Questions must be directed toward the rules. We cannot pre-judge your device by answering questions on whether it complies.
- Earth & Space Science
- 2016-01-14 21:19 Is additional storage allowed in the form of flash drives, sd cards, external hard drives, etc. along with computers?
Yes this is allowed.
- 2016-02-09 19:29 The rules state that computers may be use as a source for information, so are tablets allowed to be used as replacements?
Yes, tablets are included in the classification of a "computer".
- 2015-10-05 14:26 The rules delineate between "objects" and "systems." Can questions be asked about associated exoplanets or stars for the "objects" listed in this year's rules, or is it limited to only the listed "object."
Yes. Systems will have questions concerning the motions and properties of both the exoplanets and their stars. The exoplanets listed as objects will be dealt with as individual objects though there is the possibility of questions concerning the effects of the exoplanets on their parent stars.
- Dynamic Planet - Div C
- Fossils - Div C
- GeoLogic Mapping
- 2016-01-16 19:24 The parameters call for a geologic compass and I'm just trying to clarify what is meant by geologic compass. Transit compass or bearing compass for maps?
Any compass that allows to take strike, dip, plunge, and trend measurements will be good. Therefore, students need a compass that, on top of indicating the magnetic North, also has a clinometer and allows sighting distant landmarks.
- 2016-01-16 19:25 Using a geologic compass is new this year. There is a wide range of models and prices. What is recommended?
All Silva compasses in the "Ranger" series provide a cheaper and good alternative to the much more expensive Brunton compass.
- Inquiry & Nature of Science
- Experimental Design - Div C
- 2016-01-16 19:22 Rule 4.e. requests to list all materials used. Should the list of used materials be only a subset of materials provided in Rule 3.a? Should student list goggle, pen, paper, stop watch, ruler, calculator or number of participants in the experiment?
The materials list contains the equipment (e.g. stopwatch, glassware, etc.) and supplies (e.g. chemicals) used in the experiment. You should include the precision of the measuring device being used (e.g. ruler marked off in millimeters, 250 ml beaker. ) You do not need to list safety equipment, writing implements, calculators, or number of participants helping with the experiment.
- Game On
- 2016-01-16 19:06 At competition, are competitors guaranteed to be provided Scratch 2.0, as opposed to previous versions of Scratch?
There is no guarantee that Scratch 2.0 version is available at all tournament venues. This is a site dependent consideration.
- 2016-01-16 19:30 The rules say you get one note sheet. Does this mean front and back, or just one sided?
Students may bring one sheet, 8 1/2 x 11 inch, front and back of notes.
- Write It Do It - Div C
- 2016-01-06 21:05 Do "scientific symbols" include math symbols, such as the circle symbol for degrees or the angle symbol?
Yes, these symbols are allowed as long as they fit within the context of the written description.
- 2016-01-06 21:08 May students use abbreviations that appear as keys on th standard keyboard, e.g. &, # and @ ?
Yes, this year's rules allow these types of abbreviations without defining them.
- 2016-01-06 20:47 With the elimination of the keyboard requirement, is it acceptable to underline or circle words? What about arrows?
Yes, these are all acceptable with the new rules this year as long as they fit within the context of the written description.
- 2016-01-15 21:07 How do drawings or diagrams of items such as a compass rose, clock-face, or any other drawing or diagram be scored?
Written descriptions that contain drawings and diagrams will be ranked in Tier 2. (This is based on rule 3.d.) If the drawing depicts the model, team will be eliminated.
- Life, Personal & Social Science
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Cell Biology - Div C
- Disease Detectives - Div C
- Invasive Species - Div C
- 2015-11-12 14:05 My question is about the official national list of invasive species. Under vids, it lists Bird Flu, H5N5. Does this mean only H5N5, or could it include other strains of bird flu? I.e., should the kids really only be researching H5N5?
Yes, H5N5 is the only Bird Flu on the National Official List. Check with your State or Regional Director if they will be using a different list.
- Green Generation - Div C
- Physical Science & Chemistry
- Air Trajectory
- 2016-02-11 10:40 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.
- 2016-01-29 19:17 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.
- 2016-02-09 19:08 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.
- 2016-01-29 19:25 The rules say balls must be unmodified, but can be labeled. Can we draw lines or other markings on the balls, other than simply labeling them "ball 1"?
Yes, drawing lines on the ball can be considered labeling the ball. This will be up to the event supervisor if markings are for a labeling purposes.
- 2015-12-14 09:24 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.
- 2016-01-15 20:16 May competitors be in front of the launch area BEFORE a launch? Specifically: Are competitors allowed to walk behind targets to instruct their partner in aiming their device?
General rule #1 applies (https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules). There is no prohibition in the rules about approaching or going behind the targets prior to a launch during their 8 min. time period (rule 4.f.) During a launch they must follow rule 4.b. Teams may be penalized if they disturb the competition area.
- 2016-01-14 21:09 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.
- 2016-01-15 20:17 Is a rope which extends from the device to the target considered a calibration tool?
A rope can be considered a calibration tool as long as it is removed from the device during each launch.
- 2016-02-09 19:24 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.
- 2016-01-15 20:26 The rule says a distance of at least 2.00 m must separate the targets. If the near target is on the 2 m centerline would it be legal for the far target to be 2m to the right or left perpendicular to the centerline 2 m mark?
Yes, that is allowable.
- Wind Power - Div C
- 2015-11-12 14:39 Is the CD that the blades are mounted to only held on to the generator by the detent balls on a CD player or can extra support be provided such as double sided adhesive tape to strengthen the joint?
Yes, as long as the tape is easily removable and does not impact other subsequent teams' testing.
- 2015-11-12 14:35 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.
- It's About Time
- 2016-01-16 19:44 Will 3D printed parts used to construct a clock be allowed?
Yes, as long as you design the part to be constructed as stated in rule 3.b. You may not have a predesigned part constructed on a 3D printer and used in your construction. General rule #1 applies (https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules), as long as the designs were not commercially acquired. Competitors should be prepared to demonstrate to the local event supervisor this fact.
- Protein Modeling
- Chem Lab
- 2015-11-12 13:10 Does Ti- inspire count as non-camera capability calculator?
Yes, the TI-Nspire does count as a non-camera capability calculator. It can be used in the Chem Lab SO competition.
- Technology & Engineering
- Bridge Building - Div C
- 2015-10-29 13:14 Does this mean that the loading block shall be aligned with the centerline of the test base, or is it acceptable for the loading block location to be off to one side as long as it allows for the chain pass through the 20cmx20cm opening of the test?
The loading block is to be aligned with the centerline of the test base which would be the center of the Bridge span when it is placed on the Test Support on one side and the Bearing Zone of the Test Base on the other side.
- 2015-10-29 13:24 Will the 5 by 5 block be secured to the testing apparatus?
No, the 2 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm block will not be secured to the Test Base.
- 2015-10-12 19:36 If the bridge is loaded not to failure of the bridge, but rather the test support falls over, how will the bridge be scored (will there be a second try) ?
If the test support falls over, loading will stop and the weight held at that time will be used to calculate the final score. There will not be a second try at testing the bridge.
- Electric Vehicle
- 2016-01-18 10:20 In the rules it states that any additional energy storage devices may be used to operate other functions provided they don't help propel the vehicle in any way. So would an additional energy storage device be alright to use for a microprocessor th...
Batteries used for non-propulsion purposes would not count toward the maximum number of batteries in 2.c. Anything contributing to controlling the motor would be considered to be contributing to propulsion.
- 2015-11-12 13:15 Can the motor controls contain capacitors (energy storage devices) that are verifiably fully discharged at ready-to run ?
Yes, as long as the capacitors are discharged before the run and any electrical power in the capacitor after the discharge comes from the allowed batteries/cells, then they are allowed.
- 2015-11-12 19:58 The rules say any electronic components are allowed, does this include encoders?
Yes, encoders are allowed.
- 2015-11-12 13:26 Can the vehicle stop (not a "complete stop"), but then go backwards or forwards slowly to get the dowel on to the target point between 9 and 12 meters?
- 2016-01-18 10:12 May a computer be used as a tool?
Yes, provided the computer only connects to the vehicle between runs and not during the run, it is considered a tool.
- 2015-10-09 17:37 Does the restriction on sighting, aiming, and guiding devices mean that we can't use a laser pointer to guide our device DURING THE RUN? (rather than, right before we start).
Yes, laser pointers are always to be controlled by human operators (see the general SO policy on lasers at https://www.soinc.org/lasers ) and the vehicle must run autonomously, so laser pointers must not be used during a run.
- Robot Arm
- Wright Stuff
(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / sub-paragraph: 1 / line: 1)
(section: c / line: all)
(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 3)
(section: 4 / paragraph: e / line: 1)
(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)
(section: 2 / line: b. )
(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: b / line: 4)
(section: 2 / paragraph: b. / line: 4-7)
(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: 1 / line: 4)
(section: 2 / paragraph: j / line: 1)
(section: 3 / paragraph: c / line: 1)
(section: 3 / paragraph: d / line: 2)
(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)
(section: 3 / paragraph: h / line: 1)
(section: 4 / paragraph: b / line: 1)
(section: 4 / paragraph: f / line: 1)
(section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 1)
(section: 4 / paragraph: i / line: 1)
(section: 4. / paragraph: e. / line: 2-5)
(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)
(section: 4 / paragraph: l / sub-paragraph: ii / line: 1)
(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: A / line: 2)
(section: 3 / paragraph: e / sub-paragraph: N/A / line: N/A)
(section: 4 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)
(section: 5 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: d / line: 1)
(section: 2 / paragraph: d / line: 2)
(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 2)
(section: 4 / line: para.4)
(section: 4 / paragraph: a / line: 2)
(section: 4 / paragraph: h / line: 19)