Category: Science Olympiad

2017 States || Science Olympiad

HI SO I FINISHED MY ELEVENTH SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TOURNAMENT AND WE KINDA FAILED BUT ALSO REALLY DIDNT. (tbh if I had to summarize this tournament it was the one where I had to go to the bathroom legit like ten times)

Science Olympiad States.jpg

  • 4.33- alarm goes off. Why I even set it at 4:33 I’m not even sure but w/e. Hit snooze, as expected
  • 4.38- brother comes barging in the door and turns on the lights. I [loudly] tell him to go away and to turn off the lights
  • 4.43- alarm goes off again. Instead of hitting snooze, I perform the greatest feat of self-control in history and get out of bed
  • 4.54- finish getting ready and go downstairs, where the family is frantically packing food that we’ll never eat
  • 5.17- we leave. Hey, 17 minutes is close enough to the estimated 5 am, right? XDD
  • *driving*
  • 6.30- arrive on campus. SC (ExD partner) texts me as we’re pulling into the parking garage, saying he’s arrived. The C’s (coach’s family) are also in the parking garage as well and I text him back.
  • 6.40- head to the homeroom. Meet SC at the entrance to the building
  • 6.43- unload stuff and get ready for ExD. I still think whoever decided that ExD should be at 7am was crazy
  • 6.47- start heading over to ExD, the next building over.
  • 6.48- meet MM, who has my anatomy notesheet (he has a colour printer). We discuss hand off options.
  • 6.50- arrive at ExD and stand around talking logistics stuff (namely, wristband stuff)
  • 6.57-get admitted into the test room. The topic is ‘maximum flight time of a paper airplane,’ which was similar to one of the topics we’d predicted
  • Oh, ew, we actually have to wear goggles. Apparently we might get blinded by flying paper airplanes
  • Oh look, I have EVEN LESS ROOM for my procedure! I *thought* that I had suggested MORE space??!!
  • ExD goes pretty smoothly, and we do a very standard ‘air friction’ experiment
  • 7.58- we finish. DC (other partner) and SC leave for their next events; I turn in our test and leave
  • 8.00- Mrs D (Mrs C’s mother) meets me outside ExD with my wristband and walks me back to the homeroom
  • 8.07- I walk to map out rocks and minerals with daddy. Tbh this campus is small enough and I have enough time in between my events that mapping out events isn’t even a big deal.
  • 8.21- return back to the homeroom
  • ‘Study’ anatomy stuff. (= sitting there with the textbook open and participating in every conversation in the room)
  • 8.55- leave for anatomy, way too early, since anatomy doesn’t start until 9:15 and it’s in the building next door, grabbing the anatomy notesheet that M left on the way out.
  • Hang around // go to the bathroom // talk // etc. DE (anat partner, different from ExD anat partner) goes to the bathroom for long enough that I get nervous that he vanished.
  • 9.13- Get to go into the testing room. It’s the same lady, with the same wacky system of high school + middle school + different tests. There’s some mild confuzzlation of test (the volunteers were handing out tests to one half and answer sheets to the other half because they thought it was the same thing).
  • The test isn’t bad. It was slightly easier than the regionals test and about as hard as the states test last year. I get to write a bunch of bogus on a short/long answer question to make myself sound like I know what I’m doing…#protesttakingskills
  • Finish test. It’s a pretty decent test. Like last year, anyone who would’ve known anything more than we did would have done better since we both did our fair share of guessing.
  • 10.13- walk back to the homeroom together. DE doesn’t have events for several hours, like me.
  • Go bathroom // eat (!!) food (!!) // etc
  • 10.35- Meet up with KT (my friend from another school). Eventually we have a group of ~8 people, and as with all other SciOly people meetings, we start talking gibberish stuffs.
  • Girls clothes // pockets // food // life // stuff // also hear about SC, who’s wearing shorts and wasn’t allowed into the lab, so RC gave HIM her LONG ANKLE-LENGTH SKIRT (she had leggings on underneath) so that he was legit. #TheThingsWeDoForSciOly
  • I go back into the homeroom to probably (??) eat (??) but CK comes in and says a girl from our rival [used lightly] school is in the hallway, wanting to talk to me about helicopters (???????)
  • I got outside to meet this girl. She starts asking me about all this stuff about our helicopters like ??? because like, we haven’t done our helicopters yet ??? I signal to MM [probably not very discreetly] to go inside to get KB (heli partner) so that he knows how much I’m telling.
  • Naturally I was evasive about giving out answers to questions like these (since we hadn’t flown yet at that point)
  • (It was actually pretty hilarious, looking back on it, because we were both essentially trying to find out stuff about each other’s helicopters without acting like it lol)
  • Eventually, I make up an excuse to get away.
  • 11.40- Head to the lab to pick up my friend KS after her events, with CK.
  • 11.50- We miss K, due to having to talk helicopters with [my dear friend] that girl, and having to take a detour.
  • 11.52- We see Mrs. C, who is looking for RC’s calculator. She needs it right then across campus, so we run across campus, trying to get the calculator to her. Eventually CK runs ahead with it and meets up with NB, who gives it to R.
  • 12.04- I go back to the homeroom, to see K. I eat (!!) my sandwich, and tape up the rocks binder, and teach AM insults in various languages (it’s great. He didn’t know what he was saying so we taught him “Hit me really hard” in Chinese and he went around saying it at one point bc he thought it was an insult 😄 [until he said it to a parent who speaks Chinese and then our game was up XD])
  • I also hear that the rocks test was APPARENTLY EASIER THAN THE REGIONALS TEST (?!?!?!) LIKE HOW (?!?!?) (WHAT?!?!)
    no
  • 12.53- Head to rocks with MM.
  • The proctor does the binder shake AND WE GET TO USE THE AUDUBON GUIDE. YASSS
  • Starts Station 1. “Identify these two igneous rocks.” The first specimen is a igneous rock, okay, but the second specimen is LEGIT A CLOD OF DIRT? LIKE ??? LIKE IGNEOUS ROCK??? HELLO??? OBVIOUSLY A ROCK BLOWN FROM A VOLCANO LOOKS LIKE A CLOD OF DIRT. HI.
  • We figure that it was just a mistake and do some educated guessing (????!?!?!?!)
  • Move on to Station 2. THE SAME THING???!!!! LIKE ????!!?!?
  • MM raises his hand. ‘Excuse me, were these samples switched? (??????!?!)’ The guy walks over. ‘Nope, this is how they are.’ ?!?!?!?!?!??!
  • Station 3. ‘Identify these two metamorphic rocks’ One’s metamorphic, THE OTHER IS IGNEOUS. YAY. GOOD JOB.
  • We bog on through the test, doing a lot of educated guessing and some dothering. Eh. (tbh how the guy who wrote the test is a geology prof idek like qualifications?? At all ??)
  • Honestly the only good thing about that test was that we were allowed to use the guide book. Bc YASSSS
  • 2.13- We finish a couple (like literally 2) minutes early and leave bc I had to go bathroom (lol what else is new)
  • 2.18- I go back to the homeroom, and recruit people to walk down to the gym with me (bc it’s really far), and we eventually get together a group.
  • 2.30ish- Eventually get to the gym
  • We stand around talking to all the team people that are there: most of the people that have finished their events already for the day.
  • I meet my dear (much sarcasm) friend from the [rival] school.
  • 3.10ish- We start getting out our helicopters. The girl positions herself so that they can exactly see our design if/when we get it out (LIKE REALLY GIRL. DECENCY MUCH?)
  • RIGHT AS WE WERE ABOUT TO TAKE OUR HELICOPTER OUT OF THE BOX, The Girl walked over to me and was like “Hey can I borrow a ponytail holder? I assume that since you do helicopters too you know how annoying it is to get your hair caught in the winding motor” LIKE WUTTTTTTT REALLY HOW
  • Mind you, it wasn’t like it wasn’t obvious that we wanted our space and privacy. Like legit half the team was RIGHT THERE IN THAT CORNER and we were HIDDEN AWAY TRYING TO GET OUR HELICOPTERS OUT
  • Mrs B (K’s mom) (who hadn’t been at the exchange earlier in the hallway but had heard about it), fixed her with this glare and was like “the only one I have is IN MY HAIR ” (Mrs B is awesome jsyk)
  • But y’know, you’re supposed to be nice to people and all, so I hand her my spare ponytail (since at that point I just wanted to have her just go away)
  • KB and I basically tell each other that we were going to wait until that team flew to fly, just to be spiteful 😄
  • 3.30ish- it ends up to be too late, so we go and check in. so APPARENTLY ONE OF OUR HELICOPTERS IS TOO BIG??? Like it was okayed at regionals ??? eh, it was our backup anyways, so we don’t really care *that* much.
  • 3.35- I have to go to the bathroom so I go. By the time I get back, the other team is flying their helicopters (so yay I guess we succeeded?)
  • 3.38- They fly a pretty decent time of 1.22, which means we actually have to work to beat them. 😄
  • 3.40- The event is going to close in 5 minutes and we haven’t started yet. We frantically wind rubber and stuff (not really frantically since we were like adrenaline-calmed).
  • 3.44- The longest minute (and half) of the entire day. We beat them by 12 seconds. 😀 😀
  • 3.46- We get ready for our second flight (they let us finish even though the event was technically closed). Crank up the winds and torque and everything
  • 3.47- the helicopter flies up to the ceiling, gets stuck, gets unstuck, and lands on a window ledge. #wowwepro
  • The judge guys try to get it down for us. It comes down eventually . . . in a bajillion pieces. The rubber had so much tension on it that everything snapped.
  • 3.50- Since it’s past the time that we could fly, there’s legit NO ONE left in the building. EXCEPT our dear friends [sarcasm] from that [rival] school.
  • When we’re packing up, the girl walks over and hands me my ponytail holder back ‘hey good job, here’s your ponytail holder back.’ (LIKE GIRL how do I know you don’t have lice or something XD)
  • We all walk back to the homeroom, except for Mrs. B, who has to put the helicopters back in her car.
  • 4.10ish- We get back to the homeroom eventually, and do the end–of-day wrapup thing. The room’s so big that I barely hear half the things spoken oops.
  • 5ish- We hold the “let’s-go-eat-the-food-mom-packed-because-we-ate-none-of-it” discussion again, but then decide to walk with the S’s and the D’s to this buffet place that was apparently free for lunch to see if they had food for dinner.
  • 5.35ish- After some more discussion about what food to eat, we head to Chipotle, where we always eat.
  • After eating, we start heading back to campus. WHY IS IT SO FARRRRRRR
  • 6.20ish- reach the gym. Apparently the bleachers don’t come out, so the volunteers are pulling out folding chairs.
  • DUDE THEY’RE FREAKING FAST THIS YEAR. LIKE ALL THE EVENTS. IN A ROW. NO PAUSES. YES PLEASE.
  • Mr. C, who sits next to me, has lots of commentary about each of the events and points and stuff.
  • 5th in anatomy. Okay, decent. Better than not placing, but worse than last year’s first 😄
  • We aren’t doing very well. :/
  • 2nd in rocks (TBH YASSSSS bc who even knows how the test was graded my word)
  • 1st in ExD (WOOT)
  • 1st in heli (YAYAY was expecting a 2nd bc of a better heli school, but apparently they failed)
  • 7.35- DUDE THEY FINISHED THE CEREMONY BEFORE THE SUN WENT DOWN. THATS GOTTA BE A RECORD. No time killing, no waiting, no nothing. The screen + mic systems are great this year too. GREAT JOB, ADMINISTRATION.
  • 7.50- Wait the middle school GOT FOURTH? Man, it must be pretty DARN close. (also all time low placing for the ms team)
  • 7.57- As we almost predicted, we aren’t going to Nats. Ah well. We had high hopes, but didn’t work *quite* hard enough to make up for them 😄
  • Lots and lots of picture taking and general chaos.
  • We get to sing for the first time in like legit three or four tournaments, and so I’m happy. 😀
  • 8.30ish- We go for ice cream with the S’s, since it’s still so early. There’s only one lady working, so it took super long.
  • Eventually we finish and drive home. No Nationals trip this year.

AAAND ITS A WRAP.

Now y’all won’t be bombarded by SciOly posts . . . until next year. 😀

2017 Regionals||Science Olympiad

Okay so before I start, let’s just take note of this poll I did on twitter that amused me greatly:

BUT IM GOING TO WRITE ABOUT WHATEVER I WANT, DANG IT (sure, I’ll spare you one: let’s just do one now and one for states)

So…here’s my 10th SciOly tournament!

regionals17

(let’s just ignore the quality of that thumbnail omgns okay)


  • 5.30am: alarm goes off. Naturally, I hit snooze
  • 5.33am: second alarm goes off (because, hey, lots of alarms…one’s bound to work eventually)
  • 5.46am: finally get up out of sheer necessity
  • 5.57am: go downstairs to my family legit choking down cereal. I decide to skip the torture
  • 6.07am: in the car with everything loaded, it’s freezing I’m so cold and why can’t we just go I have event at 7
  • we drive, I just sit there being cold
  • 6:40am: arrive on campus, text coach(es) about where to meet
  • 6:45am: daddy thinks he knows where the CSI is but he was looking at the CIS on the map and it was just confuzing. I’m 99% sure I know the campus better than he does lol
  • 6.49am: get into CSI (right building), meet partners for ExD
  • 6.55am: admitted into ExD room. it’s the same pro guy from last year, which means worksheets
  • 7.04am: starts ExD. proctor checks everyone for goggles, then allows us all not to wear them #yuss #butalsoslightwasteofenergy #butheyhefollowedthefules #ilovethisproctorsm
  • get our kit things. washer and string and dowel, this better/must be pendulum
  • opens packet YUSSSS
  • WE PRO AT DIS *writing writing writing*
  • Oh dear they going over. both DC and SC have 8am events and have to leave a tiny bit early. DC leaves first, then SC. I collect the papers and return stuff and stuff. momentary panic when I thought S took the page he was writing on with him but then I found it
  • 8.02am: walks out ExD door texting and nearly run over Mrs. C. She gives me my wristband. walking, texting, and putting on awristband is really hard in case anyone was wondering
  • 8:05am: walks with Mrs. C to see DC and MM’s event room. apparently it started a bit late so D wasn’t late. I get my anatomy notesheet from MM.
  • 8.12am: walk up to P/C building. Mrs. C. goes to bathroom, and I go to see where anatomy is going to be
  • 8:13am: meet a lady who’s looking for a room (and her kid). I lead her down the inexplicably long hallway to see the room
  • 8.20am: Mrs. C is done waiting for me and I haven’t gone seen the room yet oops. we go see the room together. they’re literally running like 6 events in that one room
  • 8:27am: head back to homeroom. mixing both me and Mrs C who both have like zero sense of direction isn’t a good thing. we end up following each other without telling the other and it doesn’t end well. also the homeroom is in the most confuzing building ever so hey excuse
  • meet peoples and drink water and eat food (maybe?) and go bathroom (which takes a long time bc the the building is so confuzing)
  • 8.36am: leave homeroom for anatomy.
  • 8.43am: finally find my way out of the building and actually start heading to anatomy
  • 8:45am: meet SC who was with anatomy DE
  • 8.46am: arrive at anatomy. DE’s not there yet but the event won’t start for another 14 minutes. see GC and ED’s dads waiting for them to come out of anatomy. also see SM and NF waiting to do anatomy as well
  • 8.52am: am about to start freaking out then see DE. so apparently they’re doing the MS and HS tests together
  • get the test. it’s another nice test with clearly marked sections. hey it’s short so bad ugh. oh dear my hormones got cut off on the notesheet shootshoot I need that
  • ooh my hormones table is useful. and our notesheet is so much better than from invitationals yay.
  • okay so apparently the event supervisor had no idea what to give endocrine for short answer, it’s something along the lines of “a gland that produces both peptides and steroids starts to malfunction. upon closer investigation, the cells have free floating ribosomes and a smooth endoplasmic reticulum. what can you conclude?” UM WHAT EXCUSE ME THAT’S BASICALLY NO INFORMATION SO WHAT ARE YOU EVEN LOOKING FOR???
  • we get done because it’s short so we turn it in and leave ~8 minutes early
  • we go to building C to see Mr. C who’s running bridges/towers/whatever-they’re-calling-that-event-this-year. he’s busy, so DE leaves for his next event/whatever he’s doing and I text KT, my friend from church who competes at a different school
  • 10:17am: meet up with KT and DC and MM who are done with their events for now. we talk and KT tries to go run her bridges but it’s too early. I meet a boy from church who used to never talk to me but who’s running food sci now and is like the most friendly person ever
  • 10:23am: we walk back together (I think idr)
  • find the homeroom with minimal effort (read: following others), and eat food and stuff who knows I think I talk to the younger F girls? and maybe eat salad…I think I remember eating salad (why I’m eating salad at 10am, it’s a SciOly day, covers a multitude of sins, man)
  • 11.17am: P wants to go down to the gym to see building events, but the gym is so far away that no one wants to go with him, so I send him with CG and CZ
  • 11.20am (or so): leave homeroom (which takes much longer than it should) while carting the R&M binder and meet up with BF who has a couple free hours like me
  • like, around 11.30am: we wander around campus, find my room for rocks
  • 11.42am: see P with AM (most reliable, I assure you). BF and I continue on to the gym
  • we walk around, see our team do hovercraft. we also see these people winding up their Wright Stuff motor with A POWER DRILL. LIKE WHATEVEN SO MANY SKILLS I CANT EVEN we basically both die laughing while trying to look like we’re not staring at them and laughing
  • 12.03pm: go to C to see Mr. C again. it’s the lunch hour so he has time and so we get to talk about how much we failed, always a lovely subject.
  • 12.22pm: realise that the next timeslot is 1:15, not 1:45, so I should probably go get my R&M stuff.
  • 12:32pm: while on the way to homeroom, meets Mrs C carrying a huge box of towers going to (obvi) towers. BF helps her carry it, and I head on to the homeroom to look for the field guide
  • 12.37pm: can’t find the field guide, starts freaking out a little, texts Mrs. M (GM’s mom) to see if she knows where it is; she doesn’t reply and I freak out more
  • 12.40pm: goes and rummages through GM’s backpack and finds it so leaves
  • 12.42pm: Mrs. M finally texts back and says that the middle school wasn’t allowed to use the field guide oh darndarn
  • 12.50pm: arrive at building P and meet GM, who also talks about how the rocks proctor hates cell phones and stuff
  • 12.52pm: go through the connecting hall thingie to building C and see towers and stuff to see if BF wants to go with me on her way to WiDi. She’s needed to film the towers tho, so I leave by myself.
  • 12.56pm: gets to the front of the CE building, but I can’t figure out exactly which building it is, nor how to get in (despite the fact that I’d already been to the room earlier)
  • 1.00pm: finally finds my way into the building, and then find the room (#yesthatisreallyahugefeatformebecauseIlegithavenosenseofdirection)
  • 1.02pm: start hunting for a women’s bathroom. there is a men’s bathroom on the hallway, but there’s no women’s bathroom
  • 1.06pm: finally find the bathroom (with another girl who’s on the same mission as I am)…it’s ultra far away nearly on the other side of the building
  • 1.08pm: meet MM and sit there and wait. he’s eating a peanut butter sandwich (in case you didn’t know, I can’t stand the smell of peanut butter)
  • sits there and waits
  • …and waits
  • …and waits
  • 1.19pm: finally texts Mr. C about the fact that we haven’t been let in yet
  • 1.20pm: the instant I send the text, the proctor lets us in
  • we end up in the last row o.0 who designed a station test in a “theatre” like room (y’know, with rows of chairs)
  • the proctor doesn’t let us use the field guide, even though it’s technically attached to the binder. eh whatever
  • we start the test, apparently on the tie breakers. 5 minutes to a station…okay. these stations aren’t really long enough to warrant 5 minutes, but hey, it’s regionals. also they’re mostly identification so….
  • oh cool there’s some extra multiple choice questions in addition to the stations, that are like, hardish. but the stations are really, really easy.
  • OMFGNS LIKE THIS TEST IS WAY TOO EASY like legit we finish the station within a minute
  • OKAY SO I THINK THIS IS A RECORD: WE FINISHED THE FREAKING STATION BEFORE THEY EVEN OFFICIALLY STARTED THE TIMER FOR THE STATION
  • at this point we’re basically sitting there trying to restrain each other from screaming. like omgns omgns OMGNS OMGNS wut even
  • 2.15pm (or so): we finally get released. I nearly start screaming before we exit the building, but MM all but sticks his hand over my mouth like yeah it was that bad
  • upon leaving the building, we meet BF and AL and RC, and we run to catch up to them. I start ranting about the test
  • I think we go to bridges? I don’t remember. (oops)
  • but at some point I look at the time and notice that it’s time for heli, so I make my way down to the A (which is quite the distance).
  • 2.27pm: walk into A and see the B’s and Mrs. C…I continue ranting about the rocks test.
  • 2.28pm: I tell KB about the people I saw winding their Wright Stuff with a power drill, and he finds it as humorous as I did
  • we watch other people run. why on earth are they running two teams at the same time in a small square?
  • 2.35pm: we decide to go and just do it
  • 2.38pm: we go and weigh in. our helicopters are very close to being too wide, but it works (hey, we followed the national kit).
  • 2.42pm: first flight–3…2…1….and our helicopter traces a perfect parabolic curve. WHAT?! I adapt the traditional WHAT?! pose, then turn and see Kentie in the exact same pose 😄 but it is totally legit tho because helicopters aren’t supposed to trace parabolic curves.
  • I dash over and pick up the helicopter…the top part fell off somehow
  • 2.45pm: we set up and fly our second helicopter. tt hits exactly perfectly at a point where the ceiling supports stuff won’t interfere with the flying…PTL!
  • 2.46pm: the longest minute of my entire existence
  • 2.47pm: it falls, finally. wow.
  • 2.48pm: the proctor comes over-”that was quite the improvement” she said. we got 1.20–one of the best times of the year! PTL!
  • I just generally wander around, looking at the MS Mission Possible running, and other stuff, mainly just being glad that I’m done
  • 4.20ishpm: we start to head back to the homeroom. for some reason, there’s this huge pressure in my hip and barely make it back to the homeroom
  • we do a team meeting, which somehow takes a super, super long time. Eventually, a parent says that it’s nearly 5.30 and everyone leaves to go to dinner.
  • after the inevitable “lets-go-eat-the-food-mom-packed-because-we-ate-none-of-it” discussion, we all go to the student center place thingie and I get Chick-Fil-A. I can barely walk at this point.
  • 6.27pm: our family somehow finished before everyone else and head off to the awards ceremony. however, everyone else is like 25 feet behind us, so it’s not that much of a difference 😄 (also I can’t walk so Mr. S ended up driving me over)
  • 6.25pm: we get to the awards ceremony but there’s no more seats. our team ends up sitting on the floor so that we don’t have to sit in the balconies (because otherwise we won’t be able to get our awards)
  • they aren’t ready yet, so we just sit there and be stupid (like usual)
  • 6.55pm: they finally start arranging the mics and the screen and doing the lost and found and stuff
  • 7.08pm: FINALLY start  the awards ceremony. they’re doing the high school events first. also anatomy is first and we didn’t get on the board o.0
  • hum so the high school team isn’t doing very well apparently. we aren’t getting first, like it’s impossible
  • 7.20pm: 5th in rocks and minerals. okay I’m not really surprised because, and I repeat, THE TEST WAS TRASH
  • 7.28pm: ooh 1st in ED! but then, it was a super lucky pendulum, soooo we really should have gotten first but hey, it’s points, and we all know we need those 😄
  • 7.46pm: so they didn’t finish the high school events (mainly builds left) and they’re starting on the middle school
  • the middle school is doing much better than the high school: they have only have one event where they didn’t place in
  • D gets 2 6ths and 1 5th…and somehow got 6th in Scrambler although he was tier-2ed, however that happened
  • 8.20pm: they finish with the high school events. we got 2nd in helicopters 😦
  • 8.40pm: doing team results….in theory
  • 8.43m: ACTUALLY starting the overall. ooh my friend’s team got 1st in the small school league!
  • 8.50pm: OMGNS WE GOT FIRST HOW DID THIS WORK WHAT EVEN I DONT UNDERSTAND
  • 9.00pm: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL GOT FIRST TOO but this was more expected
  • 9.02pm: I text Mrs. B, who had to leave early.
  • 9.08pm: we go home.
  • 9.50pm: we get home. I text TJN about results (because she’s not on the team anymore)
  • 10.37pm: I go to bed…finally

AAAAAND that’s it. Somehow I lost a lot of the humor when writing SciOly days, but eh. (also my goal this year is to write both regionals and states because in 2015 I only did regionals and in 2016 I only did states so this year I want to do both)

You May Be A Science Olympian If…

Part 1 (Homeschooler edition)

I was thinking (that is a good thing). Science Olympians do a lot of things most people wouldn’t. And it’s weird. And because I’m obviously NOT PROCRASTINATING on studying for Science Olympiad, here is a list of things Science Olympians do.

YouMayBeAScienceOlympianWhen.jpeg

You may be a Science Olympian if…

  • Mission Possible sounds more right to you than Mission Impossible
  • Likewise,  Sounds of Music sounds more right to you than The Sound of Music
  • You’re more excited about the new event list being out than you are about summer break
  • Christmas break to you basically means “Two weeks of Science Olympiad and no school”
  • You have random maps of colleges in your brain
  • You judge people from different states based on how good their state is at Science Olympiad
  • You follow someone on Instagram just because they’re a Science Olympian and sometimes post sciency pictures.
  • You can appreciate how big size 10 font is
  • You have experience with drilling holes through textbooks
  • You’re known to write long scientific incomprehensible ramblings for biology
  • You’re known to write long confusing essays with scientific words in them
  • No one understood your biology project
  • You engage in a discussion as to whether Sharpie ink is able to add a noticeable amount of weight to an object (helicopters)
  • The final conclusion to aforementioned discussion is yes, Sharpie ink DOES add too much weight. (helicopters)
  • You hands perpetually have superglue (or any type of glue, really) on them (helicopters/ELG/Wright Stuff/bridges/towers/boomilever/anything with balsa wood)
  • You can say that you’ve gone to the fire station to ask how high their ceiling is (helicopters/ELG/Wright Stuff)
  • Similarly, you know exactly the dimensions of all the rooms with high ceilings in town (helicopters/ELG/Wright Stuff)
  • The people at the recreation center know you by name (building events in general)
  • Your kitchen counter is full of soda bottles, foam trays, plastic lids, and other miscellaneous recycling that cannot be thrown out on penalty of death (Bottle Rockets/Wind Power/Forensics)
  • You follow mineral pages on social media, rather than people (rocks and minerals)
  • You identify stuff you find on hikes (ornithology/forestry/rocks and minerals)
  • You collect insects/rocks and minerals/fossils for fun
  • You’ve been to the point where even Google is not useful –>
  • You’re learning to writes ambidextriously so that you can write with both hands to save time (CJAP, WI/DI, ExD)
  • You know how scary Splenda packets, foam cups, and plastic stir sticks can be (WI/DI)
  • Your procrastination abilities far exceed those of your friends’
  • Your friends don’t question anything you give the explanation “it’s for science” for.
  • You have the best friend group on the planet
  • You spend your New Year’s Eve discussing the social psychology behind New Year’s and New Year’s resolutions…because why not
  • You find yourself discussing earth’s magnetic field with your friend group
  • You discuss whether being consistently late is accuracy or precision while waiting for said consistently late persons
  • You’re exceedingly brilliant-for instance, you close your eyes while looking in the mirror and wonder why you can’t see yourself
  • You draw on your forehead with Sharpie as part of “scientific experimentation”
  • You constantly make jokes about dying…and oftentimes actually cannot see how you’ll be able to survive
  • You and the other Science Olympian are shipped at church
  • You’re unimaginably excited to “study,” better known as “socialization.”
  • You stay overnight at the coach’s house to study
  • You write “You May be a Science Olympian If” blogposts instead of actually studying for Science Olympiad.

2016 States ||Science Olympiad

I have a tradition (kind of), of writing up my SciOly days so that I can remember them. I’ve made this goal a grand total of 3 times, and 2 half times, and 2 mentions. (AKA it’s not a tradition). However, I did write up this years’ states. Here it is!-

Random disclosure thingies-

  • Bullet form, because bullet form is fun to write and gives less pressure on perfect grammar and punctuation and stuffs.
  • Time is really truly superficial on Science Olympiad days-I’ll try to reference and do time stamps, but times may be either what I think it is, or just nonexistent.
  • I pretty much run around by myself all day, so I have no idea whatsoever about what the rest of my family is doing.
  • Feelings and stuff will be in paragraph/essay form, but can’t guarantee grammar and whatever

  • Alarm clock starts blaring at 4.40am…hit snooze and return to sleep
  • 4.50-hits snooze
  • 5.00-hits snooze
  • 5.10-“I really should be getting up,” hits snooze
  • 5.20-“We’re leaving at 5.30,” gets out of bed.
  • Gets ready, packs food, checks final email, etc.
  • I plan to vlog, so I start off the vlog with a really crappy intro
  • 6.10 (or so)-We leave the house. I film clips of us driving.
  • 7.25-We’re stopped, due to roadwork or something. We’re running late.
  • 7.40-Start moving. Eventually pass the place where they’re doing road work. There’s THREE PEOPLE painting lines on the road…and ITS RAINING OUT, so one of the guys has a BLOW DRYER and is trying to BLOW DRY the wet pain in the rain while the other two guys stand there TALKING! Half the city is blocked up while they stand there trying to dry wet paint in the RAIN!!
  • 7.50-Reach campus. It’s raining, and bad map skills doesn’t mesh well with reading maps in the rain. So lost. Meet NC and his mom, then Mr. S and CK as they go impound the FS stuff. Mom offers me a sheetprotecter for my map/event schedule.
  • 7.55- I go in the homeroom while Mom+D go impound the Air  Trajectory. Text NR’s mom to see if he has the notesheets for Cell Bio and Chem Lab. She doesn’t know. Opens backpack–what is the crumpled mass of paper and plastic? Oh, it’s my map and event schedule in the page protector mom jammed into my backpack…I had *planned* not to ruin my map/schedule that early in the morning…but w/e.
  • 8.15-Go map out my events with GM. My horrendous skills at map reading and navigation in general requires me to map out my events before they actually happen, so that I don’t get totally lost between events or just simply freak out and forget where I’m going. Vlog a little. It’s cool vlogging.
  • 8.20-Meet AS going into her shift as high school WI/DI event supervisor. Berate her (as a matter of routine) about her ditching the team. She hands me her Curvy Copter Cube (ooh lookee alliteration dats cool) to give to AM.
  • 8.30- Head to the lab to map out events. See Rin in her event, Food Science, with CK–she doesn’t notice me.
  • 8.50-Back in the homeroom. Deliver the Curvy Copter Cube to AM. Read Chemistry textbook and eats an orange and a dinner roll for breakfast, ish. WAIT WHAT I don’t have a Chem Lab notesheet. Start furiously hashing out notes on the back of my event schedule.
  • 9.10-Leave homeroom for Chem Lab. I end up tearing out the sheet of formulas from my SciOly notebook, rather than use the horrendously hashed notesheet.
  • 9.17- Meet Rin as she comes out of FS.
  • 9.22- Reach the lab and meets NR and his dad. The people from the previous timeslot are still in the room working on their test–they should have been let out 7 minutes ago.
  • 9.25-We hear “5 minutes left!” WHAT–we have to start at 9.30 in order for both N and me to make our next time slot. Text Mr/Mrs C about long previous timeslot.
  • 9.35-Finally make it into the room, after N’s been kicked out of the room once for going in ‘too early’. Proctor apologizes for delay. N starts test without waiting for approval from proctor, in order that we can leave early. I’m worried that we’ll get penalized for starting early.
  • 9.40-Chem Lab test starts.
  • 9.45-Realizes that I’m dumby for waiting around while N does the MC part of test. Start working on the lab part of the test. Turns out the reason the previous slot ran over was because the Kinetics experiment didn’t work. Work on the experiment (data was provided). ED skills help in drawing graphs. (I’m bad at labeling graph axis, but it works out fairly well here).
  • 9.55- Finish Kinetics part of test. Sit around waiting until we’re allowed to switch over to gases part of experiment.
  • 10.05-FINALLY switch over to gases part of experiment. N says he’s able to take care of the test part, despite not having studied for it (He took kinetics, I took gases). I start on the experiment. Reread the instructions several times to make sure I read it right. WHY IS THIS A GASES EXPERIMENT?! The first 1/2 page is giving instructions about how to fill up a beral pipette. LIKE I COULDNT FIGURE OUT HOW TO FILL A PIPETTE BY MYSELF IN LIKE THIRD GRADE.
  • 10.07-Completely fills the pipette, without even referencing the instruction sheet. It’s far too complicated to read anyways, I could do it without using it.
  • 10.08-Starts filling this plastic bin with 2000mL of water–USING A 50 mL GRADUATED CYLINDER. HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?! I DIDN’T PLAN ON SPENDING TIME FILLING A BIN WITH A TINY LITTLE GRADUATED CYLINDER!!
  • 10.12-Still filling. Accuracy/precision has gone far, far out the window.
  • 10.15- Finally get 2000mL water. NOW WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? PLUNK THE FLIPPING BIN ON TOP OF THE BULB OF THE PIPETTE AND SEE HOW FAR IT GOES UP?!?! WHY IS THIS A FLIPPING GASES EXPERIMENT? I do it anyways–because it’s Science Olympiad.
  • 10.16-Now I’m SUPPOSED TO ADD 500mL MORE WATER INTO THIS BIN AND REPEAT IT 5 MORE TIMES?!? The bin’s not even going to hold that much–it’s 2/3 full already.
  • 10.22-The bin’s not going to hold that much water. I ask the proctor and he says “Well, the bin only holds 3L of water, so obviously I don’t expect you to completely follow the experiment.” WELL SIR I WOULD HAVE APPRECIATED THAT INFORMATION!!
  • 10.25-FINALLY finish the experiment. I HAVE 5 MINUTES LEFT, thanks to having to fill up THE BIN WITH THAT GRADUATED CYLINDER!! Rush to finish data table/graph/final questions.
  • 10.28-2 minutes left. Start on discussion questions. “How would you make this data linear, considering the logarithmic form of the current graph?” WTH I have absolutely NO IDEA. MY GRAPH IS FRIGGIN LINEAR, NOT LOGARITHMIC!! “What gas property was this experiment illustrating?” WHAT? YOU THINK THIS IS A *GASES* EXPERIMENT? I HAVE ABSOLUTELY. NO. IDEA. WHAT THIS EXPERIMENT WAS ILLUSTRATING. COMPRESSIBLITY? I have no idea, but that’s what I put down anyways–more likelihood of getting points than ‘nothing whatsoever relating to gases.’
  • 10.30-Pencils down. I lost about 7 points, after wildly guessing+writing down an answer on the last two questions about 5 seconds before time was called. N remarks that he lost around 7 points on the MC part as well.
  • 10.35-Leave. Dash off to ExD. It’s cool having consecutive events.
  • 10.41-Reach where ExD is held. Shoot off a text to Mr/Mrs. C- “Stupid easy time consuming chem lab test with a stupid experiment that didn’t pertain to the topic.” I’m good at condensing.
  • 10.43-We pray.
  • 10.45-Starts ExD. TORQUE?! Haven’t practiced with that before. Meh. We can use the RUBRIC? We don’t have one, expecting that we won’t be allowed to use it. (foreshadowing of bad things to come).
  • 10.50-Okay, SC and RC have come up with an experiment that I’m supposed to perform and I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT ITS DOING.
  • 11.05- I perform experiment. Starts putting down number of weights in data table. R and S INSIST I put down NEWTONS. Why would I do that? Isn’t it supposed to be number of weights, or at least the mass? NEWTONS IS NOT RAW DATA. But you don’t argue with R, so I switch over to Newtons (stupid error alert).
  • 11.10-Finish numerical stuff. WHY DO I HAVE A FULL PAGE FOR THE STATISTICAL DATA (I usually take about 1/6 a page) WHILE I HAVE LESS THAN 1/2 PAGE FOR THE PROCEDURE (I usually take a full page). HOW IS THIS SETUP?!
  • 11.15-R dashes out of the room to go to her 4.5th event, hydrogeology. (She’s just slightly nuts).
  • 11.25-I finish procedure and am looking over materials list and my numerical stuff. WAIT A SECOND THE MASS IS WRONG–I USED THE WRONG MASS THEN MY NEWTONS WERE ALSO OFF AAUGH Furiously fix it. I have a dead eraser–ugh. Have fleeting thought that I should probably put sample calculations for the mass–>Newtons thing. I’m running out of time, though, so I don’t. (double stupid error alert).
  • 11.30- Start Qualitative Observations. I’m bad at Qualitative Observations. It takes me WAYYY longer than usual, mainly because I’m over analyzing all the observations (result of CJAP last year).
  • 11.40-Finish. I finish early. HOW? I didn’t even START on time!!? I must’ve missed something. Instead of checking to see what I missed, I focus on putting team name/number on each page. (triple stupid error alert).
  • 11.45-Finish. Turn in test. Go to bathroom.
  • 11.55-Head down to Bridges with SC, to talk to Mr C about how my events were run. Pass through this freaky cafeteria thingie that has everything closed, except for the music. The lights and music are there, but there are no people there. I get a little freaked out to be in a building alone with a guy.
  • 12.00-I’m not very complimentary, especially about the Chem Lab. Nor am I very quiet–Mr. C tells me to quiet down multiple times. He thinks that ED should have gone okay, since if it was hard for us, then it would have been hard for everyone else as well.
  • 12.10-Finish talking. Mr. C asks me to go get a set of maps/event schedules for him, since he forgot to get a set.
  • 12.15-Reach the homeroom. Mom tries to forcefeed me a piece of chicken, egg, croissant, and multiple other items of food. I settle for the chicken and another clementine.
  • 12.20-Head back to Bridges to hand off maps and stuff, this time, by myself. Passes through eerie cafeteria again without trouble.
  • 12.25-Drops off stuff. (I must’ve talked some more to him about ExD and Chem Lab, because I don’t know where else the time’d have gone.)
  • 12.35-Meets CK in between her timeslots. I talk to her about our ED topic, because I didn’t know whether or not they’d know what to do. She has a lot of time, so we walk around campus a little and talk, about stuff, especially torque, and what it is.
  • 12.55-Heads back to homeroom. C starts talking to SC about how to write up her part of the experiment (they do the same part).
  • 1.05-I get ready to leave for Cell Bio. While leaving, I see C has started a nosebleed. Didn’t think much about it. There are a number of people looking after her, so I disregard that, and leave.
  • 1.18-Meet Rin coming out of her event. Tells her briefly about torque. She has to run; me, not so much, because I’m in front of the building.
  • 1.20-Meets N in front of the room for Cell Bio. Compare notes about how our respective events have gone.
  • 1.25-Event proctor comes out to give last minute instructions and hand out answer sheet thingies.
  • 1.30-Not paying much attention, see the proctor madly dash down the hallway, yanking on doors, trying to get them to open, and muttering to himself, “I must find some way to get into that room.” Turns out, the door locks by itself, and he locked himself, as well as all of us, out of the room.
  • 1.35-I offer to call Mr. C, because the proctor locked his phone inside the room as well, to see if he could contact the SciOly powers to let us into the building.
  • 1.36-Connect with Mr. C. He thinks it’s the greatest joke he’s heard and promises to contact the state important people.
  • 1.45-No word yet. There’s a whole crowd of people on phones trying to get us into the room. Text Mr. C, and he replies that people are working and to hang tight.
  • 1.50-They get hold of a maintainence guy..but he won’t open the door, apparently because he didn’t receive permission from the professor to allow us into the lab.
  • 2.00-They finally get a TA with a key to come open the door…but by this point, we’re not able to take the test, with 20/30 minutes left. The proctor is very sorry, and he says that he’ll allow us to take the test at 4, after all the rest of the events of the day have gone.
  • 2.10-I head to bridges to notify Mr. C on the latest events. He isn’t there, presumably to get food. None of the other people who are doing bridges know where he went.
  • 2.12-See Mrs. C and Mrs. D as they bring food for Mr. C. When they question why I’m not in an event, I tell them, then we head back to bridges together. Mrs. C tells me that C’s bloody nose ended up lasting for about 40 minutes, and that she was 20 minutes late to ED. She was also really light headed and wasn’t very stable.
  • 2.15-Mr. C is back. Mrs. C tells him about what’s going on, then she and Mrs. D leave to get DC to where he’s supposed to go. He’s talking with this other guy who’s apparently thinking to start a homeschooled SciOly team, or something like that. I sit there and listen to their conversation, resting my legs. My legs are starting to cramp up, which isn’t a particularly good sign, considering that I still have 2 events to go to and that it’s only 2 in the afternoon besides.
  • 2.30-Leaves bridges to go to Anatomy. Prays for C as I’m walking over.
  • 2.36- Arrives at the anatomy building, where S’s waiting. We aren’t allowed to split our notesheet, as we’d originally planned.
  • 2.42-Proctor starts passing out tests. I ask again to verify the reason we aren’t allowed to split the test, she says it’s because the entire purpose SciOly people give us A page is to make it hard, and besides, “if all the teams came in with shreds of paper, what would we do about it?”
  • 2.44-Text CF: “About to start Anatomy. PRAY for us!!”
  • 2.45-Starts test. I take the test and starts marking the answers on the test itself, while S takes the bones part of the test out and marks the answers on the answer key/sheet thingie.
  • The notesheet is really helpful-the information I actually need is on the notesheet, and I’m able to find it, which is surprising considering that I’d never put together a notesheet before.
  • There are several aspects of the test that I’d previously not paid very much attention to, despite knowing that they would be on the test…Process of Elimination took care of several of those, and other than those, I did some educated guessing.
  • S took the sheets that I’d marked up and transferred my answers to the answer sheet. She also took care of the short answer questions, because she has a skill of making short answer questions look really fancy and sound like we know what we’re talking about, although we had practically no idea what some of the stuff was.
  • There were several diseases that we had no idea as to what they were–they weren’t on the “limited to” list, but we educated guessed (is that a verb, even?). Amyotrophic lateral scoliosis? What’s that? That’s not on the list. Hmm….says S, “Amyotrophic lateral scoliosis is the progressive weakening of muscles, without atrophy. Patients are able to live a fairly long and normal life, although considerably hindered.”
  • We’re able to finish, with around 35 or so minutes to spare, the ones we’re fairly confident of. We discuss the questions that we have trouble with. What are Type 1/Type 2 muscles? I know there’s fast-twitch, and slow-twitch…but didn’t take the time to connect them to being Type 1 and Type 2. Neither did I study characteristics of each type. The question, however, is not too hard: it’s asking for the characteristics for each type. Therefore, I’m able use POE and eliminate the answers.
  • Why do chili peppers feel hot? I don’t know. They do something to the cells. That much I know. Eh.
  • What’s glabrous skin? S says it’s skin without hair. I trust her. Why is it less likely to get cancer? I have no idea. Skin without hair is thick skin. So does thick skin not as able to contract cancer? It’s on the skin of the palms and on the feet–so maybe they don’t get exposed to UV radiation as much?
  • We finish, with about 12 minutes to spare. I look over the ones we’d had problems with, and we discuss them some more. Then I look over the answer sheet, to make sure all the answers have been transferred correctly.
  • The test is slightly easier than I thought it was going to be–but it’s still really hard. Anyone who’d studied any more than we had would do way better than we did, particularly on the short answers. I know we got some stuff right that most people wouldn’t have, at least not without studying. I’m fairly 3rd/4th place certain. It was also a fairly short test–39 total points. So if we were to miss a few (which we definitely did), it could be disastrous for us.
  • This test was pretty awesome, though–it was in the perfect proportions to what I’d studied- about 70% skin, 25% muscle (with about 75% of that being disorders, and 25% cellular stuff), and 5% bone. That was really cool. I didn’t know how well we’d done, because there was definitely hard stuff on it, but I felt like we’d done fairly well, considering that we’d never taken a test together before. We also worked really well together.
  • We end up leaving the room slightly early–about 3 or so minutes early. I head off to Cell Bio (for the second time!) while S is able to get a break, after her 7 events all day.
  • 3.50-Back in the lab. I can’t find N. Don’t know where he is. The hallway is fairly deserted. Don’t know what’s going on, but I do know that there’s going to be Cell Bio. Sit down on one of their fluffy benches and texts Mr/Mrs C about anatomy.
  • 3.52-N shows up, as well as multiple other people.
  • 3.55-The proctor comes out again, this time without the other helper person–she’s staying inside, keeping the door open. He hands out the test papers for the second time, apologizes profusely, then admits us into the lab. I notice for the first time that he’s from the school that will most likely beat us.
  • 4.00-We start the test. As expected, I know literally nothing about the test nor anything ON the test whatsoever. N carries the test. I carry his googles and calculator and the notesheet.
  • N’s bad at remembering slight stuff, like names of scientists. I knew this…but didn’t take time to actually study it. Who ‘discovered’ nitrogen base pairing? No idea. What’s the name of the liquid that comes off a centrifuged pellet? No idea either. THIS ISN’T HARD–THIS STUFF IS REALLY EASY. (We’re probably all tested out and thus seem extremely stupid).
  • Since I’m not taking the test, N’s hard pressed for time. He also thinks fairly slowly, so it’s hard for him to write everything.
  • There’s this one question about evolution that I’m like BOOM, only I’m not sure how to read the diagram😄
  • Who’s CALLING ME? It’s dad, presumably to figure out where I’m at. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going, mainly because I didn’t go back to the homeroom between Cell Bio, trial 1, and Anatomy. I did tell Mr/Mrs C, and Mrs. D. If they’re meeting together, then they should be able to notify them.
  • The hour passes SO quickly–we’re at the last station before I thought it was possible.
  • 4.45-We finish the test. We did lose a lot of points on this one, mainly because  I wasn’t able to help out.
  • 4.48-N’s packing up–the proctor comes over to us and asks “So…how many times have you been to Nationals…?” Hee, awkward. (Kinda, not really).He says that his team is eager to beat us. I say that his team probably WILL beat us.
  • 4.50-N heads to the bathroom to wash his hands. His dad’s there, with Chipotle. They’re going to eat together, so I head back to the homeroom.
  • 5.00-Walk in on the team meeting. (That was slightly weird, considering how everyone turned around and stared at me, hee). Mr. C is going over how the day went.
  • 5.15-Breaks up. Everyone grabs stuff and goes to their car.
  • 5.20-We reach our car. Dad’s not there. Should we go to Chipotle? We don’t HAVE to–we still have food in our car, thanks to mom’s meticulous packing of food that doesn’t usually get eaten. Try calling him. There’s no signal in the underground parking garage.
  • 5.25-Dad shows up finally. We decide to go to Chipotle.
  • 5.35-FINALLY arrives at Chipotle. The line is SO LONG. We find a seat and sit down, mom+dad goes gets food.
  • 5.40-Goes over to where couple of my friends are. We talk about something (probably really stupid, don’t remember what though).
  • 5.45-We get food. Most everyone else has gotten food already.
  • 6.15-We finally finish eating. Everyone’s left already, some time ago.
  • 6.20-Start walking back on campus. Mom’s and my legs are done for. D+P are still jumping around. They run ahead to the awards ceremony place.
  • 6.35-Reach the gym thingie where the awards are being held. The bleacher things aren’t pulled out yet, so everyone’s sitting on the floor.
  • 6.40-The bleachers are pulled out. Everyone migrates unto the bleachers. So many people, so little legroom. Mrs. C’s sitting behind me–I ask if I can lean on her knees, since my back is pretty much done.
  • 6.45-They “start” the awards ceremony, basically having to thank all the proctors, people who’re important, all that. They introduce the people handing out awards–AS is one of them. Our team cheers when they introduce her.😄
  • 7.00-Officially start handing out awards.
  • 7.05-Anatomy C is third event in. Nope, not fifth; nope, not fourth; nope, not third; ehh, I think we’re done; nope, not second; WAIT A SECOND HOW DID WE GET FIRST?! NO WAY THATS POSSIBLE THAT CANT BE HAPPENING. Woah. That’s a nice start to the awards ceremony. If we continue to do this well….
  • Didn’t medal in ExD. (But we thought we did fairly well…apparently not)
  • 4th in Chem Lab–I ALWAYS get 4th in Chem events…2 4ths last year in CJAP as well. If I’d had AS as my partner, then I’d have done way better, I swear.
  • 3rd in Cell Bio. Hmm okey. Not much to say about that one–I literally did NOTHING.
  • D got 1st in BOTH Air T and Fossils–the hours he spent calibrating Air T paid off…and the food that was used to bribe D+G into studying also paid off.
  • I use steal MM’s phone to text BF. People with smartphones (pretty much everyone) tease me about my not being able to type on a smart phone. I retort that my phone has buttons, so I actually know what I’m pushing, rather than a ‘slidey glass thingie’. I also ‘fix’ CZ’s new phone, turning the keyboard into something that actually texts, instead of spitting out words for you.
  • I text CF results of his events–MM’s taking care of the rest.
  • So many events, so many medals. Not as many medals as ‘usual’…there’s also lots of ‘smaller’ schools getting medals, which is neat. MS rival school is about tied with MS team, HS team is about 20 or so points behind rival school. It’s going to be cool to see how well people (particularly ours) do.
  • The events we thought were going to fail, did. The events we thought we could have done well at, did (most of the time). The events that probably did well, did…most of the time (Take ED as an example). It’s going to be really close.
  • They try to kill more time. It’s gotta be close, if they’re recounting and counting the scores.
  • 8.20-MIDDLE SCHOOL IS GOING TO NATIONALS!!!! Middle School folks are mixture of excited, nervous, stressed, and annoyed. They surprised everyone–no one thought they would be able to make it.
  • 8.25-But we aren’t. It got to have been close, though. Surprisingly, I’m really caught up in the moment or something, because I’m not stunned or anything. I feel a sense of extreme peace.
  • General chaos (aka picture taking). Go get trophy, team pictures, team pictures, partner pictures, pictures with people who aren’t your partners, pictures by yourself, pictures of you with people from other teams, pictures of you with your siblings, pictures of you with people in your homeschool group, pictures, pictures, pictures, pictures, all around. Go over and congratulate other schools, the ones who are going to Nationals, and those who aren’t.
  • 9.00 (or so, who knows)-MR C HAS RESULTS!! WE GOT 6TH IN ED–AND WE LOST AS A TEAM BY 5….it’s probably my fault that we won’t make Nationals then. Middle school team won by 1 point.
  • 9.08-We congregate out in the hallway. We call people who weren’t there and sing to them. Bathroom runs. Stand around talking about how much more I could have done to ‘save’ our team. Everyone is trying to claim blame that they did it. As aforementioned, though, I’m not sad that we’re not going. The MS team is going; hopefully I’ll get to tag along.
  • 9.15-Walk out to the garage with RC and AS. Try to convince AS to come back to the team. Tell them about my gas lab. They both agree that it is outrageous.
  • 9.25-Starts trip home. Texts C about how the day went. He was SO supportive of everything throughout–he’d make an AWESOME partner…too bad that I won’t ever be his partner. (I mean, I was his partner for ED, but it wasn’t one-on-one partnership. Getting to do Anatomy with him would be really cool).
  • 10.30- Arrives home. Eats food.
  • 11-Skype messages TJN about how the day went, and about the crazy Cell Bio experience.
  • Generally uses internet, waiting for the results to be sent out. Mrs. C said at 11.29 that Mr. C was scanning the thingie…but he doesn’t send it out until 12.

So there you have it! My <not> short day in my life! If you made it all the way to here, kudos to you. My life isn’t that interesting. I swear SciOly days are pretty much the funnest two/three days of my life, period.

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What is…Science Olympiad?

As part of my bio, I mention that I’m on a Science Olympiad team, and quite a few people have questions as to what Science Olympiad is, especially recently, as the start of the school year looms and people have to choose their extracurricular activities.


It’s one of those things that doesn’t make any sense at all when you hear about it, but makes all the sense in the world once you get it. First off, it’s a competition that includes events that spans across almost all fields of science- Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, and all that. There are 23 different events, most with cool names such as “Mission Possible” (y’know, from Mission IMpossible?), “Wright Stuff (which, non-surprisingly, involves airplanes), or “Can’t Judge a Powder”.

For each of the 23 events, a pair of students from each team will represent their respective school.  So no student has to go into an event by themselves, which removes some (in my case, most) of the ‘test’ pressure.  Schools mix up the event pairings, so that the students work with a variety of event partners, trying to best utilize the students’ skills and interests for a good overall outcome.  


There are several different types of events. First of all, building events are where competitors design and construct a, well, thing, to achieve a specific goal in compliance with the building guidelines. These generally take the most time, since both the construction time and the calibration time need to be taken into account. In this upcoming 2015-2016 season, a couple of the building events include-

  • Air Trajectory- An event where competitors build a device designed to launch a projectile a certain (unknown) distance. They don’t know what the distance will be until the reach the competition, so they have to practice every distance possible.
  • Bridge Building- Where competitors design a bridge that is most efficient (that is, lightest), and holds the most weight.

Lab events are events that involve a lab. A few different lab events include Crime Busters (only for Middle School), where competitors attempt to identify substances in order to solve who committed the crime at a crime scene, or Can’t Judge a Powder (also in Middle School), where competitors attempt to make all the observations possible in a short amount of time about a certain powder, then complete a test based on the observations made.

Identification events, or ID events, are events where teammates learn to identify around 100 different types of specimens, in a specific topic. After learning how to identify them, they learn facts about the specimens and prepare to take a test based on their knowledge. This year, the ID events are Fossils and Invasive Species, both with 90+ different types of specimens to identify.

Lastly, there are simply study events, where teammates study a topic, such as Anatomy, Astronomy, or Simple Machines, and then take a test based on their knowledge.

All of these events take at least 100 hours of practice time EACH, so someone with 3 events needs to spend at least 300 hours on Science Olympiad in order to do well.

I’m not sure how different schools choose events, but for our school, we submit a list of events to our coach (who knows the schedule on competition day) and he places you in both events that you want and that most logically fits the schedule.


Each individual student usually competes in 3-5 events.  There are individual awards given for the top few placements in each of the 23 events, plus overall team awards.  The overall team ranking is based on the placement on each event, 1 point for 1st place, say, and 10 points for a 10th place…so low score wins for the overall team award.


For competitions, there is first a “Regionals” meet around mid/end of March. The qualifiers from Regionals will move on to States, usually around mid-March. If you do SUPER really well, then you get to move on to Nationals, which a different college hosts each year. There are also invitationals, which are small competitions that are held so that competitors can get the gist of the competition.


So one of my favorite parts is the cool social aspect about the whole thing. Now when people generally hear about SciOly, they go “Oh, is that some sort of nerdy thing that you do and is super hard?”…..but what I love is that there is an awesome social thing to the whole thing. (IDK about schools generally, but from what I’ve heard and experienced, both from my “school” and from others, it’s almost always a great social thing as well, unless you’re bound and determined to hate the program. :P)


Science Olympiad is really a big time drain (this is very much emphasized!!!!), especially during tournament season, which is about February/March/April. Before tournament season, our team spends at least 15 hours a week studying/in transit (for Science Olympiad causes, i.e. to partner’s houses, extra meetings, practice places, etc). During tournament season, it ups to about 20/25 hours. Of course, the people with more events have to spend more time on their events. ID events and building events generally take the most time, ID events because all the specimens have to be learned and identified, building events because the calibration takes, simply, a ridiculous amount of time.

I believe that most of the reason that I love Science Olympiad so much is because of my awesome coach. 😄 He coaches three teams altogether- a middle school team, a backup middle school team, and a high school team. He manages to take even preferences and schedules for three different teams (up to 45 people!!) combine them in the best way possible to make everyone happy. Other than that, he is just a great person that I love to work with and look up to. His entire family (and extended family!!) is great too. 🙂 


To close off, Science Olympiad is wonderful….and I totally recommend everyone doing it. However, it does take an outlandish amount of time….and is very frustrating at times. It’s totally awesome…and you make lots of friends while at it, while also learning a lot. It is SO much fun, I love it, and it is perfect for someone with too much time on their hands.

Some good links to check out are-

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