Technology & Engineering

Bridge Building - Div C

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

2014-10-27 18:44 Must the outside width of the Bridge be at least 5.0 cm for the entire span? What does "at any height along its span" mean?

Yes, the outside width of the Bridge must be at least 5.0 cm for the entire span (Div. B - 35 cm and Div. C - 45 cm). "At any height along its span" means that the 5.0 cm width for the entire span can be at any height on the bridge as long as it is not below the top surface of the Test Supports.

2014-10-27 18:49 If the outside width of the bridge at the bottom chord is 5cm out to out, can the top chords be less than 5cm out to out in order to better support the loading block?

Yes, as long as the width of the Bridge is at least 5.0 cm for the entire span it doesn't matter at what height the 5.0 cm minimum width is located.

2014-11-25 19:31 Can the bridge be say 1cm wide with a thin outrigger along it's length to meet the 5 cm wide requirement?

Yes, that is one way to meet the requirements of rule 3.e.

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

2014-10-27 18:52 May the loading block be placed at any height of the Bridge as long as it is in the center of the span?

Yes, the loading block may be placed at any height of the Bridge as long as it is in the center of the span and not below the top surface of the Test Supports prior to testing.

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

2015-02-13 18:46 It states, "Two identical test supports at least 3cm x 3cm x 15 cm. Can you clarify which dimensions are the height, width, and length?

The Test Supports are at least 3.0 cm high, 3.0 cm wide and 15.0 cm long

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

2015-02-13 18:48 Are the Test Supports screwed into the Test Base so that it does not move, or can the students move the Test Supports, as is stated in section e, "Test Supports that are set by the students."

No, the Test Supports are not attached to the Test Base. Students may move them anywhere within the Bearing Zones on the Test Base.

Mission Possible

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

2014-10-22 07:57 Does each golf ball need to end up in its own container?


(section: 3)

2014-11-03 18:54 Are parallel steps allowed this year?

No. By definition the actions and ETS are listed in the Action Sequence List in order, with one triggering the next. See rule 4.d.

(section: 3 / line: 1)

2015-03-01 15:51 Parallel steps are not allowed. How is scoring affected when a device has a parallel step?

It is a competition violation since rule 4.a. says each golf ball must cause the next action.

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

2014-10-26 19:30 What constitutes an action/how are they different from a transfer?

A transfer is referring to an ETS (Energy Transfer Sequence), which is described in 4.b.

2015-03-01 15:55 What type of reaction is a rocket igniter? Would this be a E to C to T reaction?

No, rule 4. explicitly says a single component can contribute to only 1 transfer. Depending on how it's used, a rocket igniter could be listed as either E to C or E to T.

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

2014-11-13 20:45 Can microcontrollers, which are not computers nor integrated circuits, be used in the device?

No, microcontrollers contain integrated circuits and thus are prohibited.

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

2014-11-03 20:00 Under the rules for mission possible it states, "hazardous liquids...and unsafe chemical handling will not be permitted. What designates a liquid as hazardous or a chemical as unsafe?

That is up to the individual event supervisor to determine. It will be based upon common standards and processes, such as those found in a typical chemistry lab. In general, when in doubt, err on the side of caution.

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

2015-02-28 13:15 What is your definition of a fuse?

The type of fuse that is not allowed due to safety concerns is a chemically treated string that burns at a controlled rate (typically used in fireworks and explosives.) Teams are permitted to use electric fuses to limit current in a circuit.

(section: 4 / line: 1)

2014-10-22 08:02 What is the difference between the Action Sequence List transfers and the Bonus Energy Transfer Sequences? When is which used, etc?

All actions/transfers must be included on the submitted Action Sequence List. The Bonus Energy Transfer Sequences must be included in the submitted Action Sequence List.

2014-12-01 19:54 What is your definition of jug?

We will be using the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of a jug: "A large, deep container with a narrow opening and a handle." Per the rules, the jug must be made of plastic and also have been used for a beverage. Specific size of the jug is not defined.

2015-02-16 12:52 May the handle of a legal jug (plastic, used for beverage, has handle, >10cm tall) have the top cut off to enlarge the opening, such that the entire handle is removed, but such that it is more than 10cm tall?

Yes, the handle may be cut off the jug along with any portion of the jug more than 10cm above the bottom of the jug. The rules do not require the handle be intact above 10cm from the bottom of the jug.

2015-02-16 13:30 Are plastic beverage containers with molded indentations to grasp the bottle considered jugs?

No. A plastic beverage container with molded indentations instead of a handle is not considered a jug.

(section: 4 / line: 2)

2015-02-16 13:11 Does the jug have to have a handle or can it be a bottle that has been cut?

The scoring container must be a plastic beverage jug per the rules and which had a handle per the definition of a jug posted as an FAQ on 12/1/14. The handle may be cut off at a point above 10 cm from the bottom of the jug. A bottle is not a jug and would not be legal to use as a scoring jug.

(section: 4 / line: 4)

2015-02-28 13:35 Can the same battery be used in two different circuits (each circuit included in a different scorable ETS) without violating the rule of using a single complonent in only one scoreable transfer, or must different batteries be used in each circuit?

You may use the same battery in multiple transfers, provided it is energizing different components.

(section: 4 / paragraph: 1 / line: 4-5)

2014-11-30 21:45 "A single Action or component must contribute to only one scoreable Transfer." Can the same component be re-used to lift multiple golf balls, or does each golf ball need to be lifted by an individual component?

Yes, the same component may be re-used to lift or move multiple golf balls unless the component is part of a Bonus Energy Transfer Sequence which would then be a "scoreable Transfer".

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

2014-10-26 19:42 If more than one golf ball is being sorted, do you just drop one in to start the device and the others are already placed in the device, or must all of them be dropped in?

The Start Task golf ball is the only one that is not in the device at the Start. All other golf balls must begin in the device. at a point below the bottom of the lowest scoring plastic beverage jug.

2014-11-03 18:51 Does the starting golf ball have to end up in a scoring jug?

No, the starting golf ball does not have to end up in a scoring jug.

2014-11-03 19:57 Does the golf ball that starts the first action have to fall below the lowest container, then be lifted up and be dropped into a jug for the 2 points, or can it start the action and fall right into a jug?

The starting golf ball may start an action and fall into a scoring jug without going below the lowest container but it will not receive 2 points. To score 2 points, the starting golf ball must go completely below the lowest container and be lifted up by the device before dropping into a scoring jug.

2014-11-03 20:05 Can the first starting golf ball initiate an ETS?

Yes, the starting golf ball may initiate an ETS. Please see the posted FAQ regarding scoring 2 points for the starting golf ball.

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

2015-02-28 14:05 Does the starting golf ball (the one that is dropped into the device) have to end up in a scoring jug if the team is NOT trying to get the two points for the golf ball?


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

2014-11-03 19:14 Does the ENTIRE golf ball need to be completely below the jug, or does only part of the golf ball need to be below the jug?

Yes, all golf balls must start completely below any of the scoring jugs except for the first golf ball.

Yes, the ENTIRE scoring golf ball must at some point be completely below the lowest scoring jug before being lifted and dropped into a scoring jug.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: 3 / line: 5)

2014-10-22 08:07 Can objects, other than scoring golf balls, be placed inside of the scoring jugs, provided that they do not alter the inside surface of the jug?

No, objects other than the scoring golf balls may not be inside the scoring jugs. The inside of the scoring jug may not contain any objects, excluding scoring golf balls, throughout the duration of the run.  Only allowed golf balls may be in the jug whether they receive 2 points or do not receive 2 points.

2014-11-05 13:23 What is the difference between the Action Sequences and the Bonus Energy Transfers?

Everything that happens in the device is an Action.   Actions on their own don’t earn points.  Transfers are when one form of energy is transferred into another form of energy.   Transfers on their own don’t earn points. The only way a Transfer can receive points is if it is part of an Energy Transfer Sequence (ETS) as per the rules. Regardless of the points intended to earn, all Actions and Energy Transfers must be documented in the Action Sequence List (ASL).

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

2014-10-22 08:11 For two consecutive ETS will the golf ball at the end of first ETS be the same as the golf ball of the second ETS?

Yes, the ending ball from one ETS may be the starting ball for the next ETS. There does not need to be an intermediate step between two consecutive Bonus Energy Transfer Sequences.

2014-10-26 19:52 It states that the ETS must be initiated by the PROCESS of a golf ball moving into a scoring jug, does this mean that as long as the starting golf ball starts the next ETS and falls in before the next golfball falls in, the ETS is scored?


2014-10-26 19:58 Do the initiating and final golf balls have to be eligible for scoring in order for an ETS to be eligible for scoring? Initiating and final referring to the golf ball starting the ETS and the golf ball released at the end of the transfer.

Yes, both the initiating and final golf balls must be eligible for scoring in order for an ETS to be eligible for scoring.

No.  Neither the initiating nor the final golf balls need to be scoreable balls in order for an ETS to be eligible for scoring.

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

2014-10-22 08:13 Does an ETS have to be initiated by a golf ball specifically falling into a scoring jug (4.b, line 2) or simply initiated by a golf ball "Prior to entering a scoring jug (4.a, line 8)"?

The Bonus ETS must be initiated by  the process of a golf ball moving into a scoring jug.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 6)

2014-11-03 19:03 Would an ETS of “X to Y to X” be different and unique when compared to a sequence of “X to Y to X to Y to X”? What is the working definition of a unique ETS?

Yes, these would be different unique energy transfer sequences. A unique Energy Transfer Sequence is when the sequence of transfers are different from those of another sequence. This could include the addition or deletion of a transfer from another type of sequence already used.

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

2014-12-01 20:02 What defines a "buzzer"?

It is an audio signaling device producing a buzzing sound by vibration.

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

2014-10-22 08:24 What is the specific definition of "immediately," as in "The last ball will count for points if it immediately drops into a jug"?

Immediate is not specifically defined in a tenth of a second or seconds so as not to put a burden on the Event Supervisor for timing. It is up to the Event Supervisor to determine the definition of "immediate". A team should not take chances of the ball taking more than 1-2 seconds.

(section: 5 / line: L)

2014-10-22 08:30 Only 6 Energy Task Sequences score points. Can any number of golf balls be given 2 points, though after the first 6, they use non-scoreable Actions?

Yes, any number of golf balls may receive 2 points with non-scoreable actions.


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

2014-12-16 13:51 When the 2kg weight of the scrambler gets dropped during the activation of the launcher and falls to the floor, is it allowed to stretch a spring, which would later propel the car?

Yes, you can use springs as described but they MUST be completely in a relaxed position (NO potential energy!) prior to the dropping of the mass and that all of it's PE is only due to the mass dropping.

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

2014-12-16 13:52 Are we allowed to use rubber bands in our Scrambler?

Yes, you can use rubber bands but they MUST be completely in a relaxed position (NO potential energy!) prior to the dropping of the mass.

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

2015-02-15 15:39 The backstop is described as "flat (no holes)". My understanding is that holes may be drilled for the purpose of inserting or screwing the horizontal dowels and vertical dowel, but no other holes must exist. Am I correct, i.e., may holes be drille...

Yes, you can drill holes for the dowels, but there should be no "unfilled" holes in the backstop when you are done.

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

2014-10-27 19:15 Would a ramp be allowed?

No. 2.c. states "The vehicle must not contribute to the falling mass." 2.h. states "The only parts of the Scrambler that are allowed to contact the floor are those that are already in contact with the floor in the ready-to-run position. All ETV wheels must be in contact with the floor at all times."

Wright Stuff

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

2014-10-26 20:05 Please clarify "non-transparent" as even Esaki tissue is transparent enough to read through: Is Dying, spray painting, or coloring with a marker over clear plastic covering material allowed?

Yes, for the Science Olympiad National Competition, the techniques and materials as described but not limited to: dying, spray painting, coloring with a marker over clear plastic, are each acceptable and will be allowed as a covering so that aircraft may be identified at its maximum altitude.

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

2014-10-26 19:48 In the case of a tip-dihedral model, would a colored wing tip (which is non-horizontal) meet the requirements of both rule 5.a and 3.g.?