Thursday, May 25, 2017

Estimania


Question:
In the event description, it was stated "Teams will have approximately 90 seconds (1 1/2 minutes) for each question. They will be asked to move to another station after 90 seconds." and "Teams can move to another station if they are done with their question and if the station they want to move to does not already have a team located there."

Does this mean not all teams "switch station" at the same time? Do the students just look for an empty station that they have yet to visit (or want to re-visit) when they are done with the current station? Is it possible some teams will not get a chance to visit all stations?

Answer:
Students can move to another empty station once they are done with the current station. We will make sure that all teams get to every station at least once.

Gravity Racer CORRECTION

CORRECTION:

1.  The Gravity Racer ramps supplied to schools were not marked.  To answer the question, yes, the competition ramps are marked in 10 cm increments.

2.  Yes, please bring your kits to the competition.  We do have a kit available to borrow if your team forgets their kit.   Please do not bring your ramp.  All teams will use the competition ramps for the event.

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.


Christine
Barge Building Supervisor

Estimania

Questions:
 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?


Answers:
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?



Question:
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? 
Answer:
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

Question:
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.

Answer:
No these will not be asked.

Feathered Friends


Question:

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


Answer:

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.

Gravity Ramp/ Correction

I have questions about Gravity Racer.
1. Will the ramp have "10 cm" markings on it so students can figure out where to launch from? Or will the launch ramp be completely unmarked?
2. I know we're expected to bring our racer LEGO kits but are we expected to bring our ramp too?


1.       The competition ramps will be marked the same as the ramps that were provided to schools.
2.       No.



Coaches: Please read the Detailed Event descriptions before you send questions.



CORRECTION:

1.  The Gravity Racer ramps supplied to schools were not marked.  To answer the question, yes, the competition ramps are marked in 10 cm increments.

2.  Yes, please bring your kits to the competition.  We do have a kit available to borrow if your team forgets their kit.   Please do not bring your ramp.  All teams will use the competition ramps for the event.

Constellations and calculators





1) Will the constellations (in Planetarium portion) have outlines.

1- YES, there will be lines


2) Do the second and third graders need to bring a scientific calculator with them. What kind of calculations will be there.

2- NO, they will not need them.

testing format Feathered Friends

Q.
If the students feel like they need to go back and review a station once they have rotated through all of them, can they go back and look at a station again?


A.
We have decided to go station-free, blending in ID questions with written exam questions. There will be a guided PowerPoint and emcee. Each question will be presented for 30 seconds.

I let students re-see ID questions last year with no limits; I had no problem with this. I think it will be okay to revisit questions by showing images for 10-15 seconds.

So, the answer is:

Students will be given reasonable opportunity to request information from a previous question.


- Will the participants answer the questions on a computer, a scantron, or will they write the answers on a sheet?

They will record their team answers on an answer sheet by hand.

- As the event time is scheduled for 30 minutes, how many questions will they be asked? Or, in other words, how many minutes do they get per question? I was told that they will be given ample time to answer and hence the question.

Each Question will be presented for 30 seconds.

- The event description says that homemade notes are encouraged along with the field guides. Is there a limit to the number of pages or books that are allowed?

Not really, but considering that they will be watching, listening, and responding fairly quickly we would discourage too many pages .

- While the review list comprises of 40 birds, there are over 250 birds in Washtenaw County. Is there a shorter list for County Birds and how does one prioritize?

Priority is given to the birds on the review list, and for 3rd graders also the 2nd grade list. We will not try to stump them with rare, unfamiliar birds.

No Bones test format

Tournament Test Questions:

1. Have you finalized the format of the the (sic) No Bones About It event?  Specifically, have you finalized the number of stations through which the students will rotate?  Will they have a specific amount of time at each station?  Will they be told when to rotate to the next station?  Have you finalized the number of questions on the written exam?

 2. Can you give any guidance on the number of total questions available within the study timeframe? The guide says the kids will answer as many questions as possible in the timeframe. Or perhaps a few example questions would be helpful instead?

 Answer:

Yes. There will be 3-5 stations. Teams will have 2-3 minutes at each station, depending on the number of stations. Teams will be told when to move to another stations. Yes. There will be ample time for a well-prepared team to answer all of the questions in the allotted time. We have attached some sample practice questions along with the test instruction sheet and hope this helps your students to prepare for the upcoming tournament in a few weeks. We look forward to a fun morning on June 3rd.

No Bones Supervisors



Test Instructions 

Sample Questions

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Gravity Racers

Reminder to Gravity Racer coaches:
   Students will need to bring their own Lego kits to the competition. Their kit must be fully disassembled when they arrive at the competition. This includes taking the tires off the hubs.

Gravity Racer distance?




Q.
Will there be a distance released in advance of June 3 event for the Gravity Racers?


A.
No. Students will be informed of the distance when they arrive at the event.  They will be told verbally, and will be shown the distance visually.


Aerodynamics and site visits

Q:  We were asked about team members meeting Event Supervisors and touring Pioneer in advance of the competition.

A:  Although we appreciate the preparation you are doing for your team, we have asked that our Event Supervisors not meet individually with teams.  This is to respect their time as well as maintain the fairness of the event.  Touring the location is similar in that we cannot do a walkthrough for all teams and final preparations are still in the works.  In addition, WESO is a guest of the AAPS at Pioneer and our access to the school is limited.  Your head coach, if they attended the meeting May 11th, can give a general description of classrooms or competition space.

If you have concerns, a Board Member or Head Coach would be happy to talk with you about strategies to prepare your team members for facing a new and unknown situation.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In Bloom

Q.
 Our team was scheduled to attend the second  workshop that was cancelled 4/29. We were not able to attend on 5/3.  Is there any information available to see what was presented at that workshop?

Also, can you let us know what the teams need to know about hydroponics?

A.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens put the workshop together to teach the students about plant adaptations (mostly rain forest and desert) and terrariums (focusing on the water cycle and soil profiles).

The students should know the difference between a passive and active hydroponic system and the components that make them up.  A basic understanding of how hydroponics works is also recommended.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Water Rockets

Q.
Could we please get some information about the written part or exam for water rockets? What should the kids do to prepare for that?
A.
Please look on the web site at the posted study materials link

Potions Balance

Question:
 What is the model number of the electronic balance that will be used?
Answer:

This is the scale used in competition.

http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Precision-Digital-Kitchen-Silver/dp/B001N07KUE/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t
I think ours are actually white (silver seems to be the default).  A scale with 1.0 g accuracy and a tare feature is what we are looking for.

Clarification on policy regarding electronic devices in academic events

We'd like to clarify a recent blog post regarding electronic devices at WESO. The posting indicated that bringing a tablet computer into an academic event was acceptable as long as it was not used inside the event room as the event took place.

We have discussed that answer and are changing it.

Electronic devices such as phones, tablets (iPads, etc), recording devices, and cameras should not be brought into the academic events area.

If you have an educational or accessibility reason for a student to need such a device in an academic event, please contact the WESO Board so we can review your request. 

Thank you, and sorry for the confusion.

The WESO Board


2017 Tournament General Information

There's a new page on the WESO Website that contains a lot of helpful information about the upcoming WESO Tournament on June 3: where to park, when the awards ceremonies are, how to check in for events, expectations for volunteers, and so on.

We hope it answers a lot of commonly-asked questions, and gives you some ideas of what to expect. 

Click here to view the information. Click here to download a PDF of the same information. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pasta Bridges

Q: When choosing the 8 shaped pasta pieces, do all 8 pieces have to be of the same type or can they mix and match?
A: The shaped pasta does not have to match. Students may pick any combination of shaped pasta with a maximum of 8 pieces total. Additionally, while we encourage students to take the full 8 pieces, they are not required to take or use all of them.

aerodynamics

Question:
I have a team of 2 2nd graders for aerodynamics, and we're wondering approximately how many people will be around when they fly the planes.  They're a bit nervous about an audience so I thought it'd help to know what to expect beforehand.  And a coach/parent isn't nearby (visible), right?


answer:
The event will be held in the 3rd floor hallway of Pioneer. Only the Event Supervisors and their volunteers , along with other teams competing at the same time, will be present. No coaches or parents are allowed in the event portion of the building.

Estimania

Question:
What physical sciences information will 4th graders need to know?  For example, do they need to know the density of water?  Thanks.


Answer:
All the science information 4th and 5th  graders need to know are going to be strictly limited at their grade level.  The main focus of this event is to get the students to estimate their answers using logical, mathematical and general knowledge limited to their grade level. There will be no questions asking any kind complicated science information.
Thanks,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Miscellaneous WESO Tournament Questions


Here are some questions and answers of general interest to all participants and families.

Q: There is a lot of information for families to know for the June 3 WESO Tournament – where to park, what to bring, where to check in for events, etc. Can you publish information for general use by our families?

A: Yes, we will soon publish detailed information about the WESO Tournament, and will post it on the website, the Updates Blog, and send a copy to Head Coaches.

Q: It is very loud in the gym during awards ceremonies, and we cannot always hear the speaker. Can WESO use a projector to show the names of the schools being called to the stage instead of announcing them?

A: It would be difficult to create slides, then project those slides, during the ceremony, in part because we are often scoring events DURING awards ceremonies. Creating slides quickly and displaying them properly, without making mistakes, would be difficult.  

The good news is that there is a solution to the problem of too much noise while a speaker is addressing the audience: keep unnecessary noise in the gym to a minimum. Head Coaches, coaches, and parents should set expectations for students at the awards ceremonies to keep noise down, be respectful of the speaker by watching and listening, and demonstrate good sportsmanship if their school’s name is called.

Q: Where and when do we drop off raffle baskets?

A: Drop off your raffle baskets on Friday, June 2, in the cafeteria. When assembling your basket, please follow the guidelines your Head Coach has been given for the raffle baskets. Write us an email at weso.science@gmail.com if you need a refresher.

Q: Who will be sent a reminder email for Volunteer slots on June 2 and 3?

A: Head Coaches will receive a reminder about volunteers from their schools. Some individual volunteers may receive a reminder if they will be asked to do a special volunteer job, such as working outside the building.

Q: How early are we allowed to check in for Academic events (i.e. events other than On Target and Water Rockets)? For example, my team has Estimania at 10:00, what would be the earliest we could check in for that event?

A: Teams can check in up to 15 minutes early for their Academic events. In this example, the team could check in for their event starting at 9:45.

There were some recent discussions about increasing this time period to 20 minutes, but 15 minutes prior to the event time is the earliest we will check in teams for 2017.

Q: Our school brings many students – we have found that the space in the cafeteria for our school does not provide enough room for everyone. Can we have more tables this year?

A: Sorry, but we’re out of space in the cafeteria. We have over 40 schools bringing more than 2200 students (and their parents) throughout the day. We recommend using the tables as your “home base” and exploring the Open Events, Raffle Baskets, and the outdoors (weather-permitting). Check out On Target in the Small Gym and Water Rockets launches outside if you have some free time.

You may enter and exit the building freely during the day, and you may find it convenient to leave jackets or non-essential items in your car.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Write It/Build It

1. Are builders allowed to bring a tablet to use while they wait for the writers to finish the description?- ---No. Students should not bring phones, tablets, etc. with them into the academic area [Updated May 16 at 8:25 pm].

2. Does the description have to be written in sentence form?  Or can they do a bulleted list? - ---they can do both, and yes  for bulleted list

3.  Will there be extra parts in the bag that are not used in the picture?- --- No

4.  Are "slashes" allowed?  For example, writing: the blue/gray rectangle is...  - ------ yes,  as long as it is used in its intended function and does not look like a drawing

5.  Are they allowed to write, "page 1", "page 2" on the description? ---- yes

6.  Are the writers allowed to draw a compass on the description?---- NO
!No drawings of any kind !

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ON Target Distance

ON Target Distance announcement:

Target will be between 10 and 11 meters from the launch line.

No precise distance will ever be published.  On the day we set up the
course, we will roll some dice and pick a random value in that interval.

This means you’ll still need to practice for 10, and 11 meters, and
then figure out how to interpolate to get the target distance.

thanks,

matthew

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Test, timing, format, Back to Nature

Questions:
How many questions will be on the test?
How long will the students have to complete the assessment?
Is it multiple choice, essay, are there pictures/videos?
Will it be paper pencil or computer based?

Answers:
Please Read the Detailed Event description, which has the answer to these questions. Go to the event page and click the link.

Open Events


Question:

You probably get this question every year from new head coaches, but is there any option for additional students to compete or at least participate in an event? Specifically, we have 2 extra 2nd grade students for Feathered Friends. The coach has offered to help pay if that would help.

Answer:

There will be many “Open Events” that anyone at the Olympiad may participate in. The actual team event competitions can only have one team per grade level from each school.

Help Wanted: High School Volunteers

Question:
I would like to know if I can sign up my highschooler/ myself as a volunteer on the day of the Science Olympiad event on June 3rd.


Answer:
The Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad (WESO 2017) is scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 03, 2017 at Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor. We need high school students to run Open Events which are hands-on experimental stations in different fields of Math & Science. This is a great learning and leadership/volunteering opportunity for participating students. We are currently recruiting students for 3 shifts on June 03:
8 – 12:15pm
12 – 4:15pm
4 – 8:15pm
It is mandatory for all volunteering students to attend a training session on Friday, June 02 from 7 to 8pm in the Pioneer cafeteria.
Please pass on the following sign-up link to your students to sign-up:
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e094baca72aa5f58-open1
Thanks for your time,
Nirmala Rajaram
Co-Vice President & Open Events Coordinator, WESO
wesoscience.org

Mystery Architecture Tape size?

Question:
What is the width of the masking tape provided?

Answer:
 It is standard 3/4” masking tape.

Write It Build It-

Question:
For Write it Build it, will the writers be able to approach the easel to measure?  I'm wondering if they can get close enough to really use finger widths to be able to describe the positioning of the items.  (or will they be too far away and have to eyeball estimate the width? ) Thank you for any clarification!
Answer:
Yes, they will able to come up to the easel to view the picture better and estimate measurements with their fingers.  We do ask that when they come up to the easel that they do not block the view of the picture from other writers and not to touch the picture directly when they measure to ensure that items from the picture do not get dislodged.  They can hover their fingers over the picture.

ZIp-A-Dee-Doo-Dah practice session May 17

There will be a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah practice session at Tappan Middle School's cafeteria May 17 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.

Please sign up for one slot per school per grade.

The SignUp Genius page for the practice session is here.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Photon Phun

Question:
 Do I need to teach my students calculations? Ray tracing?

Answer:
Hello. 

There are no calculations on the quiz.

There are no ray tracing diagrams on the quiz that would ask you to trace light beams through a lens.  The only ray-type diagram is the reflection diagram for 4th and 5th graders during the written portion of the event. 

In the event description there is an example reflection diagram and it is described as follows:  "A light beam is shown to be emerging from a source along a particular direction. The competitor will be asked to predict which mirrors a beam of light will hit along a reflection path from the light source to a target. There will be mirrors on the reflection sheet that will not be hit by the light beam. The answer to the reflection sheet is the identifying letter of the mirrors that the light beam hits, in order, on its way from the source to the target."  Obviously to solve the reflection diagram the students need to know that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection and they will be given rulers and protractors to help them along. 

Although students will not be asked to draw ray diagrams for lenses they should understand conceptually about convex and concave lenses and mirrors and about focal length and focusing/unfocusing light using lenses.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I Compute, scratch paper and pencils?

Question:
Do you typically provide scratch paper and pencils at all, in case the kids want to do any brainstorming during the practical computing portion?



Answer:
They will have access to scratch paper and pencils.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Ramp markings


Question:
The description says the ramp will be marked in 10 cm increments.  Will the marks be measured starting from the end of the flexible portion or the end of the wood portion?  Will the marks be labeled in centimeters (10, 20 30, etc.)?

Answer:
The marks are labeled in centimeters from 10 to 110 in increments of 10, and they start from the end of the wood portion (i.e. the melamine shelving board).

Pasta Bridges, height

Q: During one of our practices our 3rd graders built a bridge where the shaped pasta pieces used to elevate the long pasta extended slightly higher than the long pasta.  Is this okay?  That is to say, we understand that the long pasta spanning the gap must be 2.5 cm high, but is it okay if parts of the small shaped pasta supporting it at the ends slightly extend above the long pasta?

A: Absolutely! This is fine but make sure your students understand that our measurement will take place at the highest point along the long pasta span even if the shaped pasta is a bit higher.

bug questions

Q1.
Will students need to know kingdom, phylum, class, order and family?
My understanding was just order and family for each insect.
A1.
You are correct.Important note: Insect names can be confusing, exact, and problematic. For example, the earwig found in Washtenaw county is properly called both the Common Earwig and the European Earwig. Yet commonly, we would refer to the insect as an earwig. The supervisors of this event will take care to write questions and accept answers that require descriptive adjectives only when necessary to differentiate species (such as a Luna Moth and a Cecropia Moth) but will mostly focus on identifying insects by group.

Q2.
What will the students need to know about each of the caterpillars of the moths and butterflies?
A2.
What they look like, preferential food source(if they are specific like Monarchs)

Q3.
Will students need to know differences between males and females?
 A3.
No, they can be very difficult to distinguish- except perhaps females with very obvious ovipositors as body parts

Q4.
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is in the Coreidae family and there are many other common seed bugs which are found in the Lygaeidae family.
Will students need to know all the families for seed bugs and if not which families should they focus on?
A4.
The focus would be on the group, not family.

Q5.
Same type of question with Stink bugs - the brown marmorated is invasive and seen as a pest but many stink bugs are seen as beneficial.  Which ones should students focus on?
A5.
The focus would be on the group, not family. Knowing an example of  an invasive, pest and
one beneficial stink bug would be nice.

Q6.
There are three parts to the thorax - I'm wondering in what detail should students know about insect body parts. Should we be going into detail about the parts of the thorax with them?
A6.
Yes, and knowing the function of the different body parts (not just thorax, but mouthparts, wing and legs)

Q7.
There are several different sphinx months and not much info at all in the guides.  Can you give some additional information of what to concentrate on for the sphinx month?
A7.
Basics like size, activity, coloration- mostly to distinguish them from other moths.

Feathered Friends

Question:
It is my understanding that bird names should be spelled correctly during the competition. Does it include the Uppercase/Lowercase? Is red-winged blackbird, or even Red-Winged Blackbird, or RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, instead of Red-winged Blackbird,  acceptable without any deduction?
Answer:
All of these are acceptable.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, 3 participants

Question:
Please confirm how many participants are allowed for Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.  The original event description showed 1-2 per grade, but now the web site shows 1-3 per grade.

Answer:

There was a conflict between the short blurb on the website and our event description.  This was raised in an earlier question and we decided to change the event description for this year to allow up to 3 participants, as some schools placed students into events prior to the full event description being released.