Sunday, April 30, 2017


For the Circuit Wizardry, what information on MOSFETs should the 5th graders know for the competition.

Looking at the workshop slides, MOSFETs were not addressed, so it is unclear what information we should have the kids study.

your guidance on this topic is greatly appreciated.

The MOSFET information that could be tested is detailed in the The Circuit symbol document referenced by the Event Description Circuit Symbols

The workshops were put on by generous third party volunteers, not the event supervisors.  The workshop aim was to help explain the main points and supplement a school's practices.  The test on Olympiad Day will draw from the material outlined in the event description.

Study Guide and 5th grade materials list

New Materials May 2017

2017 Study Guide

iCompute , Scratch versions, flow charts

Will the students have to create a flow chart? Might that be an option for a short answer question?

When our students encounter an alert from Scratch that says, "download update 456" is it okay to have them do that? It's still Scratch v 2.0.
Should be fine. These updates are not significant.

Clarifications following team workshops

Practice questions

Clarifications following team workshops.

If given a DNA sequence, it will always be given in the head to tail (5’ to 3’) orientation and should be read left to right.  Only a single strand will be given. 

When providing an amino acid sequence from a DNA sequence, teams should give the full name of the amino acid and write the word “stop” if given a stop codon.  A codon chart with the full names of the amino acids will be provided.  Spelling will not count as long as I know what they mean. 

In pedigree charts, an individual that is a carrier may or may not be identified with a half filled in circle or square.  If not indicated, you can not assume an individual is or is not a carrier and teams will often be asked to determine this based on the other information in the pedigree. 

If asked to identify the relationship of individuals within a pedigree, a range of terminology will be accepted as long as it is clear the students understand the relationship.  For example, a mating pair could be described as a married couple, husband and wife or parents of individual 6, 7 and 8.

Several tie-breaker questions will be given with a range of difficulty.  There may be a question that goes beyond the material covered in the event description and study guide. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

No Bones About It, short bones, long bones


The following definition is from the study guide:

"Short bones: roughly cube-shaped (e.g.: ankle & wrist bones) "

Question 1:  are the wrist and ankle bones just the carpals & tarsals or do they also include the phalanges, metacarpals and metatarsals?

Answer: The short bones in the wrist and ankle are just the carpals and tarsals. Students are not required to know the names of the individual carpals and tarsals. Short bones do not include phalanges, metacarpals, or metatarsals.

Question 2:  If not, what are the phalanges, metacarpals and metatarsals classified as?  Long bones, small long bones, something else?

Answer:  Phalanges, metacarpals, metatarsals are bones in the hands and feet and are classified as long bones, even though they are short in length.

Also, do the students need to know the total number of vertebrae? The study guide does not address this.  Some resources say 26 (with the sacrum and coccyx listed as one each/i.e. fused), others state 33-34 with the sacrum and coccyx recognized as separate vertebrae/bones

 Answer:  For purposes of the WESO tournament, students are responsible for knowing that the vertebral column consists of the 24 presacral vertebrae (the breakdown/number of cervical-7, thoracic-12, and lumbar-5 vertebrae) along with the sacrum and coccyx, each containing fused bones. They will not be expected to give a total number of bones in the vertebral column.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, glue , slider and event management changes

After watching the workshop and open practices, we have decided to change the slider and event management procedure slightly.  The eye hook to which the cable car will be attached will be slightly open (just like the top hooks that go on the zip line).  To create the opening, we have used pliers on the closed hook.  The slight opening seemed to be easier and quicker to work with, yet prevented the cable car from falling off.

In the build room, each team will be given one slider to use for all their runs.  A zip line will be available in that room to test how their cable car/slider runs (no timing, parameters of the zip line will be close, but not match exactly the test parameters, all teams will share one line - so not many runs may be able to be made....).  If there is a problem with their slider, they may turn it in for another.

Thank you for your patience as we are doing our own experiments to learn what works well in this new event.

 What type of glue will be available?  It doesn't seem there will be time for Elmer's/white glue to dry.  Is it just to act like ballast or will they have something like a glue stick instead?

We will provide glue sticks, not Elmer's/white glue. The glue is meant to be an alternative to tape, in case the teams want flexibility.

Saturday, April 22, 2017