Towers B

Q: By saying span, does the entire base of the tower need to be outside the square opening, or can a tower cut the corners of the opening. For instance if it is an octagon, is it possible for the edges of the tower base to come over the corners of the opening as long as there is sufficient space for the loading chain. (section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: Yes, the tower base can "cut across" the 20cm square opening so long as no part of the tower passes below the top surface of the Test Base.

Q: In past years there was a limit on wood size. Is there a limit on the thickness of the wood pieces we use on our cross sections? (section: 1 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

A: No. Please refer to 3.a.ii.

Q: Can the wood be bent to form a continuous ring on the base of the tower. (section: 3 / paragraph: a / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

A: Yes.

Dynamic Planet B

National FAQ: "Geophysical tools to obtain data to interpret physical structure of the Earth." This item is a little vague - can you supply a list of tools, or at least an idea of what kind of tools that should be covered? (section: 3 / paragraph: l / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: By far the most important geophysical tool for revealing earth's structure is seismography. Students should be familiar with both natural and controlled-source methods, how they work, and what they reveal, at a minimum. Additional important tools include magnetometry, gravimetry, and ground-penetrating radar. There are more, but these are the ones most likely to be assessed in the event.

Battery Buggy B

National FAQ: Can we use Arduino? (section: 1 / paragraph:  / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: No. Arduino microcontrollers have electrical and electronic components beyond those allowed in the list in rule 3.e.

National FAQ: Can a small diode (lights on/off) with a resistor be used? The diode will turn on when an electrical switch is pressed, and turns off when the switch is off. (section: 3 / paragraph: e / sub-paragraph:  / line: 2)

A: No. Diodes (a semiconductor device) are not listed in the allowable electrical components in rule 3.e.

National FAQ: Can a "battery pack" be formed by wiring AA batteries in series and simply wrapping them as long as the labels of individual AA batteries are clearly visible? (section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph:  / line: 2)

A: If you are asking whether you can wire the 8 AA 1.5 V batteries in series or parallel or a combination of both, nothing in the rules says you cannot. So yes, you can make your own battery pack, as long as the vehicle has no more than a total of 8 AA batteries and all of their labels that say "AA 1.5 V" is clearly visible.
 

Experimental Design B

National FAQ: What is a linear measuring device (the rules are vague)? (section: 3 / paragraph: l / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: A linear measuring device is any item marked are regular, standard intervals suitable for measuring length. It must have markings in only one dimension (ruler, meter stick, tape measure, caliper, etc). A carpenter's square would not qualify as it has markings along two dimensions.

Roller Coaster

Q: Please clarify what it means when it says, "Finish Line running perpendicular to the direction of vehicle travel on the track." The vehicle travels in many different directions during its course. Does it mean finish line needs to be perpendicular to vehicle's beginning direction? (section: 3 / paragraph: f / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: The Finish Line should be perpendicular to the direction of the vehicle's travel when it crosses the Finish Line.

Hovercraft

Q: The rules state that mechanical relays are allowed.  What is defined as a mechanical relay, ie: Songle relay board? (section: 3 / paragraph: g / sub-paragraph:  / line: 2)

A: A relay is an electrically operated switch and a mechanical relay is one which operates by having a part that mechanically moves to complete the circuit. Please be aware that some commercially available mechanical relays (or boards with such relays) may include prohibited components such as diodes and integrated circuits, and would not be allowed.

Wright Stuff

State Science Olympiad and Los Angeles County Science Olympiad Rules Change::

A: Wright Stuff will require Eye Protection B as described by the National Science Olympiad Protection Policies.  (section: 1/paragraph: /subpragraph: /line: )

Additional information about the Eye Protection policy can be found on this Web site in the For Coaches section: Eye Protection

Fun Facts

National FAQ: If the category is planets, would dwarf planets be considered a planet? (section: 3 / paragraph: h / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: The Event Supervisors (ES) who constructs the grid will be the final arbiter of the correct answer for the grid. ES are encouraged to select categories that are not vague to avoid confusion as this could have a very narrow interpretation to some people while having a very broad interpretation to others. In this case, by choosing a category like “Names of Planets” or “Terms related to planets” the participants would have a much better understanding of acceptable answer choices. ES should select letters that have acceptable answers. ES should also try to avoid choosing letters that have misleading answer choices for the participants.

Dynamic Planet

National FAQ: What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed? (section: 2 / paragraph:  / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Meterology

National FAQ: What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed? (section: 2 / paragraph:  / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Road Scholar

National FAQ: What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed? (section: 2 / paragraph:  / sub-paragraph:  / line: 1)

A: The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.