Georgia Science Olympiad
Exploring the World of Science
2010-2011 Science Olympiad Events and Descriptions
Olympiad events fall into 5 major categories: 1) Life, Personal and Social Sciences (B); 2) Earth and Space Science(E); 3) Physics and Chemistry(PC); 4) Technology(T); 5) Inquiry and Communication(I) .Many events will require proper eye protection. See http://www.soinc.org for descriptions of kinds of eye protection
EVENTS COMMON TO BOTH DIVISIONS
* = new or altered events for 2011
Feathered Frenzy (Ornithology) : Students move from station to station, being timed at each station. No returning to stations. Various pictures or actual specimens of birds from the GA list This list also includes those birds that must be recognized by sound. Questions involve placing the organism in its correct taxonomic group and answering things about habitat, life cycle, economic importance etc. Students may bring reference materials with them, but many stations may have many specimens, so students must be able to make some ids quickly. Each year one of life science events deals with taxonomy of some group or groups.
*Anatomy/Health Science: Students move from station to station, being timed at each station. No returning to stations. Various pictures or actual specimens of normal and diseased organ parts. This year (2011) the emphasis is on the muscular and respiratory systems for B. C includes these two systems plus the endocrine system. Muscles may be found on the national web site ( www.soinc.org ). Questions about identifying and/or providing function of various components of the above systems. Students can also expect to see graphs and possibly economic questions on indicated diseases. Each year, one of life science events deals with two body systems.
Crime Busters/Forensics: A lab based event. Proper safety equipment and attire required to participate. A detailed reagent kit needed. Students must be able to chemically distinguish among a number of different powders, be able to compare inks via chromatography, visually compare tire treads, foot and fingerprints, hair, and/or DNA fingerprints. Students should be able to distinguish different types of fur and synthetic fibers. If the crime scene is set up properly, many students will not finish the entire analysis, for some students will take a long time to set up a test. Each student should being doing different tests. Determination of pH and blood types are critical. Students must be aware that none, all, or more than one of suspects could fit the data.
Disease Detectives: An event sponsored by the CDC, dealing with some aspect of epidemiology. Students are usually given a scenario, asked to answer a series of questions pertaining to possible sources, possible future preventative measures, and possible ultimate sources of the given outbreak (either environmental or organismal). Almost always a purely paper-pencil test. Students can expect to see numerous graphs/tables, provide some detailed written explanations, and also some vocabulary-type questions. A long test to grade, so it is often given early in the day.
*Dynamic Planet: usually a paper-pencil type event, dealing with specific topics of earth science. The emphasis changes almost yearly. In 2011, the event will deal with fresh water. A good test will often have some remote sensing images, maps, other graphs, etc.
*Ecology: Numerous questions about ecological principals relating to two major-type biomes. The biomes change yearly. Usually a paper pencil event, with much vocabulary. Some sites will run the event as stations where students have to make measurements, set up testing devices, contrast different methodologies, etc. Making calculations, interpreting graphs and making predictions about the future are often the types of questions that may appear. There may be questions about why a particular ecosystem is being destroyed. In 2011, the emphasis is on the taiga and the tundra .
Experimental Design : Students are given a problem and asked to design, perform, and analyze an experiment that will possibly explain the problem. Identifying different types of variables, writing the procedure, performing the experiment (at least twice), recording data, drawing graphs and conclusions are all parts of the evaluation. Students need to be organized and able to communicate with each other. Usually constructing tables and graphs are crucial. Grading takes a long time, so expect this event early. This event allows a team of 3 members.
Fossils: Students move from station to station, being timed at each station. No returning to stations. Various pictures or actual specimens of fossils at each station. Students will be asked to id the fossil (from list on national web page, www.soinc.org ), provide information about the age of the fossil, answer questions about how different kinds of fossils are formed, etc. Reference materials allowed, but students must not spend all the time looking through reference material.
*Microbe Mission: An an event that uses various types of process skills to answers a variety of questions about different types of microbes. Students are expected to be familiar with the properties of different major groups of microbes. Best run as stations. Expect questions about the use of microscopes. Only specific diseases (http://www.soinc.org) may be asked about. Often run as stations.
*Optics: Students will answer questions relating to optics. They will also use 1 (B) or 2 (C) mirrors to focus a laser beam on a target.
*Scrambler/electric vehicle and other vehicle events: Although different, these events which change almost yearly, are very similar. Prior to the day of competition, students build a vehicle that will travel a certain distance and be able to stop (sometimes without breaking an egg as in the case of scrambler). The actual distance to be traveled is not told to students until the day of competition. Vehicles are impounded before actual competition and students may make no changes to vehicle until they are ready to compete. Requires much practicing with vehicle and developing some type of braking mechanism as well as a very good log book that deals with various distances. Time and distance traveled determine the score. See below for descriptions of Battery Buggy(B) and Mousetrap, Out and Back(C)
*Tower /Boomilever/ Bridge : Similar but different events. Each device is measured for its overall efficiency for supporting up to 15 kg of mass (sand). Devices are built prior to competition, usually of balsa or bass wood. Scoring is based on structural efficiency. Ideally, students should build and test more than one device prior to competition. Buy the wood in bulk if possible. Very important for students to follow building specs in rules. Device are tested by adding sand to a bucket that is hanging from the device until the device breaks or is still intact after 15 kg. Be sure device can hold the specified bolt in the specified place. Some sites may impound the devices. Students need protective eye wear. In 2011 the device for both divisions is an Eifel Tower type structure divisions. All sites in GA will use sandhoppers for testing.
Write it Do It: An event all about writing clear instructions and following these instructions. One member of a team enters a room and examines some type of structure, with 20-40 pieces. Without touching the object, this team member has 20 minutes to write building instructions (with no pictures) for the partner. This team member, then hands instructions to partner who then acquires a bag of building materials. Following the written instructions, the builder tries to recreate the original structure. After handing the instructions to the builder, the writer must leave the room and have no communication with partner. Structures are judged based on how many correct pieces are placed in correct position. Usually held early in day, for the event takes a long time to grade.
B (MIDDLE SCHOOL) ONLY EVENTS
*Awesome Aquifers: Students will assemble an aquifer on site. They will then demonstrate how the aquifer works and also answer general questions about aquifers and ground water.
Battery Buggy: The middle school vehicle event this year. Students will build a vehicle that will be powered only by standard batteries. It must get as close to the finish line as possible. The vehicle must travel a curved path in order to reach the finish line, and must avoid hitting a bucket in the center of the track.
* Bottle Rocket: Students use a 2L soda bottle to contruct a rocket that is powered by only water and air pressure. The rockets must not use a parachute . Event must be held out doors. All GA sites will use launchers from Nerds, Inc. These launchers will not accomodate the new design of the Coke bottle. Use store brand bottles for the rockets.
Can't Judge a Powder: Proper safety equipment and attire required to participate. Students will be given a pure substance and be asked to determine and record a number of properties such as solubility, conductivity, etc., of the powder. They determine the properties they will describe. Students will not be expected to identify the powder. Emphasis is on data recording and analysis.
*Compute This: An event in which teams retrieve data and answer questions from a particular web domain. In 2011, the domain is http://www.noaa.gov . (new domain for 2011) Students will be expected to put some of their acquired data into an Excel spread sheet. The event will be run primarily on PCs. If MACs are used, teams must be notified well in advance of the competition. Scoring is based on correct answers, data presentation, etc.
*Junkyard Challenge: Students will have 30 minutes to build a device from materials they bring with them. The device is evlauated for its ability to perform an indicated task. clarifications. The possible tasks for regional and state are different.
Meteorology: In 2011 the emphasis is on everyday weather. Students can expect questions dealing with the major factors that determine weather at a given time in various regions and how weather can be predicted . Usually done as paper pencil event, but with many graphs and images. Usually scored based on number of correct answers.
Solar system: Students are asked questions about Sun, planets and their satellites, dwarf planets, comets, asteroids, the asteroid belt, meteoroids, Oort Cloud, and Kuiper Belt. They may also see questions about the history of the solar system, planeteary motion, and tides. Expect to see many pictures that students will have to deal with. Some sites will run the event using Power Point. Scoring is based on the number of correct answers.
Road Scholar: An event that involves various map reading skills. Students are typically given a story, a US Geological Survey Topographical map and symbols, and a state highway map. They then have to answer a variety of questions such as distance between two points, the elevation for a building location, structures visible from a certain area, etc. Scoring is based on the number of correct answers.
Shock Value : a physical science event. Students will be expected to answer questions and construct a variety of circuits. Expect many types of calculations. Probably will be run as stations.
*Storm the Castle : An event in which students build a device similar to a advanced slingshot. They must use a specified mass for the counterweight. Teams may specify the distance.Students must submit graphs with various massed counter masses. Must be held in doors.
C (HIGH SCHOOL) ONLY EVENTS
Astronomy: Students are shown a variety of images from deep space and then asked questions about these objects. Some of questions may deal with stellar evolution, types of galaxies, etc. The images are often projected images.
*Chemistry Lab: Proper safety equipment and attire required to participate. The topic of the event varies from year to year. In 2011, the emphasis is on oxidation and reduction. Students will be expected to perform a number of lab procedures, make measurements and predictions that deal with concentrations of various solutions and also various reaction rates. Many sites will probably use probes.
*Helicopters: Students will build and test a helicopter that is powered by a rubber band. Time aloft determines the places. This event must be run indoors.
Mission Possible: Prior to the competition, the participants will design, build, test and document a "Rube Goldberg®-like Device" that completes a required final task using a series of consecutive tasks. Each step in the process must involve and energy transfer such as light is used to activate a pulley, etc., to receive any points at all device must accomplish the specified beginning and ending tasks.The types of energy transfers are specified, but they need not be completed in the order listed. Initial step involves dropping a golf ball on a mousetrap and final step must involve raising a flag. Penalties are given for touching the device to reset a task. In many ways, the development of simple transfers that work repeatedly is the best approach.
*Mousetrap, out and back: the high school vehicle event in 2011. The vehicle, powered only by one mousetrap, must travel a certain distance and then return to the starting line. In 2011, the vehicle must also push a plastic cup.
*Protein Modeling: This event has 3 parts. 1.Students will build part of a protein molecule based on a web page in the manual. This model will be evaluated upon correct structure. 2. Students will also answer questions about protein shape and structure. 3. At the competition, students will be given and protein model kit and asked to construct part of another protein based on computer inoformation.
*Remote Sensing: Students will be shown a number of satellite images of earth and asked questions about the images. They may be asked to interpret geological features, calculate distances between these features, determine the scale used in the image, or provide the longitude/latitude of a location.
*Sounds of Music: Students will build a wind and a percussion instrument that will play certain notes. They will also answer questions about the phsyics of sound.
*Sumobots: Students will built a remote controlled "bot" that will engage in head to head competition with other bots. Event is run as a double elimination event. Georgia will run this event only as a trial event. For more information, check with the site coordinator.
Technical Problem Solving: Students will be asked to collect and interpret data using various types of equipment that may be found in a high school lab. In many cases, one can expect to be using a probe. This event may cover various areas of science, but students should come with proper safety material and attire as if this event were purely a chemical event.
Wind Power: Students will build a blade assembly that will be used to capture wind to generate electricity. They will also be asked a series of questions relating to alternate energy sources.