Saturday, March 29, 2014

State Science Olympiad Competition, Part IV

As we filed out, we learned that there had been a mistake. The Science Olympiad administrators said that we had not participated in the Fermi Questions event.
Those two team members had turned in a test, properly labeled. After a long, tense wait, the test was found between two pieces of scratch paper and scored.
We had actually scored third in that event, which, when everything was corrected, subtracted fifteen points from our score, and won us first place (lowest score wins).
Personally, I feel pretty terrible for Oxford having won and then being told it was a mistake. It makes it a lot harder for me to feel good about winning, even though it was not our team's fault that the mixup happened.
However, once everything was sorted out, we switched trophies with Oxford and claimed first place. We will be going to Science Olympiad Nationals in Florida, which is exciting.

EDIT: We took 6th Place for Disease Detectives and 5th Place for Water Quality.

State Science Olympiad Competition, Part III

At the awards ceremony, everyone was very anxious after the day's events. Personally, I wasn't expecting to win after so many events that had not gone as well as expected.
After a lot of waiting, the awards ceremony was finally underway. I got first for A&P, and 2nd for Chem Lab. I was pretty surprised about A&P. Overall, MSMS had a lot of medals, but we also heard Oxford and Park Lane called up a lot as well. We were pretty certain that we had not done well enough to beat Oxford.
Finally, they announced the overall winners. Park Lane won third. We won second. Oxford won first. As we walked up to get our picture taken, we tried to reconcile ourselves to our failure, although it hurt. I know I hated to have failed my team, although I could stop studying now that the competition was over, which would be a relief.

State Science Olympiad Competition, Part II

My first event was Water Quality at 8:30. It was awful, but participating prevented us from placing last.
Disease Detectives was next, at 12. The test seemed rather simple. We thought it went pretty well, although we didn't enjoy the free response format.
Chem Lab was next. It went pretty smoothly...once we realized that we had a pH meter available. We were a little confused about how to do it before we realized that.
My last event was one of the last two events of the day: A&P. The test was extremely difficult. It was one hundred questions long, but we still finished with plenty of time to spare. The proctor said that it was harder than the test at nationals. We hoped everyone else had felt as awful about the test as we had, but when we saw people leaving they claimed it was great. That didn't make us feel any better about it.
Most of the team had already packed the bus, and were waiting at the awards ceremony, so we headed that way.

State Science Olympiad Competition, Part I

Friday, March 28, was the state Science Olympiad competition, held at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
We left on Thursday around 5. All our supplies and stuff had to be loaded into a bus - printer, study materials, pre-built constructions, safety equipment, tools, and so on. It was a very long ride to Hattiesburg and our hotel where we spent the night.
Everyone, well...mostly everyone, was busy that night. Last minute cramming, cheat sheet construction, putting the finishing touches on build events. Most of us had a lot to do and didn't get much sleep- except for the one person with all his events already built and ready to go.
Most people went to sleep by two. A few were asleep earlier, and some unfortunates had an hour-long nap before it was time to go to the competition that morning.
The weather was awful. After carrying our equipment through the pouring rain, we finally found a good location to set up our base. Those with build events rushed to get their contraptions to impound. At 8:30, the events would begin.