Physical Science/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?


(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.


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?


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 ( 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.