Questions must be directed toward the rules. We cannot pre-judge your device by answering questions on whether it complies.
- Earth & Space Science
- 2014-12-01 20:41 Are TW Hya and TW Hydrae the same thing? If so, which one should be used as an answer during competition?
Yes, they are the same object. Hence, it does not matter which response is given, as both are correct.
- 2014-12-01 20:38 In the specific stars/planets section is Fomalhaut talking about the star or the planet Fomalhaut B?
The rules refer to the entire Fomalhaut system (including both the star and planet).
- Dynamic Planet - Div C
- Fossils - Div C
- GeoLogic Mapping
- Inquiry & Nature of Science
- Experimental Design - Div C
- Bungee Drop
- 2014-11-25 19:52 What is the definition of "drop height?"is it the bottom of the plastic bottle? The top? the top including all attached pieces by the event supervisors?The height of the anchoring system's top of ledge?
The drop height is measured from the bottom of the bottle.
- 2014-10-21 20:08 The phrasing for the sentence beginning "An attachment mechanism... " has very confusing wording. What exactly is it saying about attachment mechanisms (could you reword it for us?)
Rule 2.b.line 3 The phrase should be a complete sentence starting with the wording "Supervisors will supply an attachment mechanism......."
- 2014-11-25 19:58 Would folding the cord in half or other fractions/multiples to adjust for drop heights considered a physical alteration?
Folding the cord would not be considered a physical alteration. However, when folded, the cord would need to meet the elasticity test. Rule 3.c states "The cord may consist of more than one material...and more than one strand as long as it meets the elasticity test." Rule 3.c also defines the elasticity test "...while being suspended vertically, the bottom meter of the cord must stretch to at least 1.25 meters when a single mass is attached to this section and return to within 5 cm of its original length after the mass is removed."
- 2014-11-25 19:59 Does the bottom one meter length include the key ring for the elasticity test? i.e. the one meter length measured from the bottom of the key ring.
The key ring is included in the meter for the elasticity test.
- Technical Problem Solving
- Write It Do It - Div C
- 2014-11-25 20:05 While writing can words be crossed off or erased if a mistake is made?
Yes, strikethroughs may be used to identify text that is not part of the completed instructions. Even though technically not acceptable since it cannot be made on a standard typewriter, students are not expected to perfectly write instructions and if mistakes are made, strikethroughs would identify that the text is NOT part of the written instructions ...therefore wouldn't be docked in scoring.
- Life, Personal & Social Science
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Cell Biology - Div C
- Disease Detectives - Div C
- 2014-10-26 18:43 The Official Insect List has a glaring error. The family listed for "scale insects-twig or leaf" is wrong. It should be Coccidae, not Dactylopiidae which is cochineal insects.
From the rules... "The taxonomic scheme is based upon the Audubon Insect and Spider Field Guide. Any arbitrations questions will defer to this resource as the correct answer. " and on p 512 cochineal bugs are labeled as Family Dactylopiidae. its not a perfect system, and no book I am aware of will resolve every issue that can arise with the fluidity of insect taxonomy.
- Green Generation - Div C
- 2014-10-27 19:49 Does the limitation to Div C apply to both Legislation and Economic Opportunity or just Economic Opportunity?
Both topics of Legislation and Economic Opportunity in Solving Problems will apply to only Division C. Division B will not have any questions related to Legislation and Economic Opportunity in Solving Problems.
- 2014-11-25 20:42 3.a.i. lists "....... nutrient cycling, community interactions, population dynamics, species diversity and indicator species (2015 and 2016.)" Is population DYNAMICS in 2015 but NOT population GROWTH?
The basic ecological principle of how populations grow/dynamics will be covered in 2015 and 2016. (For eg- J curve, S curve, predator-prey interactions). Population growth human caused issues will be covered in 2016 ( For example- habitat loss, deforestation, desertification).
- Physical Science & Chemistry
- Air Trajectory
- 2014-11-25 18:58 Does the gravitational potential energy need to convert directly into air pressure or can it go through multiple conversions to get to the air pressure force.
It can go through multiple conversions, but 100% of the energy must initially be gravitational potential energy.
- 2014-11-25 19:03 Does the air pressure/movement generated by by the falling mass have to be immediatley applied (either directly or indirectly) to the projectile or can it be stored and then released?
It can be stored and released, but 100% of the initial energy must come from the falling mass and event supervisors must be able to verify this. Also, all chambers must automatically return to ambient air pressure.
- 2014-11-25 19:12 During competition, can a team use a different air chamber for each launch?
Yes, as long as the device remains safe and within other specs.
- 2014-10-30 16:49 Is a Foose ball legal to use as a projectile?
No, only the listed items in rule 3.f. are allowed as projectiles.
- 2014-11-25 19:28 Polyurethane foam practice golf balls almost never use the word "plastic" in their advertising, although polyurethane is clearly a plastic. If the package says "PU foam practice golf balls" is it OK?
All the words "plastic", "practice", "golf", and "ball" must appear somewhere on the packaging or advertising description of the product, but not necessarily all in the same spot.
- 2014-10-25 20:38 Please define "plastic practice golf balls". Are high density polyurethane foam practice golf balls allowed?
The most common type of plastic golf balls are plastic dimpled and plastic with holes and HDPE foam types are legal. As long as they are commercially marketed as "plastic practice golf balls", they may be used. It is recommended that students bring the packaging if there is a question.
- 2014-10-25 20:32 Its stated that the launch area is "1.00 m x 1.50 m (parallel to the launch direction)," does this mean that launch area is 1.50 m in length along the launch access and 1 m wide?
Yes, the 1.5 m side of the launch area is the side that is parallel to the launch direction and the front of the launch area is 1 m wide.
- 2014-10-25 20:45 The height of the target is not specified in the rules. What are the limits on how high or how low the targets can be compared to the launching area?
Rule 4.d. explicitly says that the target is either tape on the floor or panels lying on the floor. There should not be any significant difference between the floor height in the launch area and the targets.
- 2014-10-25 20:59 Can a team take one shot each for both targets and then decide which target it takes a second shot and/or take a bucket shot (if allowed by 4.i)?
Competitors may choose either target for their first shot. They may then choose to take their second shot at the same target or their first shot at the other target. If they qualify to take a bucket shot after their first shot at a particular target, they must ask for the bucket when they wish to take the second shot at that target.
- 2014-10-25 21:05 How can the competitors make measurements after the launch without touching the target?
Competitors will be told the distance of the targets from the launch area and can measure their impact locations from the launch area if outside of the target.
- 2014-10-25 21:11 If the projectile bounces off the bottom of the bucket and then out of the bucket would the bonus count?
Rule 4.i states that "making contact with the inside bottom surface is worth an additional 100 points." It does not state that after making contact the projectile must remain in the bucket, so the bonus is given even if the projectile subsequently bounces out of the bucket.
- Compound Machines
- 2014-10-27 19:39 For the first class lever component, does the total length of the bar have to be less than 40 cm or the individual sides from the fulcrum?
For the class 1 lever the load point to effort point measurements must be less than or equal to 40.0 cm. The size of the the fulcrum is irrelevant to this measurement.
- 2014-11-25 20:14 For class II lever would 40 cm be measured from the center of the fulcrum to the center of the load?
The 40 cm maximum length will be from the fulcrum connection to the effort point.
- It's About Time
- 2014-10-26 18:52 If we build a clock from parts made from a 3D printer, is that legal? The clock will be powered by an non-electric oscillator.
Per General Rule 1, yes it is allowed. As long as it complies to all other event rules, general rules, and the official Science Olympiad Building and Tools policy found at http://soinc.org/building_tools_policy. A 3D printer is no different from any other workshop tool such as a table saw or drill press.
- 2014-10-27 19:11 May students bring one or two individual resource pages (not in a binder), as in past years? Are students allowed to remove resource pages from the binder to use while working during the competition?
Most event supervisors are going to go by the book, which means the two pages would need to be in a binder. There are no rules on the removal of the pages, but it might be best to ask the event supervisor if removal of the pages would be allowed.
- Protein Modeling
- Chem Lab
- Technology & Engineering
- Bridge Building - Div C
- 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.
- 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.
- Mission Possible
- 2014-10-22 07:57 Does each golf ball need to end up in its own container?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 2014-12-01 20:02 What defines a "buzzer"?
It is an audio signaling device producing a buzzing sound by vibration.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.?
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