Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:05

Clarifications & FAQs open October 1 and close May 1. Official Rules Clarifications are made to correct the rules printed in the Science Olympiad Rules Manuals. FAQs are replies to commonly asked questions. If a FAQ reply changes the meaning or corrects a rule it will be posted as a Clarification. The Official Rules Clarifications and FAQs apply to all states and all tournaments and originate at the National level (please check your Regional or State Website for special updates pertaining to your regional or state events). Please review the Official Rules Clarifications in addition to the FAQs. The official event rules can only found in the Science Olympiad Rules Manual that is sent to each registered member.

To view posted FAQs or to Submit a Question for a Rules Clarification, please select one of the five titles in blue below.  To search for a key word use the search function. To see all FAQ responses, use the Printer-Friendly Version button below. To see if a similar questions to yours has been asked, click on the Reveal Questions button. For Trial event questions, please submit them under the Reveal Questions button at the very end under Trial Events.

The Submit a Question form is to be used to ask questions about a specific section and paragraph number in the event rule that might be unclear, not to be a help or answer desk. Only specific clarifying questions will receive replies. They will be posted if they are not a repetition of what is already stated in the rules. Concerning specificity about what is allowed please read the Code of Ethics and General Rules. For general info about team size and an overview of Science Olympiad, see Background under About SO.

Questions that will not receive a reply: those that are already answered and posted, what materials to use, how to build a device, if a device complies to the rules, what will be covered on a test or how to coach the event. These questions should go to your coach or see the links under Events.

General tournament, facilities or site-specific questions should go to your State Director.

Division B Events

Division C Events

General Questions

Coaching/Team Requirements

Trial Events

Division B Events

Division B Events

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:20

Questions must be directed toward the rules. We cannot pre-judge your device by answering questions on whether it complies.

Earth/Space Science

Earth/Space Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:40

Dynamic Planet - Div B

Dynamic Planet - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:40

Are the basins limited to only those mentioned in parentheses, or can others be included as well?

Are the basins limited to only those mentioned in parentheses, or can others be included as well?

ceann Sat, 2017-02-11 15:10
The test should be limited to the types of basins listed in the parentheses.

Meteorology

Meteorology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:44

Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:37

Road Scholar

Road Scholar

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and Minerals

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:43

Inquiry/Nature

Inquiry/Nature

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Bottle Rocket

Bottle Rocket

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Is it mandatory for the pressure vessel to be made from a carbonated beverage bottle or can it be made of a regular drinking water plastic bottle?

Is it mandatory for the pressure vessel to be made from a carbonated beverage bottle or can it be made of a regular drinking water plastic bottle?

ceann Sat, 2017-02-11 14:48
The pressure vessel MUST be made from a carbonated beverage bottle that is 1 liter or less in capacity. Plain water bottles do not fit the criteria. Carbonated water bottles would fit the criteria.

Experimental Design - Div B

Experimental Design - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Are elemental symbols considered to be abbreviations? For example, could Na be a valid answer for an element beginning with the letter N or must "sodium" be used?

Are elemental symbols considered to be abbreviations? For example, could Na be a valid answer for an element beginning with the letter N or must "sodium" be used?

admin Mon, 2016-10-31 18:19

It depends on the description of the category. If the category was "name of element" then the atomic symbol could not be used. If it was "nuclear (atomic) symbol" then the name could not be used. However, if the category was "element" or "chemical element" the student could use either the name of the element or the nuclear (atomic) symbol. Please note that if the category was "name of chemical compound" and the letters were "N" and "S" the student could not use "NaCl" and "sodium chloride" as both terms are different forms for the same substance. (rule 3.g)

If a category requires the name of an organism to be given, should scientific or common name be used? Example: If the category was "Invasive Species", would you write Zebra Mussel or Dreissena polymorpha?

If a category requires the name of an organism to be given, should scientific or common name be used? Example: If the category was "Invasive Species", would you write Zebra Mussel or Dreissena polymorpha?

admin Mon, 2016-10-31 18:23

It depends on the category description. If it said "Invasive Species" then either the common or scientific name would be acceptable. Please note if the answer has more than one word, the first letter of the 1st word is used (rule 3.f). Rule 3.g. also allows students to get credit for only one form of a response.

If a famous person is generally known by only one name "Archimedes" or "Galileo", can students use the name?

If a famous person is generally known by only one name "Archimedes" or "Galileo", can students use the name?

admin Sun, 2016-11-06 18:52

No, per section 3.h. "If the category asks for the name of a person, both the given (first) and surname (last) of a person must be written. Archimedes' full name is Archimedes of Syracuse and Galileo's full name is Galileo Galilei.

In our answers must our terms be scientific or can we also say common known names or nicknames? Such as would you accept flu instead of influenza?

In our answers must our terms be scientific or can we also say common known names or nicknames? Such as would you accept flu instead of influenza?

admin Mon, 2016-10-31 18:14

It depends on how the category is phrased. If it does not specifically ask for scientific name then either are correct. Rule 3.g prevents students from using different forms of the same term apply. So if the letters in the grid were "f" and "i" the student would only get credit for either flu or influenza, but not both.

When supervisors create grids for competition, must they ensure there is a valid entry for each letter/category combination? In other words, may a grid be created where one cell doesn't have a known valid answer?

When supervisors create grids for competition, must they ensure there is a valid entry for each letter/category combination? In other words, may a grid be created where one cell doesn't have a known valid answer?

admin Mon, 2016-10-31 18:17

No, supervisors do not have to ensure there is a valid entry for each letter/category combination. Yes, a grid may be created where one cell doesn't have a known valid answer.

Write It Do It - Div B

Write It Do It - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

Life/Personal/Social Science

Life/Personal/Social Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

Microbe Mission

Microbe Mission

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:48

Anatomy

Anatomy

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:49

Disease Detectives - Div B

Disease Detectives - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:48

Ecology

Ecology

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:32

"Simpson Index" can be loosely applied to 3 different values (and calculations) depending on the author/source: Simpson's Index, Simpson's Index of Diversity and Simpson's Reciprocal Index. This should be clarified.

"Simpson Index" can be loosely applied to 3 different values (and calculations) depending on the author/source: Simpson's Index, Simpson's Index of Diversity and Simpson's Reciprocal Index. This should be clarified.

admin Thu, 2016-11-03 17:39

Students should be familiar with all three. If used for the National competition the national supervisor will specify which is being used. We have chosen to define the Simpson index, p as the proportion (n/N) of individuals of one particular species found (n) divided by the total number of individuals found (N), Σ is still the sum of the calculations, and s is the number of species. This information can be found on the files distributed at coaches clinics and will also be on the SO website once the clinics are over.

Invasive Species - Div B

Invasive Species - Div B

admin Tue, 2013-07-30 13:29

Physical Science/Chemistry

Physical Science/Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:49

Chemistry

Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:49

Crime Busters

Crime Busters

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:37

Food Science

Food Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:49

What does "any seed" mean?

What does "any seed" mean?

admin Thu, 2016-11-03 17:46

Definition of seed. : a small object produced by a plant from which a new plant can grow This requires the knowledge that NO part of the fruit may be used because over time it can become rotten and students should not be exposed or working with this part in any capacity. Therefore, it is truly the smallest component from which a new plant can grow.

Physics

Physics

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:50

Hovercraft

Hovercraft

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:50

Can teams use a remote control to start and/or stop their hovercraft?

Can teams use a remote control to start and/or stop their hovercraft?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:17

No, as any remote control system would violate either the dimension requirements or the prohibition on integrated circuits.

Can we connect two 9V batteries in parallel? Voltage across any points will not exceed 9V as they are connected in parallel. This just gives us higher current capacity to drive two motors.

Can we connect two 9V batteries in parallel? Voltage across any points will not exceed 9V as they are connected in parallel. This just gives us higher current capacity to drive two motors.

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:10

Yes, this would be allowed.

Description state "MAY construct". Can students use commercial kits or models or should they be built "from scratch".

Description state "MAY construct". Can students use commercial kits or models or should they be built "from scratch".

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:00

Commercial kits may be used, as long as the SO building policy is followed: https://www.soinc.org/building_tools_policy

Do commercially available switches, such as dimmer switches, count as integrated circuits?

Do commercially available switches, such as dimmer switches, count as integrated circuits?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:56

It depends on the specific switch. Some switches are purely mechanical (i.e. utilize a potentiometer) and are allowed. Others are digital (i.e. utilize an integrated circuit) and are not allowed.

For the definition of a "cushion of air": does the air have to have a way out of the cushion on the bottom or sides, or can it be designed similar to an air mattress?

For the definition of a "cushion of air": does the air have to have a way out of the cushion on the bottom or sides, or can it be designed similar to an air mattress?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:10

Yes because it is not hovering unless air is coming out. The air must have some way of escaping (i.e. it should need to be actively replenished for the device to work, not just be a sealed inflatable chamber).

How high must the hovercraft hover?

How high must the hovercraft hover?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:07

There is no set distance it must hover. If an event supervisor, from a normal observation point without having to get up and close to the hovercraft, can visually see it move down when pushed, then yes it levitates.

In Section 2, paragraph 5, sub paragraph f, the rules mention a target time and then identify it for C only. In section 3, paragraph 6, subparagraph b, the scoring says the time score gives a calculation involving a target time. Please clarify.

In Section 2, paragraph 5, sub paragraph f, the rules mention a target time and then identify it for C only. In section 3, paragraph 6, subparagraph b, the scoring says the time score gives a calculation involving a target time. Please clarify.

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:04

5.f. doesn't identify the target time for C only. It only mentions that the target length will be announced for Div. C only (since Div. B already knows the target length). The target time concept applies to both B and C. The reference to Div C is for the variable length that must be announced.

Is a breadboard with resistors and/or transformers considered and integrated circuit?

Is a breadboard with resistors and/or transformers considered and integrated circuit?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:19

No. A breadboard with discrete resistors and/or basic transformers is not an integrated circuit. Note though that some types of resistors and transformers ARE integrated circuits and hence are not allowed.

Is an Arduino an integrated circuit?

Is an Arduino an integrated circuit?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:29

Yes, an Arduino contains many integrated circuits and is not legal.

Is the maximum dimensions of the skirt 19.5 x 30 cm when the hovercraft is inflated or deflated? Can the skirt be larger than those dimensions when the motor is not running?

Is the maximum dimensions of the skirt 19.5 x 30 cm when the hovercraft is inflated or deflated? Can the skirt be larger than those dimensions when the motor is not running?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:25

The maximum dimension of the skirt is the same as the device, 19.5 cm wide x 30 cm long, both inflated and deflated. Students may tuck the uninflated skirt under the device prior to inflation.

Is the total voltage for the hovercraft 9V, or is 9 volts the maximum rated for each circuit? For example, may I have a separate 9V battery for each motor if they are not linked?

Is the total voltage for the hovercraft 9V, or is 9 volts the maximum rated for each circuit? For example, may I have a separate 9V battery for each motor if they are not linked?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:12

Yes, multiple batteries may be used as long as they are not connected in such a way that the voltage exceeds 9 V in any circuit. Separate 9 V circuits are allowed.

Is there an interval for the target time of the competition. Ex-- between 5.0-25.0s in intervals of 1 second

Is there an interval for the target time of the competition. Ex-- between 5.0-25.0s in intervals of 1 second

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:53

No

Please define what the propeller shielding is (1/4 in diameter?).

Please define what the propeller shielding is (1/4 in diameter?).

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:28

The propeller(s) must be enclosed in such a way that there are no holes bigger than 1/4" in diameter in the enclosure. A 1/4" dowel rod must not be able to penetrate the material.

The 1/4" or larger dowel. Can any material be used (i.e. wood, plastic, metal), and must it be solid or can it be an optically opaque tube meeting the specified dimensions and purpose of breaking a light beam?

The 1/4" or larger dowel. Can any material be used (i.e. wood, plastic, metal), and must it be solid or can it be an optically opaque tube meeting the specified dimensions and purpose of breaking a light beam?

admin Mon, 2016-11-14 21:25

The dowel can be any material, but by definition a dowel is a solid cylindrical rod, hence a straw is not allowed.

The clarification on this rule is not entirely clear. If I found a commercially-available product containing a brushless motor attached to a fan, must it be labeled as a "cooling fan" to be legal?

The clarification on this rule is not entirely clear. If I found a commercially-available product containing a brushless motor attached to a fan, must it be labeled as a "cooling fan" to be legal?

ceann Thu, 2016-12-15 21:12
No. As long as it is a fan typically used for cooling electronics or computers it does not need to be labeled as such.

The rules say that Brushless motors and integrated circuits are not permitted, does this just refer to integrated circuits to control motors or things like adjustable voltage regulators and arduinos.

The rules say that Brushless motors and integrated circuits are not permitted, does this just refer to integrated circuits to control motors or things like adjustable voltage regulators and arduinos.

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:55

Note there is an official rules clarification related to this, available at: https://www.soinc.org/official_rules_clarif The integrated circuit prohibition refers to all components (including voltage regulators / arduinos) other than those specified in the rules clarification.

What constitutes an integrated circuit?(ie. are resistors, capacitors, transistors allowed? Operational Amplifiers?)

What constitutes an integrated circuit?(ie. are resistors, capacitors, transistors allowed? Operational Amplifiers?)

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:27

An integrated circuit is a circuit in which all or some of the circuit elements are inseparably associated and electrically interconnected so that it is considered to be indivisible for the purposes of construction and commerce. Most resistors and capacitors are not integrated circuits. Nearly all transistors and op-amps are integrated circuits.

Optics

Optics

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:37

Wind Power - Div B

Wind Power - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:51

Technology

Technology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:51

Scrambler

Scrambler

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:38

Mission Possible

Mission Possible

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:51

Regarding Inclined Planes it States "Raised vertically at least 10.0 cm". Does that mean raised 90 degrees from the ground or just 10.0 cm in an upward direction along the Inclined Plane?

Regarding Inclined Planes it States "Raised vertically at least 10.0 cm". Does that mean raised 90 degrees from the ground or just 10.0 cm in an upward direction along the Inclined Plane?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 21:05

An inclined plane must be used to raise an object at least 10.0 cm vertically. The vertical distance is measured at a 90 degree angle and must be at least 10.0 cm. The object does not have to travel at a 90 degree angle but overall must rise 10.0 cm vertically above where it started before the object initiates the next action.

States "lift an object at least 10.0 cm vertically". Does that mean it must be lifted at 90 degrees from the starting point or just moved in an upwards angle at least 10.0 cms?

States "lift an object at least 10.0 cm vertically". Does that mean it must be lifted at 90 degrees from the starting point or just moved in an upwards angle at least 10.0 cms?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 21:03

The pulley must lift an object at least 10.0 cm. The vertical distance is measured at a 90 degree angle and must be at least 10.0 cm. The object does not have to travel at a 90 degree angle but overall must rise 10.0 cm vertically above where it started before the object initiates the next action.

Wheel & Axle: Is the 10 cm Vertical height or distance that object is pulled by wheel and axle?

Wheel & Axle: Is the 10 cm Vertical height or distance that object is pulled by wheel and axle?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 21:07

The Wheel & Axle must lift an object at least 10.0 cm vertically. The vertical distance is measured at a 90 degree angle and must be at least 10.0 cm. The object does not have to travel at a 90 degree angle but overall must rise 10.0 cm vertically above where it started before the object initiates the next action.

Towers

Towers

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:38

For the load scored bonus, the tower must be clear of the 29.0 cm diameter circle. Is this during setup only or also during loading (prior to tower failure)?

For the load scored bonus, the tower must be clear of the 29.0 cm diameter circle. Is this during setup only or also during loading (prior to tower failure)?

admin Thu, 2016-12-01 22:21

The Load Scored Bonus is awarded only if the tower is outside of the 29.0 cm diameter circle through the entire testing. If the tower sags inside of the 29.0 cm circle during testing but the bucket remains off the ground and the tower is still outside the 20.0 x 20.0 cm opening on the Test Base, testing will continue until failure occurs as defined in the rules.

Wright Stuff

Wright Stuff

admin Wed, 2011-08-24 14:46

Division C Events

Division C Events

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:20

Questions must be directed toward the rules. We cannot pre-judge your device by answering questions on whether it complies.

Earth & Space Science

Earth & Space Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:52

Astronomy

Astronomy

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:52

We are having trouble getting DS9 Software to run with Cygwin64. What version of DS9 will we need to know how to use for the event? Since we don't have internet access at the competitions we will not be able to use the JS9.

We are having trouble getting DS9 Software to run with Cygwin64. What version of DS9 will we need to know how to use for the event? Since we don't have internet access at the competitions we will not be able to use the JS9.

admin Thu, 2016-11-03 17:36

Because the event will be pen and paper, only printouts (or screenshots) of DS9 will be used. As a result, teams do not have to have DS9 on their computers to compete. Instead, if you cannot download DS9 simply use JS9 (the online tool) to practice for the competition. What is tested instead is students familiarity with the programs output and how to analyze/interpret that output. So however you get it to run on your personal, school, or library computers (and whichever version you use) is really a fine way to gain that understanding.

Dynamic Planet - Div C

Dynamic Planet - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Are the basins limited to only those mentioned in parentheses, or can others be included as well?

Are the basins limited to only those mentioned in parentheses, or can others be included as well?

ceann Sat, 2017-02-11 15:10
The test should be limited to the types of basins listed in the parentheses.

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and Minerals

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Inquiry & Nature of Science

Inquiry & Nature of Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

Experimental Design - Div C

Experimental Design - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Game On

Game On

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Hydrogeology

Hydrogeology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Write It Do It - Div C

Write It Do It - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

Life, Personal & Social Science

Life, Personal & Social Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Invasive Species - Div C

Invasive Species - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Ecology - Div C

Ecology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

"Simpson Index" can be loosely applied to 3 different values (and calculations) depending on the author/source: Simpson's Index, Simpson's Index of Diversity and Simpson's Reciprocal Index. This should be clarified.

"Simpson Index" can be loosely applied to 3 different values (and calculations) depending on the author/source: Simpson's Index, Simpson's Index of Diversity and Simpson's Reciprocal Index. This should be clarified.

admin Thu, 2016-11-03 17:39

Students should be familiar with all three. If used for the National competition the national supervisor will specify which is being used. We have chosen to define the Simpson index, p as the proportion (n/N) of individuals of one particular species found (n) divided by the total number of individuals found (N), Σ is still the sum of the calculations, and s is the number of species. This information can be found on the files distributed at coaches clinics and will also be on the SO website once the clinics are over.

Disease Detectives - Div C

Disease Detectives - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy and Physiology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Microbe Mission - Div C

Microbe Mission - Div C

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:20

Physical Science & Chemistry

Physical Science & Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Chem Lab

Chem Lab

admin Fri, 2014-09-12 11:10

Hovercraft - Div C

Hovercraft - Div C

admin Fri, 2011-10-28 10:40

Can teams use a remote control to start and/or stop their hovercraft?

Can teams use a remote control to start and/or stop their hovercraft?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:17

No, as any remote control system would violate either the dimension requirements or the prohibition on integrated circuits.

Can we connect two 9V batteries in parallel? Voltage across any points will not exceed 9V as they are connected in parallel. This just gives us higher current capacity to drive two motors.

Can we connect two 9V batteries in parallel? Voltage across any points will not exceed 9V as they are connected in parallel. This just gives us higher current capacity to drive two motors.

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:10

Yes, this would be allowed.

Description state "MAY construct". Can students use commercial kits or models or should they be built "from scratch".

Description state "MAY construct". Can students use commercial kits or models or should they be built "from scratch".

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:05

Commercial kits may be used, as long as the SO building policy is followed: https://www.soinc.org/building_tools_policy

Do commercially available switches, such as dimmer switches, count as integrated circuits?

Do commercially available switches, such as dimmer switches, count as integrated circuits?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:56

It depends on the specific switch. Some switches are purely mechanical (i.e. utilize a potentiometer) and are allowed. Others are digital (i.e. utilize an integrated circuit) and are not allowed.

For the definition of a "cushion of air": does the air have to have a way out of the cushion on the bottom or sides, or can it be designed similar to an air mattress?

For the definition of a "cushion of air": does the air have to have a way out of the cushion on the bottom or sides, or can it be designed similar to an air mattress?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:10

Yes because it is not hovering unless air is coming out. The air must have some way of escaping (i.e. it should need to be actively replenished for the device to work, not just be a sealed inflatable chamber).

How high must the hovercraft hover?

How high must the hovercraft hover?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:07

There is no set distance it must hover. If an event supervisor, from a normal observation point without having to get up and close to the hovercraft, can visually see it move down when pushed, then yes it levitates.

In Section 2, paragraph 5, sub paragraph f, the rules mention a target time and then identify it for C only. In section 3, paragraph 6, subparagraph b, the scoring says the time score gives a calculation involving a target time. Please clarify.

In Section 2, paragraph 5, sub paragraph f, the rules mention a target time and then identify it for C only. In section 3, paragraph 6, subparagraph b, the scoring says the time score gives a calculation involving a target time. Please clarify.

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:04

5.f. doesn't identify the target time for C only. It only mentions that the target length will be announced for Div. C only (since Div. B already knows the target length). The target time concept applies to both B and C. The reference to Div C is for the variable length that must be announced.

Is a breadboard with resistors and/or transformers considered and integrated circuit?

Is a breadboard with resistors and/or transformers considered and integrated circuit?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:19

No. A breadboard with discrete resistors and/or basic transformers is not an integrated circuit. Note though that some types of resistors and transformers ARE integrated circuits and hence are not allowed.

Is an Arduino an integrated circuit?

Is an Arduino an integrated circuit?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:29

Yes, an Arduino contains many integrated circuits and is not legal.

Is the maximum dimensions of the skirt 19.5 x 30 cm when the hovercraft is inflated or deflated? Can the skirt be larger than those dimensions when the motor is not running?

Is the maximum dimensions of the skirt 19.5 x 30 cm when the hovercraft is inflated or deflated? Can the skirt be larger than those dimensions when the motor is not running?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:25

The maximum dimension of the skirt is the same as the device, 19.5 cm wide x 30 cm long, both inflated and deflated. Students may tuck the uninflated skirt under the device prior to inflation.

Is the total voltage for the hovercraft 9V, or is 9 volts the maximum rated for each circuit? For example, may I have a separate 9V battery for each motor if they are not linked?

Is the total voltage for the hovercraft 9V, or is 9 volts the maximum rated for each circuit? For example, may I have a separate 9V battery for each motor if they are not linked?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:12

Yes, multiple batteries may be used as long as they are not connected in such a way that the voltage exceeds 9 V in any circuit. Separate 9 V circuits are allowed.

Is there an interval for the target time of the competition. Ex-- between 5.0-25.0s in intervals of 1 second

Is there an interval for the target time of the competition. Ex-- between 5.0-25.0s in intervals of 1 second

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:53

No

Please define what the propeller shielding is (1/4 in diameter?).

Please define what the propeller shielding is (1/4 in diameter?).

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 20:28

The propeller(s) must be enclosed in such a way that there are no holes bigger than 1/4" in diameter in the enclosure. A 1/4" dowel rod must not be able to penetrate the material.

The 1/4" or larger dowel. Can any material be used (i.e. wood, plastic, metal), and must it be solid or can it be an optically opaque tube meeting the specified dimensions and purpose of breaking a light beam?

The 1/4" or larger dowel. Can any material be used (i.e. wood, plastic, metal), and must it be solid or can it be an optically opaque tube meeting the specified dimensions and purpose of breaking a light beam?

admin Mon, 2016-11-14 21:25

The dowel can be any material, but by definition a dowel is a solid cylindrical rod, hence a straw is not allowed.

The clarification on this rule is not entirely clear. If I found a commercially-available product containing a brushless motor attached to a fan, must it be labeled as a "cooling fan" to be legal?

The clarification on this rule is not entirely clear. If I found a commercially-available product containing a brushless motor attached to a fan, must it be labeled as a "cooling fan" to be legal?

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:26

No. As long as it is a fan typically used for cooling electronics or computers it does not need to be labeled as such.

The rules say that Brushless motors and integrated circuits are not permitted, does this just refer to integrated circuits to control motors or things like adjustable voltage regulators and arduinos.

The rules say that Brushless motors and integrated circuits are not permitted, does this just refer to integrated circuits to control motors or things like adjustable voltage regulators and arduinos.

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:55

Note there is an official rules clarification related to this, available at: https://www.soinc.org/official_rules_clarif The integrated circuit prohibition refers to all components (including voltage regulators / arduinos) other than those specified in the rules clarification.

What constitutes an integrated circuit?(ie. are resistors, capacitors, transistors allowed? Operational Amplifiers?)

What constitutes an integrated circuit?(ie. are resistors, capacitors, transistors allowed? Operational Amplifiers?)

admin Mon, 2016-11-07 19:27

An integrated circuit is a circuit in which all or some of the circuit elements are inseparably associated and electrically interconnected so that it is considered to be indivisible for the purposes of construction and commerce. Most resistors and capacitors are not integrated circuits. Nearly all transistors and op-amps are integrated circuits.

Forensics

Forensics

admin Mon, 2014-09-08 13:46

Materials Science

Materials Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Optics

Optics

admin Mon, 2014-09-08 13:47

Wind Power - Div C

Wind Power - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:57

Technology & Engineering

Technology & Engineering

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:58

Helicopters

Helicopters

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:59

What defines a single bladed rotor? Would a single stick of wood projecting out horizontally from the body be considered a "lifting surface" that "rotates on a common path around a vertical axis"?

What defines a single bladed rotor? Would a single stick of wood projecting out horizontally from the body be considered a "lifting surface" that "rotates on a common path around a vertical axis"?

admin Mon, 2016-11-14 21:21

No, that would not be considered a lifting surface. To be considered a lifting surface, it must contribute lift to the overall flying assembly. An easy way to demonstrate that would be to demonstrate flying it with and without the surface, if the surface is not present then the flight would be significantly different.

Robot Arm

Robot Arm

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:27

Can the end effectors be completely mobile on their own, without power from the arm. i.e. a small RC car attached to the base via a tether to the base?

Can the end effectors be completely mobile on their own, without power from the arm. i.e. a small RC car attached to the base via a tether to the base?

ceann Sun, 2016-12-18 21:08
No. This would not meet the definition of a robotic arm. Definition (checked in multiple sources) A robot arm is a series of rigid elements linked by rotary or translation joints. The tether is not a rigid link, nor is it a rotary or translational joint.

Towers - Div C

Towers - Div C

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:27

For the load scored bonus, the tower must be clear of the 29.0 cm diameter circle. Is this during setup only or also during loading (prior to tower failure)?

For the load scored bonus, the tower must be clear of the 29.0 cm diameter circle. Is this during setup only or also during loading (prior to tower failure)?

admin Thu, 2016-12-01 22:21

The Load Scored Bonus is awarded only if the tower is outside of the 29.0 cm diameter circle through the entire testing. If the tower sags inside of the 29.0 cm circle during testing but the bucket remains off the ground and the tower is still outside the 20.0 x 20.0 cm opening on the Test Base, testing will continue until failure occurs as defined in the rules.

Electric Vehicle

Electric Vehicle

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:59

Clearly batteries must be less than 9V, but can we use step-up regulator to generate 12 V?

Clearly batteries must be less than 9V, but can we use step-up regulator to generate 12 V?

admin Mon, 2016-11-14 20:22

No, the voltage across any two points ≤ 9 V as stated by the manufacturer labels. If a step-up regulator steps a 9V battery up to 12V, this would be a violation.

How is "leading part of the vehicle" defined? Is it the forward-most part in the direction of the vehicle's travel or the closest part to the Target Point?

How is "leading part of the vehicle" defined? Is it the forward-most part in the direction of the vehicle's travel or the closest part to the Target Point?

admin Fri, 2016-11-04 09:06

The "leading part of the vehicle" is the forward-most part in the direction of the vehicle's travel.

Is the vehicle permitted to be propelled backwards outside of the run time (as defined in 5k)?

Is the vehicle permitted to be propelled backwards outside of the run time (as defined in 5k)?

admin Thu, 2016-11-03 17:42

No. The rule is clear. ...please see rule 5.g.

When it says that the vehicle cannot be propelled backward, does that apply to recoil which occurs when a vehicle stops, specifically if the vehicle moves backwards despite the actual propulsion only being forwards?

When it says that the vehicle cannot be propelled backward, does that apply to recoil which occurs when a vehicle stops, specifically if the vehicle moves backwards despite the actual propulsion only being forwards?

ceann Sat, 2017-02-11 15:52
No, the minor recoil when a vehicle stops is not considered backwards propulsion. Ultimately it will be up to the event supervisor to determine if this movement was intentional to gain a benefit to the team.

General Questions

General Questions

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:19

Please do not use this form for EVENT RULE questions as they must be submitted by selecting one of the 46 events listed. This page refers to questions that apply to all events and to Science Olympiad in general. 

If our school has two teams, are students allowed to participate with both teams?

If our school has two teams, are students allowed to participate with both teams?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:19

No, students may not compete on 2 teams in the same tournament.

Can we laminate cheat sheets?

Can we laminate cheat sheets?

admin Thu, 2015-11-12 13:30

See General Rule #1.

General Rule 2 states that participants may not communicate with the outside. How will the laptops be checked to insure that their internet capability is disabled?

General Rule 2 states that participants may not communicate with the outside. How will the laptops be checked to insure that their internet capability is disabled?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:11

Event Supervisors are not willing to share their methods of insuring that students do not communicate with the outside during an event.

How far in advance of the regional and state tournaments are the schedules sent out so coaches can figure out student placement in events?

How far in advance of the regional and state tournaments are the schedules sent out so coaches can figure out student placement in events?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:17

This depends on each tournament Director's timeline. You may need to inquire about the schedule directly with each of your directors. The very tentative national schedule is generally posted in the Coaches Manuals.

How much is the initial registration fee?

How much is the initial registration fee?

admin Fri, 2012-10-26 14:31
The National registration fee is $60 per team and is included in the state registration fee. Please check with your State Director to register. State websites can be accessed through the www.soinc.org

I was looking for FAQs for an event, but there aren't any questions or answers for that event.

I was looking for FAQs for an event, but there aren't any questions or answers for that event.

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:24

You are correct.  There are very few questions and answers posted this year because the rules have been generally well written and we have received few questions that are worthy of posting.  We are responding to all questions that come in but be aware that responses may take up to a week.    Please be sure to read the parameters that we use to decide what questions we will or will not answer. These parameters may be found at Event Info/FAQs...

In past years, there have been live links for the various events to access online resources. Did I miss them, or is there a change in policy?

In past years, there have been live links for the various events to access online resources. Did I miss them, or is there a change in policy?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:12

Material on the website has been contributed by coaches, event supervisors and workshop presenters from all levels of competition. Any additional material will be posted as it becomes available. If you would like to contribute material (non-copyright) please contact the Science Olympiad National Office.

May a 9th grader compete in both the B division and C division, since B is 6-9 and C is 9-12?

May a 9th grader compete in both the B division and C division, since B is 6-9 and C is 9-12?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:20

No, you must choose one or the other at a tournament.  You may not be on two rosters at the same tournament.

May a team member participate in the state competition if they cannot participate in the regional competition?

May a team member participate in the state competition if they cannot participate in the regional competition?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:23

Each tournament is independently organized. Your team may be composed of any students who meet the requirements. They do not have to be the same as those who competed in previous tournaments.

On what dates are the regional, state, and national tournaments, or where might I find them?

On what dates are the regional, state, and national tournaments, or where might I find them?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:26

Contact your Regional and State Director for information about those tournaments. All known future National Tournament dates can be found on the "Tournaments" page on this website and in the current Rules Manual.

What is the policy of using resources during competition this year?

What is the policy of using resources during competition this year?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:21

Allowed resources are different for each event. Please read each Event Rule and the General Rules in the Rules Manual for information on using resources.

When will the Rules Manual be sent?

When will the Rules Manual be sent?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:13

If your manual was for membership, it will be sent by your state director after September 1. If you ordered from the Science Olympiad Store, it will be shipped according to your directions.

Where are the event rules on this website? I would like to be able to print the rules instead of copying from someone else's manual.

Where are the event rules on this website? I would like to be able to print the rules instead of copying from someone else's manual.

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:49

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website. Copies of the Rules Manual containing the rules for all events are generally sent to the coach when a team is registered. Additional copies may be purchased from the Science Olympiad Store or as an app in the iTunes or Google Play Stores.

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:13

Answers to all questions about rules can generally be found in the Rules Manual by reading the rules carefully. The Clarifications and individual Event FAQ pages have only selected answers to corrections or common misunderstandings.

Where is the best website to obtain info and materials on how to make devices for competion?

Where is the best website to obtain info and materials on how to make devices for competion?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:14

Researching information is part of the competition and is the responsibility of the contestants. Some information available from Science Olympiad on the internet can be located on the page for that event. To access event pages, go to the Menu, then choose either Division B or Division C Events.

Why aren't the rules on the web?

Why aren't the rules on the web?

admin Thu, 2008-08-21 13:17

The Science Olympiad Rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website. See the Science Olympiad Copyrights and Use Statement.

Additional copies of the Rules Manual may be purchased from the Science Olympiad Store or as an app in the iTunes and Google Play Stores.

Why aren't the schedules for nationals, state and regionals all the same? It is very difficult to reorganize the teams at every level of competition because of time conflicts with the studied events. Why aren't all competitions required to be con...

Why aren't the schedules for nationals, state and regionals all the same? It is very difficult to reorganize the teams at every level of competition because of time conflicts with the studied events. Why aren't all competitions required to be con...

admin Wed, 2008-11-26 13:15
There are 500 different tournaments with 500 different sets of unique limitations. The national schedule is posted in September. You might ask your local tournament director but keep in mind that they must build their schedules around limitations such as availability of space, event supervisors, equipment, etc.

Coaching/Team Requirements

Coaching/Team Requirements

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:18

Questions on coaching a team, study resources and membership requirements.

Are there any other places where we can get practice tests for the events?

Are there any other places where we can get practice tests for the events?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:49

Yes, dozens of them, but the best sources are the Test Packets from each National Tournament that can be ordered from the Science Olympiad Store. Many others are listed under event info on the National Science Olympiad website.

If a school has grade levels below those designated for their division (A3-6/B6-9/C9-12), may students from the lower grades participate on a team in a higher division?

If a school has grade levels below those designated for their division (A3-6/B6-9/C9-12), may students from the lower grades participate on a team in a higher division?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:51

With the concurrence of your tournaments organizers, to encourage and support the inclusion of all children who wish to participate in Science Olympiad, schools with grade levels lower than those designated in a division (e.g., K-8, 3-7, 7-12) are permitted to invite members below the Division grade level designations if no other outlet (such as a division-specific team) is available. We prefer and encourage students to participate in the division that matches current Science Olympiad grade level designations. Participation is limited to age-appropriate events (as determined by a coach, principal or tournament director) and prohibited where safety is a concern (such as the use of chemicals).

If a student no longer attends the school but is at another school that does not have a team, may she compete on our team?

If a student no longer attends the school but is at another school that does not have a team, may she compete on our team?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:25

No, but they are welcome to form a new team even if it is with only a few students at first. Remember that a parent, a community member or any educator, etc. may be a coach, but be sure to notify the principal and follow all of the school rules.

If we qualifiy for nationals, but are short team members, may we use alternate team members to fill in?

If we qualifiy for nationals, but are short team members, may we use alternate team members to fill in?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:27

Each tournament is independently organized. Your team may be composed of any students who meet the requirements on page 2 of the Coaches Manual and Rules. They do not have to be the same as those who competed in previous tournaments.

May we put a team together & register outside the school, having the team made up of students from the school? May the coach be a parent or does it have to be a teacher from that school?

May we put a team together & register outside the school, having the team made up of students from the school? May the coach be a parent or does it have to be a teacher from that school?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:54

No. Please see the official Science Olympiad policies on Team Size & Grade Levels (https://www.soinc.org/divisions_abc) and Team Qualifications (https://www.soinc.org/home_virtual_schools) for team composition questions. While parents or other adults are excellent team coaches, a principal must sign the team roster, and most school administrators will require a contracted person, staff, or faculty member to organize all school paperwork necessary for travel to Science Olympiad tournaments, including permission slips, and medical and media release forms. As the Science Olympiad team is representing the school, the school needs to follow all the proper procedures for student supervision, liability and safety. Please see our Volunteers page for more info. (https://www.soinc.org/volunteers)

Please tell me how to find and print the event rules. We are having trouble navigating the website.

Please tell me how to find and print the event rules. We are having trouble navigating the website.

gerard Mon, 2008-11-10 15:11
The rules are copyrighted and are not placed on any website. Copies of the Rules Manual containing the rules for all events may be purchased from the Science Olympiad Store.

What is the official rule on alternate team members?

What is the official rule on alternate team members?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:46

There is no "official" rule on "alternate" members.  Alternates may participate only if one of the 15 regular team members can't make it the day of the competition or if a team member becomes ill or injured. Alternates may not fill in if there is a schedule conflict or if the schedule changes on the day of the competition.

Some tournaments restrict the number (if any) per team and sometimes allow them to participate in trials events and drop off impound items. Many tournaments issue and require "regular" team members to wear "hospital style" wrist bands so alternates do not "accidentally" cover for a late member.

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:53

Answers to all questions can be found in this knowledge base. The Clarifications  and individual Event FAQ pages have been merged into this Knowledge base.

Trial/Pilot Events

Trial/Pilot Events

admin Mon, 2008-08-11 16:21

For general information and pdfs regarding trial events, please visit the Trial Events information page.

To ask questions about a Trial Event or to find out which events will be held, contact your Regional or State Director.

Advisor Communications

Advisor Communications

admin Thu, 2012-10-25 13:14

Internal communications between SOINC advisers.