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/Changes are made to correct the rules 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). The official event rules can be found in the Science Olympiad Rules Manual free online and in print versions; each registered member must join through their state Science Olympiad organization to participate.

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 questions about team size and team qualification see the respective web page.

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

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Meteorology

Meteorology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:44

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Road Scholar

Road Scholar

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Rocks and Minerals - Div B

Rocks and Minerals - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:43

Solar System

Solar System

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:47

Inquiry/Nature

Inquiry/Nature

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

Experimental Design - Div B

Experimental Design - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:46

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:45

If the category is planets, would dwarf planets be considered a planet?

If the category is planets, would dwarf planets be considered a planet?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-07 12:30
The Event Supervisors (ES) who constructs the grid will be the final arbiter of the correct answer for the grid. ES are encouraged to select categories that are not vague to avoid confusion as this could have a very narrow interpretation to some people while having a very broad interpretation to others. In this case, by choosing a category like “Names of Planets” or “Terms related to planets” the participants would have a much better understanding of acceptable answer choices. ES should select letters that have acceptable answers. ES should also try to avoid choosing letters that have misleading answer choices for the participants.

Mystery Architecture

Mystery Architecture

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:00

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 - Div B

Microbe Mission - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:48

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Disease Detectives - Div B

Disease Detectives - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:48

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Ecology - Div B

Ecology - Div B

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:32

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

Can chaparral be included as North American "Deserts and Grasslands" because much of the associated vegetation types are grasses? Alternatively, sometimes they are like deserts when the can go long periods without rain.

Can chaparral be included as North American "Deserts and Grasslands" because much of the associated vegetation types are grasses? Alternatively, sometimes they are like deserts when the can go long periods without rain.

ceann Thu, 2017-10-12 18:24
Yes, chaparral is included in the deserts and grasslands biomes for ecology this year.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Anatomy and Physiology - Div B

Anatomy and Physiology - Div B

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:49

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Herpetology - Div B

Herpetology - Div B

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:51

Are questions allowed to be about the species, or only the genus?

Are questions allowed to be about the species, or only the genus?

ceann Sun, 2017-11-05 15:58
Questions should only be related to genus. Species is not on the 2018 Official National Herpetology List.

Will the sounds need to be identified to the genus level or species level?

Will the sounds need to be identified to the genus level or species level?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:19
Either level. Sounds of only a few very distinctive organisms (mostly anurans) may be used. Vocalizations are not always similar for all individual species within the genus. However, there are several genera that can be readily recognized (and might be asked). Either questions might be used.

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

New this year are conductivity testers, which could be used as a test for DISTILLED water vs H2O2. The unknown liquids only call it out as "water." can we get an update that specifies this as either Tap Water or Distilled Water.

New this year are conductivity testers, which could be used as a test for DISTILLED water vs H2O2. The unknown liquids only call it out as "water." can we get an update that specifies this as either Tap Water or Distilled Water.

ceann Thu, 2017-10-12 18:08
This will be up to the individual Event Supervisor as to whether they provide Distilled Water or Tap Water as on unknown.

The unknown liquid "water" is not specified as distilled or non-distilled. With the addition this year of a conductivity tester, this becomes a needed clarification.

The unknown liquid "water" is not specified as distilled or non-distilled. With the addition this year of a conductivity tester, this becomes a needed clarification.

ceann Sun, 2017-11-05 15:45
The type of water does not need to be specified for Crime Busters, it will be up to the event supervisor. There is no specific use for the conductivity tester in Crime Busters. The conductivity tester is listed in the kit for the ease of teams to have 1 kit that can be used for all Chemistry events without having to take anything out or add something for a specific event. Teams will use some items and won't use other items depending upon the event.

Potions and Poisons

Potions and Poisons

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:55

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Physics

Physics

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:50

Hovercraft - Div B

Hovercraft - Div B

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:50

In section 3.g, it implies that diodes are not allowed in terms of electrical components. Would this rule out LEDs, which are Light Emitting Diodes?

In section 3.g, it implies that diodes are not allowed in terms of electrical components. Would this rule out LEDs, which are Light Emitting Diodes?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:29
Yes, you are correct. Diodes, including LEDs, are not allowed.

Since lithium batteries are prohibited, are NiMH batteries allowed because some contain small amounts of lithium?

Since lithium batteries are prohibited, are NiMH batteries allowed because some contain small amounts of lithium?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-24 19:57
Yes, batteries such as NiCad and NiMH batteries which may contain small amounts of lithium are still permitted for use. Please see the complete Science Olympiad Battery Policy found at https://www.soinc.org/join/policies

The rules prohibit integrated circuits but allow mechanical relays. Are time-delay mechanical relays that contain ICs allowed?

The rules prohibit integrated circuits but allow mechanical relays. Are time-delay mechanical relays that contain ICs allowed?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:35
No. Time-delayed mechanical relays are not allowed because they contain integrated circuits which are not included in the list of allowed electrical components.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Optics

Optics

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:37

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Thermodynamics - Div B

Thermodynamics - Div B

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:57

Is a thermos type device allowed, i.e. a metal chamber with a vacuum, a Yeti type container, hydro flask, etc??

Is a thermos type device allowed, i.e. a metal chamber with a vacuum, a Yeti type container, hydro flask, etc??

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 09:54
Yes, however, the container device must: 1) meet every other rule, including the insertion of the beaker and having a 1.5cm unobstructed hole, 2) be altered from its original purchased state by having a substantial modification to it, and 3) Note per rule 3.f. event supervisors may request that the device be disassembled, which would include looking inside any layers of containers, vacuum chambers, etc.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Technology

Technology

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:51

Towers

Towers

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:38

Battery Buggy

Battery Buggy

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:58

Are 1.20V NiMH rechargeable batteries allowed for Battery Buggy B?

Are 1.20V NiMH rechargeable batteries allowed for Battery Buggy B?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-24 20:05
Yes, 1.20 V NiMH rechargeable batteries are allowed if they are labeled as AA and a voltage not exceeding 1.5 V. Please see the Science Olympiad Battery Policy found at https://www.soinc.org/join/policies

Are capacitors permitted in addition to the components listed ("batteries, wires, motors, switches, resistors, potentiometers & mechanical relays") as one was included in the Wards Science Battery Buggy kit?

Are capacitors permitted in addition to the components listed ("batteries, wires, motors, switches, resistors, potentiometers & mechanical relays") as one was included in the Wards Science Battery Buggy kit?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:46
No, capacitors are not permitted. Wards erroneously included the capacitors in the kits. They have since removed them from their kits.

Are lasers considered electric? Or - do they comply with the "non-electric sighting/aiming devices" rule?

Are lasers considered electric? Or - do they comply with the "non-electric sighting/aiming devices" rule?

ceann Thu, 2017-10-12 17:58
Lasers are 'electric' and therefore may not be used. Any sighting/aiming devices using electricity are considered electric and would be prohibited.

Are programmable devices are allowed?

Are programmable devices are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-31 19:17
No, programmable devices are not allowed. Rule 3.e. explicitly limits electrical components to ONLY those listed, and programmable devices use components not allowed by this rule.

Can a timer relay be used?

Can a timer relay be used?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-31 19:39
If the timer relay is entirely mechanical then, yes. But If the timer relay has any capacitors, integrated circuits, or other components that are not explicitly permitted by rule, then answer is no.

May battery packs be used in place of individual AA 1.5 volt batteries?

May battery packs be used in place of individual AA 1.5 volt batteries?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-31 18:54
No. They must be individual AA batteries as specified in the rules. Battery packs are not allowed.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

When it says "wheels and their entirety" does it mean just the wheels need to fit in the 30cm x 60cm space, or the wheels AND the structure.

When it says "wheels and their entirety" does it mean just the wheels need to fit in the 30cm x 60cm space, or the wheels AND the structure.

ceann Thu, 2017-10-12 18:00
The rules state that "the wheels IN their entirety"; only the wheels need to fit in the 30cm x 60cm space. Axles or other structures may protrude outside the 30cm x 60cm space.

Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 14:58

Can commercial roller coaster track be used? In other words, can we purchase and use marble track from a kit?

Can commercial roller coaster track be used? In other words, can we purchase and use marble track from a kit?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 20:01
Nothing in the rules specifically prohibits use of parts from a commercial kit. However, in the spirit of SO, the overall design should be yours, not a simple kit assembly. Whether your design is sufficiently different from a commercial kit will ultimately be the judgment of the event supervisor during impound.

Can the finish line be set on a track affixed to a board that might be adjusted or does it have to be on a piece of track that is unmovable?

Can the finish line be set on a track affixed to a board that might be adjusted or does it have to be on a piece of track that is unmovable?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 20:07
Yes, the finish line can be on a board that is adjustable with respect to the rest of the device.

What does "Gaps must have a horizontal span of at least 5.0 cm " mean. Does this mean the track ( vehicle leaves and vehicle land) has to be on the same level? or launching track can be higher and landing track can be lower?

What does "Gaps must have a horizontal span of at least 5.0 cm " mean. Does this mean the track ( vehicle leaves and vehicle land) has to be on the same level? or launching track can be higher and landing track can be lower?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 20:25
No, the tracks do not have to be on the same level. The "launching" track may be higher than the "landing" track. Measurement is the horizontal change, not the vertical/angular distance, from the end of the "launching" track to the start of the "landing" track.

When it says, "a vehicle (i.e. a ball or sphere)", can we bring an actual vehicle such as a toy car, or do we have to only bring a ball or sphere?

When it says, "a vehicle (i.e. a ball or sphere)", can we bring an actual vehicle such as a toy car, or do we have to only bring a ball or sphere?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:58
No, only a ball or spherical object is allowed.

Wright Stuff

Wright Stuff

admin Wed, 2011-08-24 14:46

Can black spray paint be used instead of black marker if it is comparable in darkness to black marker?

Can black spray paint be used instead of black marker if it is comparable in darkness to black marker?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 10:37
No, the rules state "black marker or black tissue".

Is it possible to use 3D printed parts for an aircraft (PLA, ABS, etc, but not boron filaments)?

Is it possible to use 3D printed parts for an aircraft (PLA, ABS, etc, but not boron filaments)?

ceann Thu, 2017-10-12 18:29
Yes, 3D printed parts are allowed.

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

Are you allowed to bring a flash drive for your computer?

Are you allowed to bring a flash drive for your computer?

ceann Mon, 2017-11-06 15:55
Yes. Teams may bring external flash drives to the event.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Dynamic Planet - Div C

Dynamic Planet - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:53

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Rocks and Minerals - Div C

Rocks and Minerals - Div C

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

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Fermi Questions

Fermi Questions

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:27

Game On

Game On

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:54

If competitors made a combination game (with elements applying to multiple game types) that contains elements of the assigned game type, would that be accepted?

If competitors made a combination game (with elements applying to multiple game types) that contains elements of the assigned game type, would that be accepted?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:06
Yes, this would be acceptable. The competitors must have the elements for the assigned game type included but they would not be penalized for having additional components included.

What are the defining characteristics of a "building" type game?

What are the defining characteristics of a "building" type game?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:07
For a building game, the user controlled sprite must be involved in the assembling or connecting of parts or components to complete the objectives in the game.

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

Ecology - Div C

Ecology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

Can chaparral be included as North American "Deserts and Grasslands" because much of the associated vegetation types are grasses? Alternatively, sometimes they are like deserts when the can go long periods without rain.

Can chaparral be included as North American "Deserts and Grasslands" because much of the associated vegetation types are grasses? Alternatively, sometimes they are like deserts when the can go long periods without rain.

ceann Thu, 2017-10-12 18:22
Yes, chaparral is included in the deserts and grasslands biomes for ecology this year.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Disease Detectives - Div C

Disease Detectives - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Anatomy and Physiology - Div C

Anatomy and Physiology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:55

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Microbe Mission - Div C

Microbe Mission - Div C

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:20

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Herpetology - Div C

Herpetology - Div C

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Are questions allowed to be about the species, or only the genus?

Are questions allowed to be about the species, or only the genus?

ceann Sun, 2017-11-05 15:58
Questions should only be related to genus. Species is not on the 2018 Official National Herpetology List.

Will the sounds need to be identified to the genus level or species level?

Will the sounds need to be identified to the genus level or species level?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:19
Either level. Sounds of only a few very distinctive organisms (mostly anurans) may be used. Vocalizations are not always similar for all individual species within the genus. However, there are several genera that can be readily recognized (and might be asked). Either questions might be used.

Physical Science & Chemistry

Physical Science & Chemistry

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Chemistry

Chemistry

albert Wed, 2017-09-13 15:21

Chem Lab

Chem Lab

admin Fri, 2014-09-12 11:10

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Forensics

Forensics

admin Mon, 2014-09-08 13:46

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Materials Science

Materials Science

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:56

Is the term "block polymer" considered equivalent to the term "copolymer" or is this referring to "block copolymers"?

Is the term "block polymer" considered equivalent to the term "copolymer" or is this referring to "block copolymers"?

ceann Mon, 2017-11-06 15:21
The term refers to block copolymer.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Physics

Physics

albert Wed, 2017-09-13 15:23

Hovercraft - Div C

Hovercraft - Div C

admin Fri, 2011-10-28 10:40

In section 3.g, it implies that diodes are not allowed in terms of electrical components. Would this rule out LEDs, which are Light Emitting Diodes?

In section 3.g, it implies that diodes are not allowed in terms of electrical components. Would this rule out LEDs, which are Light Emitting Diodes?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:29
Yes, you are correct. Diodes, including LEDs, are not allowed.

Since lithium batteries are prohibited, are NiMH batteries allowed because some contain small amounts of lithium?

Since lithium batteries are prohibited, are NiMH batteries allowed because some contain small amounts of lithium?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-24 19:57
Yes, batteries such as NiCad and NiMH batteries which may contain small amounts of lithium are still permitted for use. Please see the complete Science Olympiad Battery Policy found at https://www.soinc.org/join/policies

The rules prohibit integrated circuits but allow mechanical relays. Are time-delay mechanical relays that contain ICs allowed?

The rules prohibit integrated circuits but allow mechanical relays. Are time-delay mechanical relays that contain ICs allowed?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 19:35
No. Time-delayed mechanical relays are not allowed because they contain integrated circuits which are not included in the list of allowed electrical components.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific named calculators that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific named calculators that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-24 20:02
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Optics - Div C

Optics - Div C

admin Mon, 2014-09-08 13:47

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Thermodynamics - Div C

Thermodynamics - Div C

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:21

Is a thermos type device allowed, i.e. a metal chamber with a vacuum, a Yeti type container, hydro flask, etc??

Is a thermos type device allowed, i.e. a metal chamber with a vacuum, a Yeti type container, hydro flask, etc??

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 09:54
Yes, however, the container device must: 1) meet every other rule, including the insertion of the beaker and having a 1.5cm unobstructed hole, 2) be altered from its original purchased state by having a substantial modification to it, and 3) Note per rule 3.f. event supervisors may request that the device be disassembled, which would include looking inside any layers of containers, vacuum chambers, etc.

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

Technology & Engineering

Technology & Engineering

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:58

Helicopters

Helicopters

admin Tue, 2008-08-12 08:59

Are students allowed to check in more motors (rubber bands) than they check in helicopters?

Are students allowed to check in more motors (rubber bands) than they check in helicopters?

ceann Sun, 2017-11-05 15:48
Yes, students are allowed to check in multiple motors. There is no specific number of motors they may check in.

Towers - Div C

Towers - Div C

admin Thu, 2009-09-10 15:27

Mission Possible

Mission Possible

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:23

Could the container contain another substance before the water is added?

Could the container contain another substance before the water is added?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 12:21
Yes, the container may contain another substance before the water is added.

Could the timer have an electrical sensor ending it?

Could the timer have an electrical sensor ending it?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 12:43
No.

Do balloons have to be commercial?

Do balloons have to be commercial?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-31 18:50
No, balloons do not have to be commercially made but it will be up to the event supervisor to determine if the homemade item qualifies as a balloon.

Do the levers have to activate specifically in the sequence first class then second class then third class lever last?

Do the levers have to activate specifically in the sequence first class then second class then third class lever last?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 12:34
No, the levers may be in any order sequence.

May a single battery source whose total output does not exceed 14.4 volts as labeled be used for more than one action and receive the bonus points for 1 battery source?

May a single battery source whose total output does not exceed 14.4 volts as labeled be used for more than one action and receive the bonus points for 1 battery source?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 20:01
Yes, because a single battery source is not “moveable/adjustable” it may be used for more than one action as long as it complies with all other rules and if it is the only battery source in the device the team will receive 100 points.

May the "next task" started by the timer be the final action (4c)?

May the "next task" started by the timer be the final action (4c)?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 12:53
Yes, the timer may start the Final Action.

May we use sealed lead acid batteries?

May we use sealed lead acid batteries?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 19:45
No. Sealed lead acid batteries are not allowed. They could be considered considered hazardous material per Rule 2.d.

The rule states: Add Water to a closed container so that it completes an electric circuit and begins the next action. What does "it" refer to - the water or the closed container?

The rule states: Add Water to a closed container so that it completes an electric circuit and begins the next action. What does "it" refer to - the water or the closed container?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 12:31
The word “it” refers to the water. The addition of the water to the container must complete an electric circuit which begins the next action.

What defines a "closed container? Would it be need to be completely sealed or just enclosed to prevent spills?

What defines a "closed container? Would it be need to be completely sealed or just enclosed to prevent spills?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 18:59
The container must be closed but does not have to be air tight. When water is added to the container, any liquids and/or solids must stay within the closed container and no one can be physically exposed to them.

What differentiates a chemical from a mechanical task (in reference to a timing mechanism)?

What differentiates a chemical from a mechanical task (in reference to a timing mechanism)?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 12:46
For timing purposes, If a chemical reaction causes a mechanical action, once the mechanical action initiates the next action, no more chemical timing points can be earned even if the reaction continues.

What is considered a "controlled" flame?

What is considered a "controlled" flame?

ceann Thu, 2017-11-02 20:03
For the purposes of Mission Possible, a “controlled” flame is one in which the fuel source for the flame is limited so that the produced is kept as small as possible but still capable of carrying out the required action. The flame should be shielded from the rest of the device so that it only impacts upon the intended target so that it completes the specified task and does not provide a fire hazard to the rest of the device. Furthermore, the flame should burn out quickly, not produce any additional flames, and produce a limited amount of smoke. Participants are reminded that the Mission Possible event will be held indoors in room equipped with smoke detectors and it is the expectation that a Mission Possible device does NOT set them off. Event supervisors are encouraged to conduct a safety pre-check of all devices to make sure that no identifiable safety hazards are present. Fuel sources such as flammable liquids or gases, chemicals such as magnesium ribbon, and compounds such as gunpowder are unsafe and should not be permitted in a device. If the event supervisor has any doubt they are encouraged to err on the side of caution.

What is defined as "water"? Saltwater?

What is defined as "water"? Saltwater?

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:22
Water is defined as, "a transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid, compound of hydrogen and oxygen, H 2 O." Salt water would not qualify as water being added into the container.

Will teams be allowed to use microcontrollers, arduinos, integrated circuits, etc.?

Will teams be allowed to use microcontrollers, arduinos, integrated circuits, etc.?

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 19:43
Yes, but they can only activate one action and must comply with all the rules including taking no more than 10 seconds to activate an action. They may not be used to control multiple actions. They are considered an adjustable object therefore are only allowed in one transfer per microcontroller, Arduino, integrated circuit, etc.

Would turning off an electric motor (in order to comply with the 10 second limit), be considered a "dead-end action?"

Would turning off an electric motor (in order to comply with the 10 second limit), be considered a "dead-end action?"

ceann Tue, 2017-11-14 10:55
If the motor is turned off just to do that and not to score any additional points, then it would be allowed. If a team tries to gain more points by this action, then it would not be allowed.

Mousetrap Vehicle

Mousetrap Vehicle

admin Mon, 2017-08-07 15:25

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

What is meant by "a calculator dedicated to computation" and are there specific calculator models that are allowed?

ceann Tue, 2017-10-17 14:46
The phrase “…a calculator dedicated to computation…” refers to a standalone or dedicated calculator. With these calculators their functionality is limited to mathematical calculations or associated activities such as running simple computational programs or producing graphs. This means that digital or electronic calculators such as those found as an application on a computer, tablet, watch, or cellular phone are not permitted for use in Science Olympiad events. In some events there are no limits to the functionality that the calculator may possess. In other events, the calculators may not have features that allow them to run programs or create graphs. With the ever-changing landscape around calculators and other personal electronic devices Science Olympiad is not in the position to be able to review and permission specific calculator manufacturers or specific calculator models. In every case, the decisions of the Event Supervisors concerning the acceptability of a specific calculator type for an event at a tournament shall be considered final.

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.

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

Are 2 single-sided pages of a cheat sheet allowed in sheet protectors? (instead of 1 double-sided paper)

ceann Mon, 2017-10-23 19:40
No, only 1 sheet of paper printed on front and back is allowed for specific events. Teams may not bring 2 sheets of paper printed on 1 side, even if they are stapled together or in a sheet protector.

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

The rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

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 not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

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 rules are copyrighted and may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

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 each event on this 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.  

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 may not be placed on any website not approved by Science Olympiad, Inc. For 2018, the Div. B and Div. C Science Olympiad Rules can be found free online at store.soinc.org. Terms of Use must be agreed to; teams must join their state Science Olympiad organization to participate in activities and tournaments. The Science Olympiad Rules Manuals will also be available for purchase at the link above; the Rules Apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores will be discontinued (old apps still function).

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.