Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gravity Racer parts cleaning suggested

Gravity Racer

Q:  Our lego kits have wheels/axles that don't turn very well.  What can we do?

A:  We have found this is generally due to dust and dirt collecting on the Lego parts.  We recommend soaking for a short period of time in soap and water and if particularly dirty, gently scrubbing with a soft brush.  The rubber wheels in particular tend to retain dust/dirt.

Barge Building CORRECTION

I would like to correct an answer ...  I do announce both the cargo and the mass in grams of one piece at the start of the event.  For example, "The cargo is paper clips and the mass of each piece is 1 gram" (this is an example in the event description).  I will give a 5 minute and 1 minute warning during the build time for sure.  They should not bring a watch/stopwatch.

Barge Building Supervisor


 1) The event description stated that "Answer sheet, scrap paper and one pencil per participating school will be provided." Does each team only get ONE sheet of scrap paper and ONE pencil, regardless of how many people there are in the team?

2) The event description also stated that "The answers to questions 1 through 9 do not need any information from other questions." But I thought there will be a total of 10 questions. Does this mean the 10th question will require information from other questions, and the teams should try to do the 10th question last?

3) Are the students encouraged to talk and discuss (with moderate volume) during the event? Some kids like to read the problem out loud and do the math verbally. Would that become an issue if all 10 stations are within the same classroom?

1) Yes. Each team will be given answer sheet, one sheet of scrap paper and one pencil. If they need additional sheet after they finished using the first sheet , they can ask for an additional sheet. They will have to return to us everything including the scrap paper.

2) Yes, 10th question will need some clues from the previous questions (not from the answers of these questions). So they can do it last.  However, some questions may be difficult  compared to others and the students may want to go back to the respective stations again,  then it would be better they finish the 10th question if they can before they go to these stations.

3) It is important that the students make least amount of noise so that the other teams are not disturbed. They can discuss among each other at a very low volume. But reading aloud and doing the math verbally is not advised.

Builder's write?

Are the builders allowed to write on their paper?  May they write words like "done", "maybe", etc. next to the directions given to them by their writing partners? 
They may write on the writers' pages, but not on the paper they build on.  Only "Top" and their school name is allowed on the building paper.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Townships and Ranges, Maps

At the Map Reading workshop, I asked if there will be questions on Townships, Ranges, etc for the 4th/5th grade event. I noted that the answer was that those would not be asked. However, I just saw that in the Detailed Event Description, it does mention township and range labels. Please clarify if these should be covered in training and to what degree. Thanks.

No these will not be asked.

Feathered Friends


Just a quick question regarding the sounds. How involved will a question be about the sounds they make? Will they be presented with an audio clip and they need to know which bird it is? We have been studying all the sounds but we are just curious as to how they will be resented to them.
thank you


Yes, they will identify the bird making the call.

Monday, May 22, 2017

To Infinity and Beyond

This is our first year coaching and the first year in a while that our school has had a team for "To Infinity and Beyond."  We have a few questions:

- With regards to the paper test, the WESO event description states that there will be some calculation questions.  What will be the content of these calculations?

Only in the 4th and 5th grade test, there may be something regarding time, distance, speed or  acceleration. A simple multiplication or division problem. 2nd and 3rd grade there is no calculation.

- With regards to the planetarium test, can the students talk to one another about the answers or is one student just writing the answers the whole time while the other holds the flashlight?  Does spelling count on this portion of the test (we are particularly thinking of our second graders)?

We will give the team a clipboard with a mounted red light, the answer sheet and a pencil. They may discuss quietly, since they can’t disturb other teams, but also don’t want to give away answers. It might help to have them decide in advance who gets the recording job, etc. and practice how to decide answers with their partner. I don’t believe spelling is considered, please check the Detailed Event Description.
- We have two students who may need additional support during the tests.  One has an anxiety disorder and the other some learning challenges, including ADHD. I understand that the coaches cannot be in the room during the testing, but is it possible for one of us to wait outside in the hallway in case there is an issue?

Yes, we allow extra support if the child in question gets support in testing situations in the classroom.( They must have an IEP that states whatever modifications are helpful.) If you let us know this in advance, we can arrange for an adult helper/assistant. In rare cases, we have had a parent waiting outside the testing room.