Event Clarifications and Rules Changes


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CollapseEvent Name: Anatomy
 11/13/18 9:00 AMNational FAQ: In this section, I am told to interpret ECG readings on strips. However, there are many complicated heart conditions that can be read on ECG strips. I'm wondering whether we have to know about all of these heart conditions or just a few basic ones.ECG interpretation will be simple and straight forward for B division. It is more about understanding how than diagnosis.
 09/21/18 9:00 AMNational Rules Clarification3.a.iii. should read: "Starling's forces in the capillaries"; (not Startling's)
CollapseEvent Name: Battery Buggy
 12/15/18 8:40 AMIs it allowed to impound 2 battery buggy vehicles and decide later which one to use?No, rule 2.a. states that "Participants must bring and impound a vehicle"
CollapseEvent Name: Boomilever
 12/05/18 10:30 AMNational Rules Clarification 3.e. should read: "Before and throughout loading, no portion of the Boomilever may touch the testing wall below the Contact Depth Line which is 20 cm (Div. B) or 15 cm (Div. C) below the center of the hole for the Mounting Hook (5.a.iii.)." ("more than" has been removed from the text.
 11/16/18 8:00 AMNational FAQ: If Wood is turned into wood string, would that still qualify for build materials?No, string made from wood can not be used.
 10/25/18 9:12 AMIs the loading block considered one piece, or are you allowed to remove the threaded eye bolt and wing nut from the loading block to mount it on the boomilever, and re-connect the threaded eye bolt and wing nut after mounting?The "Loading Block" is only the square block with the hole (5.b.i.); it is separate from the threaded eye bolt and wing nut (5.b.ii.). Both are components of the Loading Assembly (5.b.), which, per 4.Part II.c., is allowed to be disassembled.
CollapseEvent Name: Circuit Lab
 11/16/18 8:21 AMNational FAQ: Define the word "Basic." What is considered a Basic Multimeter? What is not considered a Basic Multimeter? Could it be digital? Auto ranging? What part is discretionary?Basic multimeter refers to those devices that are hand-held, battery powered, analog or digital, manual or auto ranging, measuring volts, amperes and ohms. Multimeters with advanced features, such as graphing, time waveform displaying, fft/frequency-domain functions, non-contact voltage sensing, current clamp probes are not considered basic. Whether to allow participants to use their own multimeters is at the discretion of the event supervisor. For example one regional supervisor may allow it, while another regional supervisor may not and require all participants to use multimeters they provide.
 11/16/18 8:00 AMNational FAQ: Are the breadboards mentioned limited to solderless breadboards, or will they involve soldering? Only solderless breadboards will be used.
CollapseEvent Name: Codebusters
 01/14/19 10:43 PMNational Rules Clarification 3.h. should read: "For all questions, the event supervisor will identify which cipher is to be used." ("All but one" was changed to "all")
 12/27/18 1:13 PMFor these questions, will the letter frequencies given on the exam correspond to frequencies of the cipher text or the frequencies of the plain text? We have seen both in practice questions, which can be confusing.The rules do not mention anything about frequencies.
 12/27/18 1:12 PMThe rule states that a Hill cipher question can be asked about "computing a decryption matrix given 4 plaintext-ciphertext letter pairs". The Science Olympiad wiki (https://scioly.org/wiki/index.php/Code_Busters) does not provide a clear example of solving this type of question, and the toebes site (https://toebes.com/codebusters/index.html) does not generate example questions/solutions of this type. We also did not see this type of question on past exams. Should the students expect this question on the exam? How about for division C?Yes, teams should still be prepared for this type of question. They should look at other resources on the Mathematical Cryptanalysis of the Hill Cipher.
 12/05/18 11:43 AMNational FAQ: Are different types ( i.e. pencils, highlighter, pens, etc.) of "writing utensils" acceptable? Yes. pencils, highlighters and pens are all valid writing instruments. However, any solutions written must be readily read by the person grading the test and an answer written only with a yellow or other color highlighter may be scored the same as a non-answered question.
 12/05/18 11:40 AMNational FAQ: Must competitors finish the first question before moving on in order to obtain points for the bonus, or may one or two students move on from the first question while others work on the first question in the first 10 minutes? Rule 3.d states that "participants are free to answer the questions in any order, working individually or in groups, attempting whichever of the questions seem right for them." Therefore, there is no requirement to complete question 1 before moving on to the other questions to be eligible for the timing bonus on the timed question.
 12/05/18 11:37 AMNational FAQ: For monoalphabetic ciphers, is an error defined as per incorrect letter or does one error encompass everything from that letter matching to an incorrect letter? If A is B and if the word AA is translated by mistake to CC is that 1 or 2 errors?..Errors are counted against the decode phrase and not the alphabet. If A is supposed to map to B, then AA mistakenly translated to CC would count as two errors.
 12/05/18 11:33 AMNational FAQ: Does "Mathematical Cryptanalysis of the Affine Cipher" refer to merely decoding a cipher given the a and b values, or determining the a and b values from given ciphertext? Mathematical Cryptanalysis of the Affine Cipher means that the student has to decode the entire plain text of the cipher given two plain text characters to match the cipher text.
 12/05/18 11:29 AMNational FAQ: Will the crib necessarily be provided in the exam?Not for all questions. "cribs" (also known as Hints) will only be supplied for cipher types under rules 3.e.iii.(1), 3.e.iii.(3), 3.e.iii.(5), 3.e.vi, 3.e.vii, 3.f.iii and 3.f.vi.
 12/05/18 11:26 AMNational FAQ: What type of baconian Cipher is being tested, the one in which V and J do not have a unique code or the one where all the letters have a unique code?The Baconian ciphers will use the 24 character alphabet in which I and J are both represented by ABAAA and U and V are both represented by BAABB.
 12/05/18 11:23 AMNational FAQ: Is xenocrypt necessarily monoalphabetic substitution?Yes. All Xenocrypts will be mono-alphabet substitution following the same substitution rules of Aristocrats.
 12/05/18 11:18 AMNational FAQ: For aristocrats with spelling/grammar errors, should the errors be included in the final answer?Yes. The final answer should exactly match the errors in the encoded text. Specifically if the aristocrat was LFOE JG KOI GNFQJH then the correct answer would be HEAR IS BAD SPELIN in order to count as zero mistakes.
 11/16/18 8:23 AMNational FAQ: Are xenocrypts only limited to Spanish? The wording makes it unclear. Yes. For this year, all Xenocrypts will be in Spanish.
 10/06/18 9:00 AMNational FAQ: If students make errors while decoding the first question, but still receive full or partial credit per 4.b.ii., will this be counted as answering "correctly" for purposes of earning the timing bonus? There is no partial credit for the bonus. In order to be considered solved for rule 3.i.v. the team must solve the timed question with 2 or fewer errors within the 10 minute timer. After the 10 minute time has passed, the timed question is scored like any other question under rule 4.b.ii. such that a team may still receive points for solving it with 3 mistakes, but no bonus is awarded.
CollapseEvent Name: Crime Busters
 11/05/18 8:00 AMIn the event parameters it says that gloves are optional and up to the host's decision. If gloves are optional, will the participants be allowed to touch the powders? If gloves are not permitted, how far in advance will the teams be notified? Gloves are optional; San Diego Regional will not require a specific type of gloves for its tournament.
 10/17/18 8:44 AMNational FAQ: Previously, students were allowed to bring in magnets for metal identification. However, in the new recommended material list on the soinc website, magnets are not listed. Are students allowed to bring in magnets in their supply box?Yes, magnets will shortly be added to the list available online.
CollapseEvent Name: Disease Detectives
 10/17/18 8:35 AMNational FAQ: Are the steps of an outbreak investigation based on the 13 steps as listed on the CDC site, or on the 10 steps provided in previous years' event description.The updated event outline uses the 13 steps that are listed on the CDC site and in the textbook listed in the resources. It is the most up-to-date format. The process is the same, but the division into 13 steps emphasizes the validation of the hypothesis.
 10/05/18 9:41 AMNational FAQ: What is the focus of Disease Detectives this year?Disease Detectives has been reorganized for 2019 and the topic rotation has been dropped. See the 2019 rules for the emphasis in each area. For an outbreak investigation, needed background will be provided.
CollapseEvent Name: Elastic Launched Gliders
 10/18/18 11:17 PMRule 3.c. states glider may be constructed only of wood, foam, paper, plastic film, carbon fiber, tape, thread and/or glue. Can rubber bands be used in the construction and specifically to hold the wing on to the fuselage?No, rubber bands cannot be used as part of the glider.
CollapseEvent Name: Experimental Design
 10/29/18 3:12 PMNational FAQ: Will participants be required to write a "Statement of problem" even though it is not included in the rubric? No. Students may write a Statement of Problem but the Hypothesis will contain information necessary to determine what is happening in the experiment.
CollapseEvent Name: Fossils
 10/29/18 3:09 PMNational FAQ: Will binders be measured using the binding or the rings?Binders will be measured by the size of the rings. A 3" binder has rings that have a 3" diameter on the inside of the rings. The binding of a 3" binder will be larger.
 10/05/18 9:35 AMNational FAQ: Cannot find the Official S.O. Geologic Time Scale. Found a reference in old 2010-11 event that went to a dead GSA site link, so I assume you're using the latest GSA Time Scale (v. 5.0), but that is not the way it's described in the rules.The Official S. O. Geologic Time Scale was modified from the GSA Time Scale and is available on the Science Olympiad website: https://scilympiad.com/data/org/san-diego-so/public/FossilsGeologicTimeScale.pdf The Geologic Time Scale was updated in 2018, but the Science Olympiad Official Time Scale will have 2019 in the title, to reflect use for the 2018-19 season.
CollapseEvent Name: Herpetology
 01/02/19 3:36 PMThe instructions say you can bring a two-inch binder with information from any source, does that mean that a field guide could be modified and then placed into the binder?Yes
 12/05/18 3:28 PMNational FAQ: For Herpetology are the species’ information based on North America only? For example, in population is it for North America or the whole world?Questions relating to species' information will be limited to North American groups and organisms included in the official herpetology list. However there might be a one or two broad, generalized questions about major, exotic groups (populations, examples) elsewhere in the world.
 11/25/18 12:02 PMCan you help clarify if we need to limit ourselves to the exact official herpetology list OR go down even further under those families. Example - for Tortoises, should I limit to just tortoise OR go down to more like Gopher tortoise, Texas or Berlandier tortoise, desert tortoise etc. According to 3.d., participants only need to "be able to do basic identification and answer taxonomy questions to the level indicated on the Official National Herpetology List", but will need to "demonstrate knowledge of anatomy and physiology, reproduction, habitat characteristics, ecology, diet, behavior, conservation, taxonomy, sounds, and biogeography" to levels lower than those indicated on the Official National Herpetology List.
 10/13/18 9:24 AMNational FAQ: "One two-inch or smaller standard binder" should refer specifically to the rings in the binder being two inches or smaller, correct? Yes, the standard for measurements of a binder are based upon the inner size of the rings. For round ring binders, the size is determined by measuring the inside diameter of the ring(s). D-ring and slant-d ring binders are measured by the straight edge of the ring.
CollapseEvent Name: Meteorology
 11/13/18 10:58 PMThe rules list only Local winds & Precipitation. Can we take this to mean that student will not be questioned on Global winds and Atmospheric-Ocean interactions?There should not be any questions on global winds. However, although atmospheric-ocean interactions is not a listed topic, questions may still be asked about it in relation to other listed topics.
CollapseEvent Name: Mystery Architecture
 12/15/18 8:42 AMFor Arch's primary dimension, if the Arch is built over two pillars, will the height need to be measured from the top of the pillar to the top of the Arch (OR) will the height need to be measured from the bottom of the pillar to the top of the Arch? (OR) is the Arch itself need to be built from the base itself without any pillars at the two ends of Arch.The arch is the part that is curved. The pillars would not be included in the height measurement.
 12/05/18 4:28 PMNational FAQ: For Mystery Architecture, how do you distinguish a tunnel from an arch? Must a tunnel be curved?The tunnel would be a completely enclosed passage leading from point A to point B. The tunnel does not have to be curved. For an arch, it would be a curved symmetrical structure spanning an opening and typically supporting the weight of a mass.
CollapseEvent Name: Potions and Poisons
 01/15/19 8:20 AMNational Rules Clarification3.Part I.a.viii. should read: "identification of various poisonous plants and animals, and their toxic effects: ...Wild Carrot (Cicuta douglasii),...". ("Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)" was changed to "Wild Carrot (Cicuta douglasii)")
 10/08/18 8:00 AMCan you clarify the type of "...any needed probes" that may or may not be used and their purposes as noted under the "Event Supervisor will provide..."?For example, the Event Supervisor may ask students to measure the pH of a solution to a higher precision than pH paper is able to determine. In that case, the Event Supervisor will provide the necessary probe(s) needed to get the additional precision.
CollapseEvent Name: Roller Coaster
 01/08/19 10:53 AMIs the time taken to level the device counted as part of the 8 minutes?Yes
 12/27/18 1:10 PMAre data/notes required to impound? Do a team need to bring data/note to impound even they are not planned to use them in competition?No.
 11/03/18 11:53 AMIf, for instance, the ball traveling rightward leaves the track and lands on a piece of track angled such that the ball travels leftward upon landing, does this constitute a gap? And, if so, between which two points is the gap measured?No, this would not count as a gap.
 10/29/18 3:31 PMNational FAQ: Please give an example of the added rule: The beginning and the end of each Gap must be at least 0.5 cm above the next surface(s) below them.There has to be a step down to the next 'level' surface below the beginning and end of a gap. There can't just be a line drawn on a continuous surface. The Event Supervisors should be able to take a ruler, place it at the end or beginning of a gap, vertically oriented, and measure a minimum of 0.5 cm from the surface of the track before they hit something below it. (10/25/18 Update: Removed "A drawing will be posted on the website.")
 10/23/18 12:56 PMIn the rules it states prior to the competition, teams design, build, and test a Roller Coaster track to guide a sphere down the track as close as possible to a Targe Time. There is no mention of what that target time is. When will teams be informed of that time so they can design the appropriate Roller Coaster prior to the competition? The Roller Coaster should be designed so that its Run Time can be adjusted during the competition to achieve the Target Time. Please see 4.b. for the Target Time specifications.
 10/18/18 8:17 AMAre there any limits on materials we can use for Roller Coaster B? Please refer to General Rule #1: https://scilympiad.com/san-diego-so/Policy/doc/general-rules
 10/16/18 8:35 AMNational FAQ: Please give an example of the added rule: The beginning and the end of each Gap must be at least 0.5 cm above the next surface(s) below them. There has to be a step down to the next 'level' surface below the beginning and end of a gap. There can't just be a line drawn on a continuous surface. The Event Supervisors should be able to take a ruler, place it at the end or beginning of a gap, vertically oriented, and measure a minimum of 0.5 cm from the surface of the track before they hit something below it. A drawing will be posted on the website.
 09/25/18 8:40 AMNational Rules Clarification2.c. should read: "Participants without eye protection will not compete and will be awarded participation points only."; (removed "ranked in Tier 4" as there is no Tier 4 for 2019)
CollapseEvent Name: Thermodynamics
 01/14/19 10:48 PMNational Rules Clarification5.c.iii. should read: "Heat Score (HS) = 20 x (the k value closest to zero of all teams) / k, where k is from Newton’s law of cooling: k = - (1 / cooling time) x ln((start water temp - room temp) / (final water temp - room temp))". ("(lowest k of all teams)" was replaced with "(the k value closest to zero of all teams)")
 01/02/19 4:02 PMIn the rules, it states that we are not allowed to use COMMERCIALLY available vacuum sealed devices. However, if the box has been vacuum sealed by the team, not using any previously vacuum sealed parts, will that be permitted. Devices or components that have been built and vacuum sealed by teams are permitted.
 01/02/19 3:48 PMDoes "commercially available thermoses/coolers/vacuum sealed devices" refer only to thermoses, hydroflasks, etc., or does this also include vacuum insulated panels and chambers?Vacuum insulated panels and chambers are vacuum sealed devices.
 01/02/19 3:43 PMCan I use Polyurethane foam (used for Seat Cushion) for device construction? Can I use polyethylene foam (used for packing material) for device construction?Please check rule 3.a. to see what materials are and are not allowed.
CollapseEvent Name: Write It Do It
 01/02/19 8:40 PMSan Diego Regional ClarificationWriters must stay for the entire writing period (25 minutes), and they will be dismissed once this writing period is over. However, builders must arrive at the start of the event to check in as a team, and they will be required to stay for the entire testing period.