage at future competitions. All competitions, whether regional or state, should follow as closely as possible the event description in the Event Rules manual. Event supervisors should discuss with the tournament director any deviation from the rules stated in the manual.

(section: 3 / paragraph: C / line: 4)

2013-10-31 15:34 What is exactly is "V1"?

This year's topic is stellar evolution and variable stars, and V1 is standard nomenclature for variables. V1 is a Cepheid variable star in the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). It is a very famous Cepheid as this was the star that Hubble observed and analyzed which showed that M31 was not a nebula but an entire galaxy and the universe became a much larger place. The Hubble observatory has made several observations of this variable and one link for information about V1 is http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo1115e/ or http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/star-v1.html

Dynamic Planet - Div C

Rocks and Minerals - Div C

GeoLogic Mapping


Experimental Design - Div C

Bungee Drop

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2013-11-30 14:32 Can parts of the chord be non-elastic?


(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 2)

2014-01-01 14:52 Is the 1 inch the inner diameter or the outer diameter? Are any key rings that are sold in a national recognized store that are labeled as 1" acceptable? A 1" key ring is more then 1" because of the thickness of the metal.

The measurement listed in the rules is approximately 1/2 to 1 inch to allow for measurements taken on the inner or outer diameter of the key ring. Yes, a key ring that is labeled as 1" is acceptable.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2013-12-22 21:55 Must the drop mass be a single mass or can it be made of multiple smaller masses such as BB's?

The drop mass, (within the bottle) may be made up of multiple smaller materials such as sand or BBs.

2013-12-22 21:57 The rules indicate that a mass of 50 - 300 g will be added to the bottle, but give no specifics about the mass of the bottle or it attachments. Is it intended this way or it meant that the bottle, the attachments and mass total 50 - 300 g?

The bottle, attachments and mass will total 50 - 300g.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 3)

2014-01-04 18:00 Please clarify what is meant by a "top anchoring system/extended platform with a release mechanism"

That is up to each individual event supervisor.

2014-05-08 17:40 Will we be able to get clarification before the national competition from the event supervisor about what the top anchoring system will be and how the drop mass will be attached to the top anchoring system?

The top anchoring system is a flat piece of aluminum, (5cm wide) suspended above the drop platform. After attaching to the drop mass, the bungee cord is clamped to the top anchoring system with a hand clamp.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 4)

2013-12-22 22:00 It is said in this line that event supervisors will supply a top anchoring system to attach to the TOP END of the elastic cord. Does this mean that teams will be allowed to use only the full length of the cord for each drop?

No, teams can attach the anchoring system to any point on the cord. Since the top end is defined as anywhere the bungee cord is clamped/attached to the release device, each team in effect determines the top end by where along the cord they fasten the bungee to the release device.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-03-08 21:19 Will competitors be able to suspend the mass from their cord and measure the distance from floor to bottom of the mass during their prep and/or drop time?


2014-03-08 21:21 Are test runs allowed during the 5 minute set up period? The rules do not explicitly state that test runs are not allowed.

No, test runs are not allowed.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-23 11:12 Can part of the cord be below the drop height before the drop? i.e. Does the cord and the entire bottle need to be above the drop height or does just the bottle need to be at the drop height when it is released?

Yes, part can be below. General rule #2 applies.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2014-01-23 11:09 Are the drop heights in 1 meter increments?


(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 1-3)

2014-02-06 09:00 3c States no physical alterations may be made to elastic cord once impounded except marking drop locations before drops, does this mean that students cannot shorten cord for different heights or masses or can they move bottom ring to proper locati...

They may 'shorten' it by way of changing how they attach it to the top anchoring system.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 6)

2014-02-06 08:55 Does the entire bottom meter of the cord have to be elastic or only enough to add an additional 25 cm to the bottom meter when stretched?

No, the bottom meter needs to have only enough elastic material to stretch the bottom meter to at least 1.25cm.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 7)

2013-12-22 22:11 For the elasticity test, will the "bottom meter measurement" include or exclude the closed metal ring (in 2.a) at the end?

Yes,it includes the ring.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 8 & 9)

2014-02-06 09:09 Operation definition of elasticity -> "returned to approximately its original length" - Any guidance on a % for approximately? 1%? 3%? 5%

This is up to the individual event supervisor but considering that 1% of 1 meter is 1cm, that seems like a logical "approximate range" whereas 5% of 1 meter (5cm) seems out of the "approximate range".

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 9)

2014-01-23 11:13 What defines a cord/material as a self-limiting-brake mechanism?

Anything that stops the fall of the mass at a fixed distance without any apparent elasticity.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 9-10)

2013-12-22 22:15 "Self-Limiting-Brake" explained in 3.c applies to bottom 1 m of the chord or the entire length of the chord?

It applies to the bottom 1m of the cord.

(section: 3 / paragraph: C / line: 9-10)

2014-01-26 20:42 May a servo motor and battery be used to lower the mass while it was oscillating from the initial fall?

No, Para. 1 & 2 state that the team must design an elastic cord. Using a servo motor and battery is a clear violation of both General Rule #1 and #2. The spirit of the problem is clearly focused on the elastic cord design, not an electric motor.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 2)

2014-01-23 11:18 Does doubling up the rubber band, or putting a knot in the rubber band, constitute a physical alteration?

Yes, these are considered physical alterations and are not allowed according to rule 3.c.line 2.

2014-01-23 11:20 Is winding or unwinding the elastic cord considered a physical alteration?

Twisting like you would braid hair would be an alteration and not allowed after Impound. Coiling up like a garden hose would not be an alteration.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 6)

2014-01-23 11:22 Please clarify the operational definition of the elasticity of the cord. What do you mean by, “the bottom meter must stretch to at least 1.25m”?

The bottom meter of the cord (as measured in a relaxed state), must become at least 1.25m long when 500g of force is attached to it.

(section: 3 comp / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-23 11:15 Is the "drop height" measured from the top or the bottom of the bottle?

Neither, it's measured from the lowest point of the release mechanism on the top anchoring system/platform  where teams will attach their Bungee to the target landing surface.

Technical Problem Solving

Write It Do It - Div C

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 11)

2014-03-09 15:13 Are abbreviations allowed to be concatenated? For example, if one has defined N = north, and E = east, is NE -> northeast valid, or will it be penalized?

Yes, this is allowed as long as each part is correctly defined.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 3)

2014-03-09 20:11 It is stated that any single letters or words may be used. However, do those words have to be in English. Specifically, are students allowed to use letter combinations that correspond to chinese characters (pinyin)?

The standard English keyboard is identified for use with all Science Olympiad tournaments. However, each tournament may - at their discretion and announcement to competing teams - provide additional or alternate languages that may be used. If the PC standard 101 keyboard is able to make Chinese characters, this would only be acceptable if the event supervisor has identified non-English language may be used. For nationals, English is the identified language. Using keyboard symbols to create non-English words will not be acceptable.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 7)

2014-03-09 20:05 In Write it Do it, it says you can use any symbols on the PC standard 101 key keyboard. On that keyboard there is an "and" symbol, can the and symbol I make look different than the one on the keyboard, or does it have to be the same?

As long as what is written is readily apparent it refers to the "and" symbol and not something else, it would be accepted. Keep in mind that the "+" is not the same as the "and" symbol.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1-3)

2014-03-09 20:08 Will a penalty be assessed for abbreviated fractions (e.g., 1/2 for "one-half")?

No, fractions may be referenced as 1/2 or 3/4 etc.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2014-05-06 22:33 Can you use (x,y) for location if you define that they are distances from (0,0) like on a quadrant for graphing

Yes - as long as defined as coordinates.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 2-3)

2013-12-22 21:21 Is crossing out writing considered an infraction?

No, teams are allowed to use common editing symbols which includes crossing out. If the Event Supervisor thinks that there is another meaning to the crossing out such as a drawing, diagram, or code, this will be considered an infraction.

Life/Personal/Social Science

Anatomy and Physiology

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: vi. / line: 1)

2013-12-19 09:09 Are the diseases restricted to the ones listed in the parentheses, or are those simply the most important ones?

Diseases are restricted to the ones listed in the rules.

Disease Detectives - Div C

Entomology - Div C

(section: 2 / line: 2-3)

2014-03-25 10:44 Can pictures be added to the field guide? They would be glued in next to each organism that is listed in the guide.

No. Pictures, notes, drawings are not allowed to be glued into the field guide. Students may write or draw in their field guides but may not insert anything in addition to the pages and allowed tabs.

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / line: 1,2)

2014-01-01 21:07 Is the "one 8.5" x 11" two-sided page of information..." in addition to the official entomology list or does the list need to be included on the one 8.5" x 11" paper mentioned?

This year's rules state that the "one 8.5" x 11" two-sided page of information may include the official entomology list if the students decide to include it on their one sheet of paper. They are not allowed a separate sheet of paper with the list.

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 1)

2014-03-09 20:27 Does "annotation" indicate that a student may write in the margins of their commercially published reference?


(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 3)

2014-03-27 14:39 Does "annotated" with reference to the commercially published resource include covering pages of the book with other printed sources of information?

No, you may not cover pages of the book with other printed sources of information.

2014-04-22 20:42 Does "annotated" with reference to the commercially published resource include covering pages of the book with other printed sources of information?

No, covering pages of the resource book with other printed sources of information is not allowed.

Designer Genes

Water Quality - Div C

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 6)

2014-03-09 14:33 In the construction of the salinometer/hydrometer, would the use of a multimeter (not built by the team) in checking the electrical conductivity of a circuit (built by the team) during competition be legal?

Yes, it is okay to use a purchased multimeter as part of the device the students build provided that none of the components were manufactured to measure water quality/chemistry. They need to be able to explain how they built it.

Physical Science/Chemistry


Chemistry Lab

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 5)

2014-01-01 15:12 The rules say, "Chemical gloves are optional, but recommended." Specifically, what are "chemical gloves"

Chemical gloves are safety gloves worn when working with potential dangerous chemicals. They usually take a while to degrade, are not easily permeable, and are strong. Most are made of Neoprene, nitrile, PVC, PVA (We should not use these), and latex.


(section: 2 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: xv / line: 1)

2014-03-09 20:42 The rules state "Each student may bring one 8.5" by 11" two-sided page of notes..." do these notes need to be the same, or may each student bring a different set of notes?

No, the notes do not need to be the same, each student's notes may be different.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 5)

2014-01-01 15:12 The rules say, "Chemical gloves are optional, but recommended." Specifically, what are "chemical gloves"

Chemical gloves are safety gloves worn when working with potential dangerous chemicals. They usually take a while to degrade, are not easily permeable, and are strong. Most are made of Neoprene, nitrile, PVC, PVA (We should not use these), and latex.

Materials Science


Circuit Lab

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-09 11:29 Could you please explain if dependent sources and principles of electromagnetic induction are permitted on the Circuit Lab event?

Dependent sources are covered under 3.c.i. and allowed. Inductors are covered under 3.f. and prohibited.


(section: 2 / line: b)

2014-03-09 21:04 If there are two teams from the same school, are they allowed to impound and use the same track? Or must they construct two separate tracks?

Yes, 2 teams may share the same track.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 2)

2014-03-11 18:45 When is the mass of the car determined? Is it after a successful run or at the time when it is impounded.

Mass is determined based upon a successful run.

(section: 3 / line: 21)

2014-03-11 18:46 The rules say that brushless motors and integrated circuits are not allowed in the construction of the vehicles. Does this mean that solenoids, electromagnets, capacitors, transistors, or resistors are allowed?

Yes. General rule #2 applies: https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-09 21:11 Does a 1/4" x 1/4" piece of balsa qualify as a 'dowel'?

No, a dowel by definition is a solid cylindrical rod.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2014-03-11 18:55 I know we can put magnets on the side rails as long as the distance from the top of the magnets to the top of the rail is between 2-5 cm but what about placing magnets on the outside of the rails?

Yes. General rule #2 applies: https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 1)

2014-03-11 18:56 During this "adjusting" time, can the mass of the vehicle be changed? (after impound)

Yes. General rule #2 applies: https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: ix / line: 21)

2014-03-11 18:58 May a run still be considered successful if the vehicle momentarily stops at some point on the track after the start line and before the 95 centimeter line, and then begins moving again so that it passes the 95 cm line?

Yes. Although note that if the vehicle stops by design for more than 3 seconds (i.e. in order to stall for time), that is not allowed as it is a potential safety hazard and is not within the spirit of the rules.

(section: 6 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-09 21:38 Does the mass score and the time score have to come from the same successful run?

No. The mass and time scores can come from different successful runs.

Compound Machines

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2013-11-06 11:42 Can a computer be used as a tool for the device testing portion of the event?

No. Computers/tablets/etc generally aren't allowed in Science Olympiad events unless explicitly permitted in the specific event rules, since they can potentially violate multiple general rules.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2013-11-06 11:51 Does the Device need to be in assembled, (ready to use condition) when it is determined if it, along with any tools and/or supplies, fits in the 100 x 100 x 50.0 cm box? Or is it permitted to be partially disassembled (such as removing the levers)...

It only needs to fit into the box at impound, however note that there isn't any explicit time stated in the rules to allow for assembly, thus it will be up to individual event supervisors as to whether time is given to all teams, or if a team must assemble during their part 2 testing time.

2013-11-06 12:01 Do students need to impound their reference material secured in a 3-ring binder?

No, only the device, tools, and supplies must be impounded. Reference materials, writing utensils, and calculators do not need to be impounded.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 1-2)

2014-05-06 22:13 Does the device have to remain within the specifications for size throughout the entire testing process? Or solely for impound, assuming it is in ready position to test at impound?

The device must only be within specification in the ready to use position. This means that they must not have to make adjustments to the device that will put it out of spec before using the device. If the device incidentally falls out of specification during use, that will be acceptable as the measurement only occurs before operation (but when it is ready to use.)

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 2)

2014-03-09 11:32 How should teams who fail to impound their device be scored?

That is up to the individual event supervisor. It's recommended that they get a MS and TS of 0 for not making an honest attempt.

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 1-2)

2014-01-01 22:07 Do students have to hang the masses from the lever, or are they allowed to set the masses on top of the lever?

General rule #2 applies, they can do either.

(section: 2 / paragraph: f / line: 3)

2013-10-31 20:14 Can the device include a mass" that is used to achieve static equilibrium befor the test masses are added?

Any masses used in this manner must be fixed in place before impound.

(section: 2 / paragraph: f / sub-paragraph: none / line: 1)

2014-03-09 11:37 Does the mass range of 50.0 grams - 1200.0 grams define both the provided/known masses and the unknown masses?

Yes, the mass ranges apply to both Known and Unknown Masses per rule 2.f.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-01-01 22:08 With the two levers in the device, can the levers have force transfered through other means than physical contact such as having a directional pulley (no mechanical advantage) transfer the force between the two levers?

Yes, as long as there is no mechanical advantage due to the connection.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 5)

2013-10-31 20:21 Under the catagory of "Wheel& Axle", are "Belt & Pulleys" included?

Yes, Belt and Pulley sare included as part of the Pulley simple machine type for both Simple Machines and Complex Machines.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: iii. / line: 1)

2014-01-01 22:23 If "Questions are limited to the following static equilibrium simple machines" only, will there be questions on objects that are moving or calculations of things like "kinetic energy" as the rule mentions?

Yes, there potentially could be as they apply to those machines.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: iii5 / line: 5)

2013-10-31 20:23 Under the catagory of "Wheel & Axle", are "Gear Systems" included?


(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-01 22:24 Is there a standardized way that the masses are intended to be attached to the levers?

No, teams can utilize the flexible loops on the masses to hang them, or they can set the entire mass on their own hanger of some sort.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2013-11-06 12:17 Regarding the phrase "using an known mass and lever", are these simply the tools available to the competitor that are allowed to be used, or are the students REQUIRED to utilize the known mass to determine the unknown mass?

Yes, the rules state that students are to use both the known mass and a lever to determine an unknown mass.

2014-03-09 11:41 The device must be two levers attached, but "using a known mass and a lever" implies that you only have to use one. Can you use just one of the levers, or hang weights in such a way that calculations are reduced to the use of one?

For Division C Compound Machines, the measurement device must be a Compound Machine consisting of two levers following the construction parameters provided in Section 4.b.. You must use both levers and a hanging mass to determine the unknown mass. Using one lever is not within the spirit of the problem.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: v / line: 1)

2014-03-09 11:50 Can the hangers that the masses are hung from, be movable? For example, can the loops of the given masses, be attached to movable ringed hooks that the students slide along the two arms of their weighing device?

Yes, as long as the hooks are only used for attachment and the entire device only uses the Law of the Lever for calculating the unknown mass. General rule #2 applies: http://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: v / line: 3)

2014-01-01 22:25 Can the tools include a spring scale attached to the device (levers)?

No, a spring scale would not be within the spirit of the problem and would violate general rule #2, in addition to not abiding by rule 4.b.v. regarding using only the principles of a lever to calculate the mass.

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2013-11-06 12:21 Are points to be assigned as whole points only? Rounded or truncated? For example, if the measurement takes 15 seconds, is the TS value assigned as 18 points, 18.75 points, or 19 points?

Points will be assigned to the significant figures of the measuring equipment available to the supervisors. Contact local tournaments for information to the precision of their tools.

(section: 5 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2013-11-06 12:23 Is the Mass Score in whole points, rounded or not, or in decimal? For example, if the actual mass of the unknown was 1000g, and the calculated value was 990g, is the scored MS value assigned 29 points, 29.7 points, or 30 points?

The mass score will be decimal, based on the precision of the measurement tools used by the Event Supervisor.


Boomilever - Div C

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-01-23 10:55 3a says that the Boolilever must be attached to the mounting hook(s). If the attachment base on the boomilever has no hole but rests against the mounting hook does that count as "attached"?

Yes, the boomilever may rest against the mounting hook.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2013-11-30 02:48 Is it 5 cm below Contact depth of actual Boomilever being tested, or 5 cm from Contact Depth line?

Please refer to the posted Rules Clarification.

2013-11-30 02:55 Does rule 3d mean that the loading block must be at or above 5cm below the contact depth before start AND during loading? For example, can the loading block be at 25cm below the center line of the hook if the contact depth=20cm? Will this depth be...

The rule does not state that the loading block must be at of above 5cm below the contact depth during the loading. Testing will continue until failure of the Boomilever which is defined in 5.f.line 3.

(section: 3g,h / line: 1)

2014-01-25 14:35 Can we use dowel joints to connect/join wood pieces in addition to adhesive? i.e. the dowel pins are made of wood.

Dowels are allowed as long as they are made of wood and meet the requirements of rule 3.g.

(section: 5 / paragraph: i / line: 2-3)

2014-03-27 14:41 What is the correct usage of the stabilization sticks (i.e. door stop end bumper only, wood dowel end only, either wood dowel or door stop end, or does not matter)?

To correctly use the stabilization sticks, the door stop end bumper should be used to touch the bucket, not the wood dowel end.

(section: 5 / paragraph: j / line: all)

2014-01-23 10:52 Please explain "Failure." Should loading stop if a piece breaks off the structure? Rule 3.a. states that it must be a single structure.

Failure is defined specifically in rule 5.j. Rule 3.a. defines the construction parameters of the structure, not what happens to the structure during loading. Therefore, if a piece breaks off the structure during loading and the structure is still supporting the load, loading will continue until failure occurs as defined in 5.j.

Mission Possible

(section: 2 / line: 1)

2014-01-26 21:02 Are lasers allowed?

No, lasers are not allowed. They are not one of the listed legal components in rule 3.i.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2014-03-11 19:44 If the device is contained within an actual cube and attached to portions of the walls and floor, will the measurement of the device include all of the structure (walls, floor, etc.) or just the portion of walls and floor used within the cube?

The measurements will be for the entire space the device takes up including the walls, floor, and any part of the device that might extend beyond these boundaries during the running of the device. Hence, during the running of the device if anything extended (even temporarily) beyond the stationary boundary the event supervisor will need to remeasure the device.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2014-03-11 19:19 What constitutes an energy transfer?

If energy is converted it is surely transferred. It can also be transferred without being converted. Energy triggers can count for points. The initial energy can trigger something to cause the next energy to release and it does NOT have to be converted to the final energy for it to count for points.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2014-01-25 14:30 May batteries receive points based on a chemical to electrical energy transfer?

No, because batteries must be factory sealed, thus there is no action you can perform to initiate the chemical energy input to the transfer and per Rule 3.g. "All scoreable actions and transfers must be visible...."

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-12 17:30 3.f. allows previously used motors to be switched off. Can other previously used circuits be switched off, example, a hot nichrome wire?

Yes, as long as two actions do not contribute to the task sequence at the same time.

(section: 3 / paragraph: g / line: 1-2)

2014-03-12 17:34 Do the steps need to be visible DURING operation, or just able to be made visible to show a judge?

The rules do not say the every task must be visible to the judges during operation, but tasks need to be verifiable by a judge. If they cannot completely verify a task actually took place, then it might not be counted for points.

(section: 3 / paragraph: i / line: 1)

2014-02-11 11:03 Now that all electric components are allowed, can we use lasers?

No, Lasers are not allowed in the devices per the Science Olympiad Laser policy found on the website http://www.soinc.org/lasers The first sentence of the policy rules them out for Mission Possible, "Laser levels, pointers and other laser devices are intended to be operated under the control of a human operator at all times."

(section: 3 / paragraph: j / line: 1)

2014-01-25 15:08 Does a wing nut on a threaded rod or a string on an axle rotated by a motor count as a continuous electrical action designed to take up time, even if the action is mainly mechanical, only powered by an electrical source?

Yes, these are considered a continuous electrical action intended to take up time and is not legal.

(section: 3 / paragraph: m / line: 1)

2014-01-26 17:41 Rule 3m. states that "All batteries must be factory-sealed and voltage labeled by the manufacturer." Does this mean that (non-hazardous) home-made batteries like lemon batteries are not permitted?

Correct, any type of homemade batteries are not allowed per rule 3.m. A battery is defined as a device that utilizes a chemical reaction to generate voltage and current.  Note that chemical reactions that result in a change in resistance are allowable in devices.

(section: 4 / line: 3)

2013-11-03 21:12 Does the final task have to be an electric lightbulb?

No, but some sort of light must be switched on per rule 4.g.

(section: 4 / line: a)

2014-01-25 15:54 Who chooses what items are used for the start task and how many of each item, the event supervisor or the team members?

The team members choose what items are used and how many of each item for the Start Task.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2013-10-31 21:05 Are the objects in the start task provided by the teams or the event supervisor?

Each team brings their own items for the Start Task.

2013-11-03 21:08 What is the minimum number of golf tees, paper clips, & marbles allowed in the mixture? Would it be acceptable to use 0 of one of the items?

A mixture is an aggregate of 2 or more different substances therefore teams may use only 2 of the 3 items in their mixture.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-05-08 21:45 If an electrical current is connected, filament in an incandescent light bulb heats up, and then emits visible light (EM waves), can this be listed as Electrical -> Thermal -> Electromagnetic transfer>

No. Rule 4 clearly states a single action can only contribute to a single transfer. You would not be able to get two transfers counted for this action.

(section: 4 / paragraph: F / line: 1 & 2 )

2014-01-26 23:04 What constitutes a "container"?

A container by definition must be capable of holding, restraining, and containing its contents (i.e. golf tees, paper clips, and/or marbles) in the container's volume or area. Containers may have modifications as long as they meet the definition of a container and comply with the rules. While the containers do not have to be removable from the device, a key test would be the question, "if the container was moved outside of the device, would the contents remain in the container?"


(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 3)

2014-02-13 09:42 Are ramps allowed this year assuming the egg starts at the starting line?

No. Vehicles are not allowed to start on ramps and the vehicle cannot be the falling mass. If the wheels are not touching the floor in the “ready to run” configuration then they would not be allowed to touch the floor after the run has begun since it would be in violation of the rules (see FAQ posted on 12/22/13).

(section: 2 / paragraph: H / line: 1)

2013-12-22 21:07 This section of the rules states that only the wheels of the scrambler can make contact with the floor. Does this mean that the falling mass can't make contact with the floor?

Only the wheels of the Scrambler and any parts of the Scrambler in contact with the floor at the ready to run configuration are allowed to contact the floor. If any piece falls off the Scrambler during the run, it is a construction violation. Therefore the falling mass cannot touch the ground at any time.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-02-28 12:22 It is not stated in 3.b. but I assume the actual starting line is the front edge of the 1in. tape (closest to the terminal barrier) and is the same for the .2m & 8.2m lines with the inside edge of the track tape defining the Track width.

Yes and no. The tape for the start line - correct. The other tapes are really up to the event supervisor as long as timing begins exactly 0.2 m from the start line and ends 8.2 m away from the start line. The Event Supervisor will let the team members know which edge of the tape correspond to each of the lines specified in the rules. Finally, yes the inside edge of the side tape should defined the track width.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2014-03-09 21:11 Does a 1/4" x 1/4" piece of balsa qualify as a 'dowel'?

No, a dowel by definition is a solid cylindrical rod.

Elastic Launched Glider

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-03-13 20:53 Is plywood considered to have pre-glued joints and therefore not allowed for construction?

Plywood is not considered to have pre-glued joints, it is legal for use.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 2)

2014-01-01 19:56 May any type of thread that is conventionally used in sewing garments be used to attach the functional components of the glider to each other, namely, cotton thread, polyester thread, elastic thread and silk thread?

Yes, any type of thread may be used to attache the functional components.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2014-01-01 22:06 Is ballast that is not permanently attached to the glider allowed in order to bring an individual glider up to the 3.0g minimum weight?

Yes. If ballast falls off during the flight, timing will stop when the ballast touches the ground. Ballast does not need to be permanently attached. If the event supervisor feels ballast changes, repairs, or other modifications have potentially made the glider over or underweight, the glider should be reconfirmed prior to any remaining flights.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2014-01-01 20:14 How will the wing-span be measured?

Wing span is the projected span, wings level, projected on a horizontal plane, tip to tip. It is usually measured with a simple gage and has to pass through a 28.0 cm gap (parallel edges) without touching. Think of the gage as physically representing two parallel lines spaced 28 cm apart. Glider must pass when the tips are oriented to a plane orthogonal to both lines.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1,2)

2014-01-01 20:11 May the gliders have a propeller on the nose of the fuselage?

Yes, A glider may have a propeller as long as there is no power source for the propeller, provided it is made from the allowed materials (3.c.), and meets the blunt nose requirement (3.f.) Also, remember elastic is only permitted as part of the launch handle and is not permitted on the glider.

(section: 3 / paragraph: g / line: 1)

2014-01-01 20:23 Can you specify what do you mean by launch handle?

A launch handle is an object attached to the elastic used to propel the glider as long as it follows the parameters defined in the rules. Examples are, but not limited to: a small stick, pencil, pen, dowel, or something more complex.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-01 20:30 Rule 4.b. states, “Once competitors enter the cordoned-off competition area to trim, practice, or compete they must ....not receive outside assistance, materials, or communication.” Does this apply to open practice the day of competition?

Yes, this rule applies to Open Practice the day of competition. The rule is specific including trimming, practicing and competing. Coaches & students are not allowed to interact in the cordoned off practice area the day of the competition.

(section: 4 / paragraph: g / line: 1)

2014-01-01 20:31 Can a launch handle/device be a freestanding structure in contact with the floor?

Yes provided it is safe and meets the size and construction requirements (3g.) and is operated by a single competitor at floor level (4g.)

2014-01-01 20:34 Can you clarify what "floor level" means?

The student must be in direct contact with the floor and not on another raised suface (chair, ladder, bleachers, balcony, etc). There is mo requirement as to posture: standing, kneeling, sitting, prone at chose of the competitor.

(section: 4 / paragraph: k / line: 2)

2014-03-09 13:56 Is your hand holding the elastic allowable as a launch handle?

Yes, your hand holding the elastic may be the launch handle.

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2014-01-01 20:38 What are the exact specifications needed for a glider to be considered a Canard Configuration?

There are two horizontal aerodynamic surfaces in elastic launch gliders. The larger surface is the primary source of lift and is considered the "wing." The smaller is a stabilization source and is considered the "horizontal stabilizer." Canard configurations place the horizontal stabilizer in front of the wing (reverse that of traditional layouts.) No aerodynamic surfaces may be behind the main wing.

2014-01-01 20:56 Does a "canard configuration" refer only to the horizontal surface, i.e. can there be a vertical fin at the rear of the glider?

Yes, a vertical fin may be at the rear of the glider for a canard as long as it does not provide any lift.

2014-03-11 18:26 For the official flights if we fly both a canard and a non-canard glider, how would the total score computed? Alternatively, to compute the longest flight time would you consider 30% bonus for Canards?

Each flight will be scored and the bonus (if applicable applied) to that flight. The top 3 flights will then be added to compute the total score.