Are points to be assigned as whole points only? Rounded or truncated? For example, if the measurement takes 15 seconds, is the TS value assigned as 18 points, 18.75 points, or 19 points?
Points will be assigned to the significant figures of the measuring equipment available to the supervisors. Contact local tournaments for information to the precision of their tools.
Can a computer be used as a tool for the device testing portion of the event?
No. Computers/tablets/etc generally aren't allowed in Science Olympiad events unless explicitly permitted in the specific event rules, since they can potentially violate multiple general rules.
Can the device include a mass" that is used to achieve static equilibrium befor the test masses are added?
Any masses used in this manner must be fixed in place before impound.
Do students need to impound their reference material secured in a 3-ring binder?
No, only the device, tools, and supplies must be impounded. Reference materials, writing utensils, and calculators do not need to be impounded.
Does the Device need to be in assembled, (ready to use condition) when it is determined if it, along with any tools and/or supplies, fits in the 100 x 100 x 50.0 cm box? Or is it permitted to be partially disassembled (such as removing the levers)...
It only needs to fit into the box at impound, however note that there isn't any explicit time stated in the rules to allow for assembly, thus it will be up to individual event supervisors as to whether time is given to all teams, or if a team must assemble during their part 2 testing time.
Is the Mass Score in whole points, rounded or not, or in decimal? For example, if the actual mass of the unknown was 1000g, and the calculated value was 990g, is the scored MS value assigned 29 points, 29.7 points, or 30 points?
The mass score will be decimal, based on the precision of the measurement tools used by the Event Supervisor.
Regarding the phrase "using an known mass and lever", are these simply the tools available to the competitor that are allowed to be used, or are the students REQUIRED to utilize the known mass to determine the unknown mass?
Yes, the rules state that students are to use both the known mass and a lever to determine an unknown mass.
Under the catagory of "Wheel & Axle", are "Gear Systems" included?
Under the catagory of "Wheel& Axle", are "Belt & Pulleys" included?
Yes, Belt and Pulley sare included as part of the Pulley simple machine type for both Simple Machines and Complex Machines.