Frequently Asked Questions

Clarifications & FAQs open October 1 and close May 1. Official Rules Clarifications are made to clarify or 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 participate in any Science Olympiad Tournament a team MUST be a Member). Extra Rules Manuals can be purchased on the Science Olympiad Store or by purchasing the Science Olympiad Rules Manual APP.

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 box" (HINT: to see all FAQ responses: use the "Printer-Friendly Version" Button). 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, how to coach the event. These questions should go to your Coach or see the links under EVENT INFO.

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

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

Earth/Space Science

Dynamic Planet - Div B

Fossils - Div B

(section: 3 / paragraph: 1 / line: 4)

2016-03-28 21:26 On the Fossil List you have C. megalodon. Is the C for Carcharodon or Carcharocles

Carcharodon. Due to the debatable taxonomic assignment of C. megalodon to either Carcharodon or Carcharocles, questions on evolutionary history of C. megalodon should not appear on Science Olympiad fossil events. Questions about C. megalodon should be limited to the interpretation of the species.

Meteorology

Road Scholar

Reach for the Stars

Inquiry/Nature

Bottle Rocket

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 2)

2015-11-12 14:07 Is putting light pen marks or lines on the pressure vessel bottle considered physical, thermal, or chemical damage?

Writing on the bottle would not be physical damage unless the person doing the writing did something out of the ordinary which damages the structural integrity of the pressure vessel.

Picture This

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 3)

2016-01-16 21:14 The paragraph (3c) about visual cues with hand/body includes a statement that a word can be broken into parts. Does that mean it can be indicated by a visual cue with hand/body? Note there is no written symbol in paragraph 3e for breaking a word.

No, students cannot give a visual clue about the number of words or breaking a word into parts. Rule 3.e allows a student to use uniform length dashes to indicate the number of words (not syllables).

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2016-01-16 21:16 If a word contains a hyphen, can the drawer put one along with lines to show number of words? Thank you.

No. Putting the hyphen along with the line would partly spell the word.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / sub-paragraph: - / line: -)

2015-12-14 10:14 Allowed?Rules state that acceptable symbols are arrows, plus sign or minus sign. Often in competitions students will draw a picture and circle that part of the picture they want the guesser to focus on. In come cases when the entire picture is t...

A circle as a drawing wherever it occurs is allowed as long as it does not represent or is not interpreted as a Zero or a letter.

Experimental Design - Div B

(section: 2 / line: 2)

2016-02-20 12:23 Can students bring a meter stick in addition to a ruler?

Yes. Each student may bring in any type of ruler.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2016-01-16 20:22 Rule 4.e. requests to list all materials used. Should the list of used materials be only a subset of materials provided in Rule 3.a? Should student list goggle, pen, paper, stop watch, ruler, calculator or number of participants in the experiment?

The materials list contains the equipment (e.g. stopwatch, glassware, etc.) and supplies (e.g. chemicals) used in the experiment. You should include the precision of the measuring device being used (e.g. ruler marked off in millimeters, 250 ml beaker. ) You do not need to list safety equipment, writing implements, calculators, or number of participants helping with the experiment.

Write It Do It - Div B

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2016-01-06 22:05 Do "scientific symbols" include math symbols, such as the circle symbol for degrees or the angle symbol?

Yes, these symbols are allowed as long as they fit within the context of the written description.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 4)

2016-01-06 22:08 May students use abbreviations that appear as keys on th standard keyboard, e.g. &, # and @ ?

Yes, this year's rules allow these types of abbreviations without defining them.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b. / line: 4-7)

2016-01-06 21:47 With the elimination of the keyboard requirement, is it acceptable to underline or circle words? What about arrows?

Yes, these are all acceptable with the new rules this year as long as they fit within the context of the written description.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2016-01-15 22:07 How do drawings or diagrams of items such as a compass rose, clock-face, or any other drawing or diagram be scored?

Written descriptions that contain drawings and diagrams will be ranked in Tier 2. (This is based on rule 3.d.) If the drawing depicts the model, team will be eliminated.

(section: 3d / line: 1-2)

2016-02-27 12:51 If a student writes something like "Shape the pipe cleaner in the shape of the letter 'L'." in their instructions, is that considered either a diagram or a picture of the model, with a commensurate penalty?

No it would not be considered a penalty.  Students are allowed to use letters that fit within the context of the written description.

(section: not su / line: not su)

2016-03-02 21:38 What is the penalty for writing over-time?

If a student continues writing after time has been called the event supervisor does have the authority to assess penalty points based on the level of infraction and total points (see General Rules - 1st paragraph). The team should not be Tiered or Disqualified from the event for continuing to write after time is called unless the student displays unsportsmanlike conduct. The event supervisor could also delete/cross out all of the words written by the student after time was called.

Life/Personal/Social Science

Bio-Process Lab

Disease Detectives - Div B

Anatomy

Green Generation - Div B

Invasive Species - Div B

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / line: 4)

2015-11-12 15:05 My question is about the official national list of invasive species. Under vids, it lists Bird Flu, H5N5. Does this mean only H5N5, or could it include other strains of bird flu? I.e., should the kids really only be researching H5N5?

Yes, H5N5 is the only Bird Flu on the National Official List. Check with your State or Regional Director if they will be using a different list.

Physical Science/Chemistry

Chemistry

Food Science

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 3)

2016-01-18 11:26 Do the plastic bottles have to be exactly 500-600 mL or can there be slight variations in size such as pint (~450 mL) or a quart (~800 mL) plastic containers that are readily available to students in supermarkets.

Normal plastic drink bottles ( water or soda) are between 500 and 600 ml. This is why that range was chosen. It will be up to the event supervisor to determine how close to that range they will accept. Teams should be prepared to stay within that range.

2016-01-18 11:26 May the cups or spoons be measuring cups and measuring spoons?

Yes.

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 4-5)

2016-01-27 22:12 Must the 500-600 mL plastic container with lid have a manufacturer's mark indicating the volume or can the students use a container that they have determined to be in the 500-600 mL range by their own measurements?

The requirement is that the container be 500-600 ml. There is no requirement that the container have a manufacturer label to that effect.

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 5)

2015-11-12 14:27 May students bring pipettes to measure the drops of lemon juice/vinegar? The rules do not specifically require event supervisors to provide them and if the student's prior research was measured using drops, they will need them.

No, the students can not bring pipettes. The event supervisor may provide them, but the students should not plan on that.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 2)

2016-01-16 20:51 Rule 2.b. states that Supervisors will provide “… other reagents or equipment to complete the experimental activities.” My Question: Does this include timers so that the when conducting the lab tasks, each team can time their experiment in...

Yes, students may bring a timer.

(section: 3 / line: 3)

2016-01-16 20:54 Do we have to know the chemical structure of all types of sugars, starches, etc. or just ones that pertain to dairy?

All test questions should be related to dairy food science.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: - )

2016-03-29 11:04 Do we have to add actual photographs to our notebook, or can we draw a scale picture of the results?

Pictures are preferred. But accurate drawings are allowed.

(section: 3 / paragraph: A / line: 2)

2016-02-27 16:04 Note book Recording findings in the experiment form: can the kids type the findings in a word document or it needs to be hand written with pen or pencil?

The experiments may be typed and placed in the Notebook.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 2, 3)

2016-02-20 13:43 May a team modify the notebook form found on the National web site in order to expand it to include pictures without suffering a penalty? Or must it only be one page?

The Food Science Experiment Form may be expanded to include all that is required to be documented for each experiment.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 5)

2016-02-20 13:13 If a student does a set of different experiments for a lab task, are they to change what the independent variable is each time? Or are they supposed to repeat the task experiment over and over again using the same independent variable?

Each Experiment will have one Independent Variable that must be tested at 2 or more Levels (examples of Levels would be different Levels of milk fat, different quantities of the Independent Variable; different length of time mixing or shaking; different types of acid; etc.). These Levels do not need to be repeated in multiple Trials but can be and should be included on the same Experiment Template. According to the rules there is no expectation of multiple Trials so there will not be penalties or bonuses for the lack of multiple Trials or inclusion of multiple Trials. Each Task (Curds, Butter, or Ice Cream) requires a minimum of 3 different experiments. Each of these different experiments must have different Independent Variables or they should be counted as duplications and receive no credit.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 2)

2016-02-09 21:02 This rule says the difference between the ES's mass and the student's mass is to be scored. Rule 4 b. ii does not score the difference when student mass > ES mass. Which rule applies in that case?

10 points is the maximum number of points. The masses will be confirmed by the event supervisor and points awarded based on their measurements. If the students mass > ES mass, the team will score 10 points.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 3)

2015-11-12 14:29 Can students bring something to "fasten" the cheesecloth over the beaker such as a rubber band or will that be provided by the event supervisor?

Students may only bring what is listed in the rules. All other materials should be provided by the event supervisor.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 4)

2016-01-16 21:09 When the curds have been drained for 15 minutes, are they to be squeezed and dried before determining the mass of the curds?

Yes, they should be dry. Please see the training guide posted on the National Website under Food Science.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 4)

2015-11-12 14:57 The rule says using heavy cream. We only found heavy whipping cream in supermarkets. Can we use heavy whipping cream for our experiments?

Yes, Heavy Cream and Heavy whipping cream are similar differing with the percentage of fat. Heavy cream is about 36% and heavy whipping cream is about 30% milk fat. The students should practice with different types of cream because you don't know what type of cream the event supervisor will provide for this Lab.

(section: 4 / paragraph: a,b,c / line: 1)

2016-01-16 21:12 50 minutes does not seem long enough to complete two tasks and the written test. How much time is allotted for the written test?

The written test may be given during the entire time period so the students may work on it during the experiment portion. This is up to the event supervisor.

Crime Busters

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 5)

2016-03-19 21:01 Is the burn test not allowed for only recyclable plastics or is it not allowed for any unknown?

For crime busters, the only burn tests allowed in the event are on the fibers. If the results of burn tests on the plastics are important, the event supervisor must divulge the results of the competitors in the crime scene scenario.

Physics

Crave The Wave

Wind Power - Div B

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2015-11-12 15:33 Is the CD that the blades are mounted to only held on to the generator by the detent balls on a CD player or can extra support be provided such as double sided adhesive tape to strengthen the joint?

Yes, as long as the tape is easily removable and does not impact other subsequent teams' testing.

2016-03-04 16:07 Can holes be drilled in the CD such that the blades can be affixed to the CD with plastic nuts and bolts?

Yes, as long as the holes are filled with a fastener used to attach a blade. No holes or slots may be used for the purpose of reducing the mass of the CD.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 2)

2016-03-29 12:43 If the CD is sanded to create a rough surface so that it can bond/glue strong and firm to the blades, would this be considered a "modification of a CD"?

No, this would not be a modification of the CD. Light sanding to create a rough surface for gluing purposes only where the blade is mounted is fine. Sanding the whole CD is not allowed. The local event supervisor will determine if a modification has been made to the CD.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1-2)

2016-03-29 12:34 The Rules state no part of the blade assembly may extend BEHIND CD for 3cm. This has been interpreted to mean that blades cannot be within 3cm both IN FRONT and BEHIND.

The limitation is only for the side of the CD that is facing the motor/generator.

(section: 4 / paragraph: f / line: 2)

2016-03-04 15:54 At what time in the testing is the final position of 5cm to be measured and Is this a construction violation ?

It will be measured just prior to the measurement period starting. The measurement period will not begin if it is closer than 5cm. There is no other penalty.

(section: 4 / paragraph: G / line: 2)

2016-03-04 14:58 May students push the blades by hand to initially get them spinning (if necessary) in the testing period, prior to the declared measurement period.

Yes, see 4.f. They may push the blades by hand to initially get them spinning but they may not touch the blade assembly during the measurement period.  and initially get them spinning.

(section: 4 / paragraph: l / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 1)

2015-11-12 15:35 Rules state that "Power generator general questions...."Does this refer to the general question of how electrical power is generated in each of these types of power plants or specifically to the generator itself?

Anything related to power generators in general is a valid question, which could include aspects of the power plants.

(section: 4.f. / line: 5)

2016-03-29 12:22 If during the 3 minute testing period, but not yet in the 30 second measurement period, the whole blade assembly falls off the mounting equipment provided by the event supervisors, can the students reattach their blade assembly?

Yes.

Air Trajectory

(section: 2 / paragraph: j / line: 1)

2016-02-11 11:40 Regarding the use of electronics. Can an electric drill be brought to detach the weight and subsequently (after impound/before event) reattach the weight before launch? If so, does it need to be impounded?

Yes a drill may be used as a tool and it does NOT need to be impounded. Please keep in mind that power outlets might not be available close to the competition area.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2016-01-29 20:17 Can we re-inflate the air chamber after launch (ie: soda bottle, when it's crushed) using ambient air, to go back to it's original shape, or does it need to re-inflate itself?

Yes,you may re-inflate the air chamber provided the chamber is at ambient pressure at launch.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2016-02-09 20:08 3d states an 80cm cube may be used at "any orientation." This is not possible due to the furtherrestrictions in 4a.

Correct, if teams choose to use the max 80cm size, they are then limited in the orientations they may place the device in. Smaller devices will have more possible orientations available.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2016-02-20 09:39 Can the triggering device be a rope permanently attached to the mass meaning it cannot detach from the mass?

No, the triggering device separates itself from the launch device. Any parts remaining that are attached to the launching device after a shot are considered part of the launching device and must follow Rule 4c.

Correction – Yes, the triggering device may stay attached to the mass after launch.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-03-02 22:05 May beer pong balls be used as projectiles. Beer pong balls are heavier, don't bounce as much, and are less affected by air resistance and wind. Is this a valid projectile according to the rules?

The balls should be of the type listed in Rule 3f. In the case of beer pong balls, if the original packaging somewhere states they are 'ping pong' balls, they are acceptable. Teams should bring the original packaging if there is a question.

(section: 3 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2015-12-14 10:24 Can the calibration of the device be electronic, if it is not a physical part of the device? (Meaning, it can be added, calibrated, and then removed before the firing of the device).

Yes, tools are allowed to be electronic. Electronic devices may only used during calibration.

(section: 3. / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2015-11-12 14:04 Team must provide unmodified light weight plastic or foam golf balls to be used as projectiles. Are practice plastic golf ball with holes on the side consider "Unmodified"?

Yes, plastic golf balls purchased with holes in them are considered unmodified and are allowed.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2016-01-15 21:16 May competitors be in front of the launch area BEFORE a launch? Specifically: Are competitors allowed to walk behind targets to instruct their partner in aiming their device?

General rule #1 applies (https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules). There is no prohibition in the rules about approaching or going behind the targets prior to a launch during their 8 min. time period (rule 4.f.) During a launch they must follow rule 4.b. Teams may be penalized if they disturb the competition area.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2016-03-19 20:51 Is the "sand, cat litter, or similar substance" around the target, part of the target? Should we be penalized for touching said substance?

No, there is no penalty for contacting the sand etc. The sand etc. is not part of the target. It's purpose is to identify where the projectile landed. Teams should avoid touching it though as it could cause a false mark to appear that makes it difficult for the event supervisor to measure the point of impact.

(section: 4 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-01-14 22:09 Can competitors use a laser as a material to help with setup, adjustment, and calibration of the device? General rules about laser use will be followed and the laser impounded.

Yes, lasers may be used as a tool for setup, adjustment, & calibration of the device. They must be removed prior to launch. The laser policy posted on the National website must be followed.

(section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-01-15 21:19 Is a rope which extends from the device to the target considered a calibration tool?

A rope can be considered a calibration tool as long as it is removed from the device during each launch.

(section: 4 / paragraph: i / line: 1)

2016-02-09 20:24 If a team qualifies for 2 bucket shots, must the bucket shot be constant for both shots or could the event supervisor select different locations for each bucket shot?

There is only 1 location for the bucket which is the same for all teams and all launches.

(section: 4. / paragraph: e. / line: 2-5)

2016-01-15 21:26 The rule says a distance of at least 2.00 m must separate the targets. If the near target is on the 2 m centerline would it be legal for the far target to be 2m to the right or left perpendicular to the centerline 2 m mark?

Yes, that is allowable.

Technology

Mission Possible

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2016-01-07 21:17 Does a toy car rolling down a ramp count as a wheel and axle?

No. A wheel and axle (as a simple machine) requires an input on the wheel or axle and an output on the other end (axle or wheel). A toy car rolling down a ramp does not satisfy the requirements of transferring from one simple machine to another (see rule 3.d).

2016-01-07 21:49 If there is a wheel on a threaded axle that acts as a screw, is this 2 simple machines (wheel and axle to screw) or only one? If it is one, which one is it?

Each simple machine must complete the requirement listed in the rules before the next machine's requirements start to be counted. If this does not happen only one of the simple machines will count for a score as long as it completes its listed requirement.

(section: 3 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-03-28 21:12 What constitutes a Parallel or Dead End Path?

Parallel tasks have no direct relationship to one another and if one of the two tasks fails, the overall sequence of events can still continue or lead to a “dead-end” path. Parallel tasks are not measured in a chronological manner but in a causality manner. That is to say, if one task causes the next task, then they are not parallel. A Dead End Path does not lead to the Final Task.

(section: 3 / paragraph: J / line: J)

2016-01-07 22:05 Must there be a non-scorable simple machine between two scorable transfers?

No, there does not need to be a non-scorable simple machine between two scorable transfers. Scorable transfers are based upon the first simple machine in a transfer. The second simple machine of the first transfer can then become the scored first simple machine of the next transfer.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2015-11-12 15:25 Can there be a release of stored energy between the two simple machines in a transfer or does the output of the first simple machine have to directly drive the input of next one?

Yes, there can be a release of stored energy between the two simple machines in a transfer. No, the output of the first simple machine does not have to directly drive the input of next one.

2015-11-12 15:26 Can the second simple machine in a transfer be the first simple machine in the next transfer?

Yes.

2016-01-07 22:15 Is a transfer scorable if it is a transfer from one Class of Lever to a different Class of Lever (e.g. Lever 1st Class --> Lever 2nd Class)?

No, you can not have a scorable transfer from one Class Lever to a different Class of Lever. They are classified as the same type of Simple Machine, just different classes. See rule 4.c.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 1)

2016-01-15 22:33 Just want to clarify the "10cm up the inclined plane to count for points," is the 10cm along the inclined plane surface, not the vertical distance between where the lower point the object starts and the higher point where the object ends up.

Yes, an object must travel upward at least 10 cm along the surface of an inclined plane. The 10 cm minimum required distance is not the vertical distance between the lower starting point of the object and the higher point where the object ended.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: iv / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:10 Will a needle popping a balloon (assuming the energy is still transfered to the next simple machine) count as a wedge transfer for points?

No, this will not qualify as a wedge separating two touching objects.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: IV / line: 1)

2016-01-29 20:06 Is it necessary that the separated object travel in perpendicular direction to the direction of the wedge or can it be parallel to the direction of the movement of the wedge?

A wedge as a simple machine functions by converting a force applied to its blunt end into forces perpendicular (normal) to its inclined surfaces.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: v / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:15 To count for points, does the screw itself have to move, or can we have an object move around the threads of a screw?

According to rule 4.d.v., the "screw must complete at least one full rotation..." An object moving around the threads of a stationary screw will not satisfy this requirement.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: vi / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:43 Does both the wheel and axle have to turn one full rotation (360) or can it just be the wheel that turns 360?

The simple machine of a Wheel and Axle is a larger wheel fixed to a smaller axle and a mechanical advantage is gained by the ratio of the difference in their diameters. So if the wheel turns 360 degrees and the axle does not turn 360 degrees, it is not a wheel and axle simple machine because they are not fixed together.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:52 If the final task fails and the bell does not ring on its own can the student ring the bell as per rule 4j to stop time as per rule 4i.

Yes, the student may ring the bell. They will incur a 15 point penalty for a touch and they will not receive the final task points. rule 4.l. Any obvious stalling to gain a time advantage must result in disqualification. Rule 4.j.

(section: 5 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:29 Does Start task count as 1 of 18 transfers?

The completed Start Task - "dropping an unaltered, regulation-sized racquetball into the device to initiate the first action" can not be listed as the first scoreable transfer. The first action (simple machine) initiated by the Start Task may be the initial type of machine in the first scoreable transfer (rule 4.c.1.) and must be listed on a separate line on the TSL. See posted TSL sample on the National website.

Scrambler

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 3)

2016-02-27 11:09 Does the "0.9 m in any dimension" limit go beyond width, depth and height to include all possible diagonal dimensions?

No, "0.9 m in any dimension" refers only to width, depth, and height.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2016-03-29 11:19 Is it OK for competitors to bring multiple different weight falling masses to choose from, as long as none of them weigh more than 2.00kg.

No, throughout the rules the mass is referred to as singular. Teams may impound only one mass.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: N/A / line: 1)

2016-03-29 21:02 Is it legal to use lead as part of the weight? We intend to use lead, but we are concerned about it being a hazmat. We intend to keep it completely wrapped in duct tape so that the lead is not exposed, but is it legal?

Please do not use lead. First because it is not a safe material to be working with and second, simply because many, many Event Supervisor just would not allow it. There are a number of safer materials available out there that are close to the density of lead.

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2016-03-29 20:59 My egg backstop is completely rigid but it is attached to a ETV that has a flexible chassis. Is that allowed?

No. Rigid is defined as "stiff", "hard", "unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible". A flexible chassis is able to bend and therefore can easily absorb the energy of pressure from the egg hitting the wall. The whole purpose of a rigid backstop is to ensure that if the egg hits the terminal barrier with enough force it will break. The purpose of the entire event is to see how close you can get to the wall as fast as possible without breaking the egg. The purpose is not to see how we can circumvent breaking the egg by using essentially a "crumple zone," which is exactly what would happen with a backstop attached to a flexible chassis. The term "rigid" goes beyond just the backstop. You can't maintain rigidity if you attach something that is rigid to something that is not rigid. See rule 2.e.line 6

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 5)

2016-03-29 10:48 This line calls for ...rigid material... to be used. If it meets all other construction parameters, can balsa be used as the rigid material?

Generally, no. Rigid is defined as "stiff", "hard", "unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible". A block of balsa tends to be less dense and can easily absorb the energy of pressure from the egg. Please have an alternative backstop prepared in case your local tournament event supervisor does not consider balsa as a rigid material. This would have to be replaced during the team's 8 minutes.

(section: 2 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-03-29 21:06 Do the wheels of the ETV have to be in contact with the floor in launch configuration? Or can they rest on a thin (not raised) piece of plywood?

Yes, all of the wheels have to be in contact with the floor in the ready to run position. No, they cannot rest on a (thin or thick) piece of plywood. If they were not on the floor in the ready-to-run configuration, they would violate Rule 2.h. upon touching the floor during the run and the team would receive a construction violation.

(section: 2 / paragraph: i / line: 2,3)

2016-03-29 11:33 Must the part of the Scrambler which is to prevent the falling mass from damaging the floor be structurally built into the Scrambler or may it be a separate added piece placed within the device as long as it fits in the size parameters?

It may be a separate piece but when placed within the Scrambler it must fit in the 0.90 size parameter.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 2)

2016-03-29 21:15 If the contestants break their egg while attaching to the vehicle, or before the first official run, do they get another egg?

A second egg will be provided, the team will be allowed only one run, and a competition violation will be assessed to that run even if the second egg does not break.

(section: 4 / paragraph: k / sub-paragraph: 3 / line: 3)

2016-03-29 11:47 If the egg breaks on the second run, and the first run has no violations, then the first run is in tier one and the second run is in tier 2 correct?

There are no Tiers in Scrambler this year. The runs are scored separately. The better of the two Run Scores is used for the Final Score.

Bridge Building

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 2)

2016-02-27 09:53 Can the Test Support block be anywhere in the loading zone, for example, slightly behind the 35 cm line if necessary?

Per rule 5.b.ii. Teams may place the Test Support in one of the Bearing Zones, it does not need to be exactly on the 35 cm line.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / sub-paragraph: N/A / line: N/A)

2015-10-29 14:14 Does this mean that the loading block shall be aligned with the centerline of the test base, or is it acceptable for the loading block location to be off to one side as long as it allows for the chain pass through the 20cmx20cm opening of the test?

The loading block is to be aligned with the centerline of the test base which would be the center of the Bridge span when it is placed on the Test Support on one side and the Bearing Zone of the Test Base on the other side.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-03-02 22:14 Is it legal to have felt marker markings on your bridge as a result of component mass recording and construction assistance lines?

Yes, this is allowed.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2015-10-29 14:24 Will the 5 by 5 block be secured to the testing apparatus?

No, the 2 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm block will not be secured to the Test Base.

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2015-10-12 20:36 If the bridge is loaded not to failure of the bridge, but rather the test support falls over, how will the bridge be scored (will there be a second try) ?

If the test support falls over, loading will stop and the weight held at that time will be used to calculate the final score. There will not be a second try at testing the bridge.

Elastic Launched Glider

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 3)

2015-11-12 16:04 The rules state that "The functional components MAY be attached to each other using tape, thread or glue. However could the wing or horizontal stabilizer be attached to the fuselage stick by way of a rubber band?

No, rubber bands are specifically not allowed to attach the wing or stabilizer to the fuselage for safety. The wing or stabilizer could become separated from the fuselage during launch.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / line: 1, 2)

2016-03-02 12:27 If the students are registering 2 gliders or planes, does each glider or plane need its own flight log?

No, each glider or plane does not require its own flight log. The purpose of a flight log is to keep a continuous record of all flights of the gliders or planes you have built and tested.

(section: 4 / paragraph: l / line: 3-5)

2016-01-15 21:28 Does the flight time stop when the glider touches a light or AC fixture or brushes against a wall since, it technically stops for a brief moment and then continues flight, or is it just if it perches on a fixture?

No, the flight time only stops when the glider is no longer supporting its own weight. This can include landing on the floor or getting hung up on any sort of obstacle. Simply touching something does not stop flight time.

(section: 5 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2016-02-09 20:47 Is not having flight logs 30% deduction in score only or 30% deduction and tier/ranking issue?

Not having a flight log is only a 30% deduction in score, it does not effect the tier.

Division C Events

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

Earth & Space Science

Astronomy

(section: 2 / line: 1)

2016-02-15 18:46 Are teams allowed to use the webcam on their computer?

No. Webcams are not allowed during the competition.

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / line: 1)

2016-01-14 22:19 Is additional storage allowed in the form of flash drives, sd cards, external hard drives, etc. along with computers?

Yes this is allowed.

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 1)

2016-02-09 20:29 The rules state that computers may be use as a source for information, so are tablets allowed to be used as replacements?

Yes, tablets are included in the classification of a "computer".

(section: c / line: all)

2015-10-05 15:26 The rules delineate between "objects" and "systems." Can questions be asked about associated exoplanets or stars for the "objects" listed in this year's rules, or is it limited to only the listed "object."

Yes. Systems will have questions concerning the motions and properties of both the exoplanets and their stars. The exoplanets listed as objects will be dealt with as individual objects though there is the possibility of questions concerning the effects of the exoplanets on their parent stars.

Dynamic Planet - Div C

Fossils - Div C

(section: 3 / paragraph: 1 / line: 4)

2016-03-28 21:26 On the Fossil List you have C. megalodon. Is the C for Carcharodon or Carcharocles

Carcharodon. Due to the debatable taxonomic assignment of C. megalodon to either Carcharodon or Carcharocles, questions on evolutionary history of C. megalodon should not appear on Science Olympiad fossil events. Questions about C. megalodon should be limited to the interpretation of the species.

GeoLogic Mapping

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 3)

2016-01-16 20:24 The parameters call for a geologic compass and I'm just trying to clarify what is meant by geologic compass. Transit compass or bearing compass for maps?

Any compass that allows to take strike, dip, plunge, and trend measurements will be good. Therefore, students need a compass that, on top of indicating the magnetic North, also has a clinometer and allows sighting distant landmarks.

(section: 4 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2016-01-16 20:25 Using a geologic compass is new this year. There is a wide range of models and prices. What is recommended?

All Silva compasses in the "Ranger" series provide a cheaper and good alternative to the much more expensive Brunton compass.

Inquiry & Nature of Science

Experimental Design - Div C

(section: 2 / line: 2)

2016-02-20 12:23 Can students bring a meter stick in addition to a ruler?

Yes. Each student may bring in any type of ruler.

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2016-01-16 20:22 Rule 4.e. requests to list all materials used. Should the list of used materials be only a subset of materials provided in Rule 3.a? Should student list goggle, pen, paper, stop watch, ruler, calculator or number of participants in the experiment?

The materials list contains the equipment (e.g. stopwatch, glassware, etc.) and supplies (e.g. chemicals) used in the experiment. You should include the precision of the measuring device being used (e.g. ruler marked off in millimeters, 250 ml beaker. ) You do not need to list safety equipment, writing implements, calculators, or number of participants helping with the experiment.

Game On

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2016-01-16 20:06 At competition, are competitors guaranteed to be provided Scratch 2.0, as opposed to previous versions of Scratch?

There is no guarantee that Scratch 2.0 version is available at all tournament venues. This is a site dependent consideration.

Hydrogeology

(section: 2 / line: b. )

2016-01-16 20:30 The rules say you get one note sheet. Does this mean front and back, or just one sided?

Students may bring one sheet, 8 1/2 x 11 inch, front and back of notes.

Write It Do It - Div C

(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 1)

2016-01-06 22:05 Do "scientific symbols" include math symbols, such as the circle symbol for degrees or the angle symbol?

Yes, these symbols are allowed as long as they fit within the context of the written description.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 4)

2016-01-06 22:08 May students use abbreviations that appear as keys on th standard keyboard, e.g. &, # and @ ?

Yes, this year's rules allow these types of abbreviations without defining them.

(section: 2 / paragraph: b. / line: 4-7)

2016-01-06 21:47 With the elimination of the keyboard requirement, is it acceptable to underline or circle words? What about arrows?

Yes, these are all acceptable with the new rules this year as long as they fit within the context of the written description.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2016-01-15 22:07 How do drawings or diagrams of items such as a compass rose, clock-face, or any other drawing or diagram be scored?

Written descriptions that contain drawings and diagrams will be ranked in Tier 2. (This is based on rule 3.d.) If the drawing depicts the model, team will be eliminated.

(section: 3d / line: 1-2)

2016-02-27 12:51 If a student writes something like "Shape the pipe cleaner in the shape of the letter 'L'." in their instructions, is that considered either a diagram or a picture of the model, with a commensurate penalty?

No it would not be considered a penalty.  Students are allowed to use letters that fit within the context of the written description.

(section: not su / line: not su)

2016-03-02 21:38 What is the penalty for writing over-time?

If a student continues writing after time has been called the event supervisor does have the authority to assess penalty points based on the level of infraction and total points (see General Rules - 1st paragraph). The team should not be Tiered or Disqualified from the event for continuing to write after time is called unless the student displays unsportsmanlike conduct. The event supervisor could also delete/cross out all of the words written by the student after time was called.

Life, Personal & Social Science

Anatomy and Physiology

Cell Biology - Div C

Disease Detectives - Div C

Invasive Species - Div C

(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / line: 4)

2015-11-12 15:05 My question is about the official national list of invasive species. Under vids, it lists Bird Flu, H5N5. Does this mean only H5N5, or could it include other strains of bird flu? I.e., should the kids really only be researching H5N5?

Yes, H5N5 is the only Bird Flu on the National Official List. Check with your State or Regional Director if they will be using a different list.

Green Generation - Div C

Physical Science & Chemistry

Air Trajectory

(section: 2 / paragraph: j / line: 1)

2016-02-11 11:40 Regarding the use of electronics. Can an electric drill be brought to detach the weight and subsequently (after impound/before event) reattach the weight before launch? If so, does it need to be impounded?

Yes a drill may be used as a tool and it does NOT need to be impounded. Please keep in mind that power outlets might not be available close to the competition area.

(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2016-01-29 20:17 Can we re-inflate the air chamber after launch (ie: soda bottle, when it's crushed) using ambient air, to go back to it's original shape, or does it need to re-inflate itself?

Yes,you may re-inflate the air chamber provided the chamber is at ambient pressure at launch.

(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2016-02-09 20:08 3d states an 80cm cube may be used at "any orientation." This is not possible due to the furtherrestrictions in 4a.

Correct, if teams choose to use the max 80cm size, they are then limited in the orientations they may place the device in. Smaller devices will have more possible orientations available.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2016-02-20 09:39 Can the triggering device be a rope permanently attached to the mass meaning it cannot detach from the mass?

No, the triggering device separates itself from the launch device. Any parts remaining that are attached to the launching device after a shot are considered part of the launching device and must follow Rule 4c.

Correction – Yes, the triggering device may stay attached to the mass after launch.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-01-29 20:25 The rules say balls must be unmodified, but can be labeled. Can we draw lines or other markings on the balls, other than simply labeling them "ball 1"?

Yes, drawing lines on the ball can be considered labeling the ball. This will be up to the event supervisor if markings are for a labeling purposes.

2016-03-02 22:05 May beer pong balls be used as projectiles. Beer pong balls are heavier, don't bounce as much, and are less affected by air resistance and wind. Is this a valid projectile according to the rules?

The balls should be of the type listed in Rule 3f. In the case of beer pong balls, if the original packaging somewhere states they are 'ping pong' balls, they are acceptable. Teams should bring the original packaging if there is a question.

(section: 3 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2015-12-14 10:24 Can the calibration of the device be electronic, if it is not a physical part of the device? (Meaning, it can be added, calibrated, and then removed before the firing of the device).

Yes, tools are allowed to be electronic. Electronic devices may only used during calibration.

(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2016-01-15 21:16 May competitors be in front of the launch area BEFORE a launch? Specifically: Are competitors allowed to walk behind targets to instruct their partner in aiming their device?

General rule #1 applies (https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules). There is no prohibition in the rules about approaching or going behind the targets prior to a launch during their 8 min. time period (rule 4.f.) During a launch they must follow rule 4.b. Teams may be penalized if they disturb the competition area.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2016-03-19 20:51 Is the "sand, cat litter, or similar substance" around the target, part of the target? Should we be penalized for touching said substance?

No, there is no penalty for contacting the sand etc. The sand etc. is not part of the target. It's purpose is to identify where the projectile landed. Teams should avoid touching it though as it could cause a false mark to appear that makes it difficult for the event supervisor to measure the point of impact.

(section: 4 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-01-14 22:09 Can competitors use a laser as a material to help with setup, adjustment, and calibration of the device? General rules about laser use will be followed and the laser impounded.

Yes, lasers may be used as a tool for setup, adjustment, & calibration of the device. They must be removed prior to launch. The laser policy posted on the National website must be followed.

(section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-01-15 21:17 Is a rope which extends from the device to the target considered a calibration tool?

A rope can be considered a calibration tool as long as it is removed from the device during each launch.

(section: 4 / paragraph: i / line: 1)

2016-02-09 20:24 If a team qualifies for 2 bucket shots, must the bucket shot be constant for both shots or could the event supervisor select different locations for each bucket shot?

There is only 1 location for the bucket which is the same for all teams and all launches.

(section: 4. / paragraph: e. / line: 2-5)

2016-01-15 21:26 The rule says a distance of at least 2.00 m must separate the targets. If the near target is on the 2 m centerline would it be legal for the far target to be 2m to the right or left perpendicular to the centerline 2 m mark?

Yes, that is allowable.

Wind Power - Div C

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2015-11-12 15:39 Is the CD that the blades are mounted to only held on to the generator by the detent balls on a CD player or can extra support be provided such as double sided adhesive tape to strengthen the joint?

Yes, as long as the tape is easily removable and does not impact other subsequent teams' testing.

2016-03-04 16:07 Can holes be drilled in the CD such that the blades can be affixed to the CD with plastic nuts and bolts?

Yes, as long as the holes are filled with a fastener used to attach a blade. No holes or slots may be used for the purpose of reducing the mass of the CD.

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 2)

2016-03-29 12:43 If the CD is sanded to create a rough surface so that it can bond/glue strong and firm to the blades, would this be considered a "modification of a CD"?

No, this would not be a modification of the CD. Light sanding to create a rough surface for gluing purposes only where the blade is mounted is fine. Sanding the whole CD is not allowed. The local event supervisor will determine if a modification has been made to the CD.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1-2)

2016-03-29 12:34 The Rules state no part of the blade assembly may extend BEHIND CD for 3cm. This has been interpreted to mean that blades cannot be within 3cm both IN FRONT and BEHIND.

The limitation is only for the side of the CD that is facing the motor/generator.

(section: 4 / paragraph: f / line: 2)

2016-03-04 15:54 At what time in the testing is the final position of 5cm to be measured and Is this a construction violation ?

It will be measured just prior to the measurement period starting. The measurement period will not begin if it is closer than 5cm. There is no other penalty.

(section: 4 / paragraph: G / line: 2)

2016-03-04 14:58 May students push the blades by hand to initially get them spinning (if necessary) in the testing period, prior to the declared measurement period.

Yes, see 4.f. They may push the blades by hand to initially get them spinning but they may not touch the blade assembly during the measurement period.  and initially get them spinning.

(section: 4 / paragraph: l / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 1)

2015-11-12 15:35 Rules state that "Power generator general questions...."Does this refer to the general question of how electrical power is generated in each of these types of power plants or specifically to the generator itself?

Anything related to power generators in general is a valid question, which could include aspects of the power plants.

(section: 4.f. / line: 5)

2016-03-29 12:25 If during the 3 minute testing period, but not yet in the 30 second measurement period, the whole blade assembly fall off the mounting equipment provided by the event supervisors, can the students reattach their blade assembly?

Yes

It's About Time

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2016-01-16 20:44 Will 3D printed parts used to construct a clock be allowed?

Yes, as long as you design the part to be constructed as stated in rule 3.b. You may not have a predesigned part constructed on a 3D printer and used in your construction. General rule #1 applies (https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules), as long as the designs were not commercially acquired. Competitors should be prepared to demonstrate to the local event supervisor this fact.

Forensics

Protein Modeling

Chem Lab

(section: 2 / paragraph: A / line: 2)

2015-11-12 14:10 Does Ti- inspire count as non-camera capability calculator?

Yes, the TI-Nspire does count as a non-camera capability calculator. It can be used in the Chem Lab SO competition.

Technology & Engineering

Bridge Building - Div C

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 2)

2016-02-27 09:53 Can the Test Support block be anywhere in the loading zone, for example, slightly behind the 35 cm line if necessary?

Per rule 5.b.ii. Teams may place the Test Support in one of the Bearing Zones, it does not need to be exactly on the 35 cm line.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / sub-paragraph: N/A / line: N/A)

2015-10-29 14:14 Does this mean that the loading block shall be aligned with the centerline of the test base, or is it acceptable for the loading block location to be off to one side as long as it allows for the chain pass through the 20cmx20cm opening of the test?

The loading block is to be aligned with the centerline of the test base which would be the center of the Bridge span when it is placed on the Test Support on one side and the Bearing Zone of the Test Base on the other side.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-03-02 22:14 Is it legal to have felt marker markings on your bridge as a result of component mass recording and construction assistance lines?

Yes, this is allowed.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2015-10-29 14:24 Will the 5 by 5 block be secured to the testing apparatus?

No, the 2 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm block will not be secured to the Test Base.

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2015-10-12 20:36 If the bridge is loaded not to failure of the bridge, but rather the test support falls over, how will the bridge be scored (will there be a second try) ?

If the test support falls over, loading will stop and the weight held at that time will be used to calculate the final score. There will not be a second try at testing the bridge.

Electric Vehicle

(section: 2 / paragraph: b,c,d / sub-paragraph: n/a / line: 4,6-11)

2016-03-02 22:20 Is it legal for one battery to provide all electrical energy to the motors, but another to power an aurdino, controlling an array of electronics, including motor shields and relays, switching main power on & off from the battery pack to the motors?

Yes.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c,e / line: 1)

2016-03-02 21:50 Can a step up transformer be used to increase the voltage from 7.2v battery so that it will run a 12V motor?

Yes, this would be allowed.

(section: 2 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2016-01-18 11:20 The rules state that additional energy storage devices may be used to operate other functions provided they don't help propel the vehicle. Would additional energy storage devices be allowed for a microprocessor (ex. Arduino) that controls the motor?

Batteries used for non-propulsion purposes would not count toward the maximum number of batteries in 2.c. Anything contributing to controlling the motor would be considered to be contributing to propulsion.

(section: 2 / paragraph: d / line: 2)

2015-11-12 14:15 Can the motor controls contain capacitors (energy storage devices) that are verifiably fully discharged at ready-to run ?

Yes, as long as the capacitors are discharged before the run and any electrical power in the capacitor after the discharge comes from the allowed batteries/cells, then they are allowed.

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2015-11-12 20:58 The rules say any electronic components are allowed, does this include encoders?

Yes, encoders are allowed.

(section: 4 / line: para.4)

2015-11-12 14:26 Can the vehicle stop (not a "complete stop"), but then go backwards or forwards slowly to get the dowel on to the target point between 9 and 12 meters?

Yes

(section: 4 / paragraph: a / line: 2)

2016-01-18 11:12 May a computer be used as a tool?

Yes, provided the computer only connects to the vehicle between runs and not during the run, it is considered a tool.

(section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-02-20 13:11 Are competitors allowed to walk behind target to instruct their partner in aiming their vehicle?

Yes, but they must be behind the start line during each run.

(section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 19)

2015-10-09 18:37 Does the restriction on sighting, aiming, and guiding devices mean that we can't use a laser pointer to guide our device DURING THE RUN? (rather than, right before we start).

Yes, laser pointers are always to be controlled by human operators (see the general SO policy on lasers at https://www.soinc.org/lasers ) and the vehicle must run autonomously, so laser pointers must not be used during a run.

Robot Arm

(section: 3 / line: 2)

2016-03-04 14:23 Can end effectors be controlled by a servo such as a claw or a mechnical grip?

Yes. Key to passive is that when detached the end effector may not move or perform functions on its own. In other words, you may not drop off a little car that moves around the field on its own to move an object. It also should not have its own stored source of energy.

(section: 7 / paragraph: b / line: 1)

2016-03-15 08:30 The rules state that each item must be "completely supported by the Goal Carton". If the item is in a detachable passive end effector in the goal carton, is it still scored?

Yes.

2016-03-15 08:35 What is the definition of "fully supported by the Goal Cartons"?

Completely supported means that ultimately, the weight of the object is transferred to the playing field only by passing through the egg carton. So if an end effector, other object etc is itself fully supported by the carton, another object fully supported by one or more other object fully supported by the egg carton is considered supported by the egg carton even if it does not touch the egg carton. Note, if this interim object is supported by two egg cartons, any object supported by it is NOT fully supported by any one carton and would not be scored in a carton.

(section: 7 / paragraph: i / line: 1)

2016-03-15 09:11 Do the dice count towards the second tie breaker?

No. The items are defined in para 5d and do not include the dice. The dice are listed in para 5e and are not part of the items. Therefore the dice do NOT count towards the second tie breaker.

Wright Stuff

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / line: 1, 2)

2016-03-02 12:27 If the students are registering 2 gliders or planes, does each glider or plane need its own flight log?

No, each glider or plane does not require its own flight log. The purpose of a flight log is to keep a continuous record of all flights of the gliders or planes you have built and tested.

General Questions

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. 

2008-08-21 13:11 General Rule 4 on the last page of each manual states that participants may not communicate with the outside. How will the laptops be checked to insure that their internet capability is disabled?

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

2008-08-21 13:12 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?

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.

2008-08-21 13:13 When will the Rules Manual be sent?

Depends on where the order was sent, when it was sent, and if the order was received.

First check with your main/business office to determine if and when the order was sent and to whom it was sent. Do not assume that if you gave your office an order that it was sent. It often takes as much as 6 weeks before orders are approved by the school board.  If it has been more than 7 working days since your order was actually sent, you may want to call  the office that it was sent to, to determine if your order was indeed received.

2008-08-21 13:13 Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

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.

2008-08-21 13:14 Where is the best website to obtain info and materials on how to make devices for competion?

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 Event Info, Division, event name.

2008-08-21 13:17 Why aren't the rules on the web?

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on the web without the permission of the Science Olympiad National Executive Board of Directors. They have voted unanimously NOT to post the rules on the website for numerous reasons. Some issues and concerns that had an impact on the decision were; membership timing and delays, graphics and charts, bogus electronic copies, school's inability to download or open documents, downloading platforms and other problems. Other Science Olympiad manuals (but not the Rules Manual) contribute to the revenue which keeps the organization financially sound and able to provide the high-quality educational experience that it does.

Additional copies of the Rules Manual may be purchased from the Science Olympiad store on this website.

2008-08-21 13:17 How far in advance of the regional and state tournaments are the schedules sent out so coaches can figure out student placement in events?

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.

2008-08-21 13:19 If our school has two teams, are students allowed to participate with both teams?

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

2008-08-21 13:20 May a 9th grader compete in both the B division and C division, since B is 6-9 and C is 9-12?

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

2008-08-21 13:21 What is the policy of using resources during competition this year?

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.

2008-08-21 13:23 May a team member participate in the state competition if they cannot participate in the regional competition?

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.

2008-08-21 13:24 I was looking for FAQs for an event, but there aren't any questions or answers for that event.

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...

2008-08-21 13:26 On what dates are the regional, state, and national tournaments, or where might I find them?

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.

2008-08-21 13:49 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.

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 on this website.

2008-11-26 14:15 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...

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.

2012-10-26 14:31 How much is the initial registration fee?

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

2015-11-12 14:30 Can we laminate cheat sheets?

See General Rule #1.

Coaching/Team Requirements

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

2008-08-11 16:25 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?

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.

2008-08-11 16:27 If we qualifiy for nationals, but are short team members, may we use alternate team members to fill in?

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.

2008-08-11 16:46 What is the official rule on alternate team members?

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.

2008-08-11 16:47 Where can I find information/help on coaching a team?

The informal Science Olympiad Coaches Discussion Group has many experienced coaches that can can offer assistance. To join go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/science-olympiad-coaches/

2008-08-11 16:49 Do you have to be certified to coach a team?

Science Olympiad does not certify coaches. We accept any adult that the school accepts as a coach. It does not have to be a teacher or an administrator of the school. It could be a parent or a community member. Each school may have different requirements for coaches.

2008-08-11 16:49 Are there any other places where we can get practice tests for the events?

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.

2008-08-11 16:51 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?

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).

2008-08-11 16:53 Where can I find answers to questions about the rules?

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.

2008-08-11 16:54 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?

Any adult can be a coach (teacher, parent, administrator, previous competitor, counselor, engineer, local businessman, dentist, shop owner, rock hound, etc,). The only requirement is students must be from the same school and the principal must verify that the competitors are members of that school.

2008-11-10 16:11 Please tell me how to find and print the event rules. We are having trouble navigating the website.

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.

2008-08-11 16:21 Trial/Pilot Events

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.