Monday, April 30, 2018

To Infinity and Beyond


On Apr 30, 2018, at 10:12 AM, Kathryn Clark <kic@umich.edu> wrote:

Question:
There is a list of constellations and stars that the students are supposed to be able to identify.  However, not all of those constellations show up in the star chart over Ann Arbor on May 12.  Are you going to show additional star charts to ask the students to identify some/any of those?  I understand that it is possible some question might be focused on them; I'm just trying to understand the planetarium portion.

Answer:
The only constellations and stars that are asked to be identified during the 'planetarium' portion (now run through stellarium) will be those where at least a portion of them are above the horizon at 10pm on May 12. The other constellations (e.g., the ones on the zodiac, the groups of 'spring', 'summer', etc.) will be discussed only in the written portion of the event.

Pasta Bridges

Question:

The information for pasta bridges mentions using clay in a position to help hold/stabilize the loading cup.  Does this mean the students can directly attach the cup to the pasta bridge with clay? 

Answer:
The beaker cannot be attached to the bridge, it can only sit on the structure.  Students can use the clay to stabilize, but not secure the beaker to the bridge.  Students will place the beaker on the bridge after height and width measurements, and not be able to make any additional changes to the structure.  We recommend that students practice placing the beaker before the end of the build portion of the competition.

May 1: Last day to submit event questions

Tomorrow (May 1) is the last day to submit event questions to weso.science@gmail.com.

With fewer than two weeks to go, our supervisors (who are all volunteers!) are preparing for the May 12 tournament, as are many others.

Regards,
The WESO Board

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Photon Phun

Detailed description says the light source will be at chest height.  
1) Will the light be raised for older grade levels, to approximate their chest height?
2) Can we assume the light will be aimed such that the beam is parallel to the floor?
 
 
Yes and Yes

Tournament information for everyone!

On the WESO website, there is now detailed information about this year's tournament: where to park, where to eat, how to get to your events, and so on. 

Click here to read it.

Please read, and pass along to others who are participating. 

See you on May 12!


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Event Questions deadline is May 1

Tuesday, May 1 is the last day to get your event questions in to weso.science@gmail.com.

We will do our best to expedite your questions in the next few days, but we cannot accept or answer new questions after May 1.


Zip-a-dee-doo-dah

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah:

Can students adjust the eye hooks on the harness? 
The students may adjust the hooks prior to putting the harness on the zip line

Friday, April 27, 2018

Gene-ius Exam

Question:

The event description says that the competition will consist of 2 parts. Given that it is a 30-minute event, can the organizers elaborate on the number of questions that will be asked in each section?
 
Answer:
The first part is a standard multiple choice/ true or false/ fill in the blank type section.  It will have approximately 15 to 20 questions.  The second part is comprised of the problem solving type questions pertaining to DNA structure, codon reading, Karyotypes, pedigrees or blood group genetics.  Team will not get questions on each one of these but several multipart questions pertaining to 2 or 3 of these areas. 



On Target

Question:


Can we bring our own scale which has clay on it for balance
Thx
Answer:
If you mean can you use your own scale that has been zeroed by applying clay,
then the answer is “yes”.    However, you may not have a “reference” amount
of clay on one side that your students will use to set the weight of the clay used
for the nose cone.   Any reference amount will have to be determined by the students at
the competition using their available tools.

I wanted to add to this.     If you mark you scale with your team name when you bring
it in, we can store it with your team launcher.   Both will be given to the team to use
if they want them.     The scale, when they go their table to build, and their launcher,
when the visit the scorers table to be assigned a launch range.
Matthew

 Are the students limited to one ruler and one set of scissors or will there be two of each they could have access to? 

We should have enough rulers and scissors to have two at each table.     If the table does not have
what supplies your students need, they should ask the table stockers for them.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Gravity Racer

Questions:
If the child releases the car and the car does not roll forward at all, can they make adjustments to the car, or push it? Or does this count as a run (or DQ)?
Can the front wheels be touching the ground (and not on the ramp) at release?

Answers:
The relevant rule in the Gravity Racers description is under Phase 2:
"9. Gravity Racers will be measured from the point where they stop moving. If a Gravity Racer falls off the ramp or gets stuck, the launch counts and will be measured."
If the car is released and does not roll forward at all, that counts as getting stuck. It will be measured from that point. Note that the child is allowed to push the Gravity Racer as part of the release. But once it is released, it cannot be touched or pushed again.
Regarding the last question, the Gravity Racer can only be touching the ramp at release (phase 2, rule 6). You cannot release with the front wheels on the ground.
Could you clarify the two answers in red below please? Could any part of the racer, e.g. one wheel, touch the ground?
Posted: 26 Apr 2018 03:47 PM PDT
Questions:
If the child releases the car and the car does not roll forward at all, can they make adjustments to the car, or push it? Or does this count as a run (or DQ)?
Can the front wheels be touching the ground (and not on the ramp) at release?
  
Answers:
The relevant rule in the Gravity Racers description is under Phase 2:

"9. Gravity Racers will be measured from the point where they stop moving. If a Gravity Racer falls off the ramp or gets stuck, the launch counts and will be measured."

If the car is released and does not roll forward at all, that counts as getting stuck. It will be measured from that point. Note that the child is allowed to push the Gravity Racer as part of the release. But once it is released, it cannot be touched or pushed again.

Regarding the last question, the Gravity Racer can only be touching the ramp at release (phase 2, rule 6). You cannot release with the front wheels on the ground.


Posted: 20 Apr 2018 01:17 PM PDT

Question:
In the rules it state..."A launch consists of holding the Gravity Racer with four wheels down on the ramp and releasing the Racer"

The kids designed a gravity racer with 4 wheels. They will hold the racer down on the ramp before releasing. Do all 4 wheels have to touch the ramp at the same time?


Answer:
The intention of the rule is mainly that the Racer is on the ramp when it is released. We will not require 4 wheels (or tires) to be touching the ramp.

Nigel Clay

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Potions

Question:

Would it be possible to get more guidance on balancing chemical equations and stoichiometry?
Including examples?
Not clear how advanced these are going to get for 5th graders.  Thanks!
 
Answer:
An example of the depth for chemical equations and stoichiometry are in the event powerpoint (Slide 28-30). 
Chemical reactions will already be balanced.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Estimania

Question
At each station will students be allowed to touch/manipulate any and all props?  For example, given an object and told to estimate weight can they lift and pass around the object.  Or if given an object and a box and asked how many of X fit in the box, can they put the one object in and out of the box at will?  Or, if given a container and asked to estimate the # of Y in the jar, can they lift the jar and turn it around at will?  Basically is there anything that they won't be able to touch, feel, lift, etc?


Answer:
For majority of the questions the students may be able to touch the props. There may be one or two questions where they will not be allowed to touch. But questions like number of items in a jar, they will be allowed to take the closed jar in their hands and estimate.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Dragonflies

Question:
I see Dragonflies generically mentioned in the Study Guide. There are many different kinds of dragonflies such as darners, skimmers, etc. Will the students be tested on each of them and are they expected to know each darner's/skimmer's family names and characteristics?
How many total questions can we expect for 4th grade and 5th grade students for Back to Nature?



Answer:
The students will not be expected to distinguish between different kinds of dragonflies.  They should be able to answer questions about dragonflies as an order.

We are still finalizing the test.

Acids, Bases

Question:
It says that students are responsible for knowing only the Lewis Acid and Base definition.  (As a side note, this definition of Acids and Bases is not even tested in AP Chemistry let alone high school chemistry and instead the other two definitions are). 

However on the slide referencing what they need to know about acids and bases the following is listed:

"(5th grade only) What makes something an acid or base [H+]" which would be referencing the more commonly known definitions and NOT Lewis acid and base (electron donors/acceptors).
 
 
 
 
Answer:
There are many different definitions for an acid and base, and I reduced the definitions that would possibly be directly tested to a Lewis Acid and Lewis Base. This is an elementary school event and students will be required to have a basic understanding of the pH scale, in particular how to test for pH and what the results generally mean. Questions regarding calculating H+ ion concentrations for acids & bases will not be asked.

Water Rockets

Q:   We have both a 3rd/4th grade water rockets team and a 5th grade water rockets team that practice together.  Our 3rd/4th grade team has only one 4th grader and it's become clear that the 5th grade team is a better match for him.  Is it possible for him to move to the 5th grade team?

(We know that the general policy is that students must stay in their grade level but we were hoping with the combined teams that this might be a possibility.) 

A:  A 4th grader may not compete on the 5th grade team.  

The combined 3rd/4th grade team for Water Rockets is by design and consistent across all schools.  There is an understanding that a combination of 3rd and 4th graders will comprise each team.   A student who is not a 5th grader competing on a designated 5th grade team would be an exception to the policy and is not allowed.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Example for night sky test

To Infinity and Beyond:
Our co-supervisor has made a brief video demonstrating what the replacement to the dome test might look like to the participants. 

Here's the link to the youtube:
Please write to weso email for any further clarifications you may need.

On Target

On Target Range Announcement

The target will be marked on the floor at a point between
7 and 8 meters.   (that means it could be anything between
those two values, not necessarily at 7.5 meters).

Also just another reminder of the event change this year.   The
measurement for scoring will be made from where the
rocket comes to rest.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Circuit Wizardry #4

Circuit Wizardry, Workshop #4

Gravity Racer


Question:
In the rules it state..."A launch consists of holding the Gravity Racer with four wheels down on the ramp and releasing the Racer"

The kids designed a gravity racer with 4 wheels. They will hold the racer down on the ramp before releasing. Do all 4 wheels have to touch the ramp at the same time?
 
 
Answer:
The intention of the rule is mainly that the Racer is on the ramp when it is released. We will not require 4 wheels (or tires) to be touching the ramp.

 

Photon Phun, Experiments


Question:
I was wondering if someone could elaborate on the 2nd and 3rd grade hands on experiment?

Will there be written instructions for them to follow or will someone be describing the experiment they need to perform?

Will they have set questions to answer or will they be writing free thought about their observations?

Will there be one written answer per team?  Will spelling and scientific terminology be important?  


Answer:
Each of the hands-on exhibits (for all grades) consist of
 - a small hands-on experiment 
 - a short set of questions (3-5) to answer about your observations of the experiment
  • Each hands-on exhibit is designed to be completed in 5 minutes or less.
  • Each team will be given complete written instructions and are expected to read them and do the experiment.  Several event supervisors and volunteers will also be available to provide clarity if needed but there is not a formal presentation about the experiment.
  • There will be one set of questions given to each team to work on together and submit together.
  • The questions may be multiple choice or fill in the blank.  There are no lengthy responses required. 
  • Spelling will not be graded.  
  • Please review the Concepts Covered section of the Photon Phun event description for possible hands-on topics for each grade.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Back to Nature

For questions that are specific to a type of insect, for 90% or more of questions, we will only require answers to the level of specificity on the chart.  Meaning that while we fully support you learning as much as possible about any and all of the orders, if there were a question about a praying mantis specifically, we would accept the answers "praying mantis" or "mantids".  While these are not interchangeable terms, we've only asked for "mantids".  In contrast, an answer to a question pertaining to a Cecropia Moth/Luna Moth should not just be answered "moth", question about Honey Bee or Bumblebeee should not just be answered "bee", etc.

Question 1: Mantids is the insect name on the list. Can we assume that they should know common name Praying Mantis and Order Mantodea? Also  regarding Mantids, I'm seeing that it is sometimes listed as Family Mantidae (so, different spelling and now family instead of order) and Order Dictyoptera. I've seen also seen Mantodea listed as a sub-order. And sometimes I see Praying Mantid versus Mantis. 

So, is common name Praying Mantid, Order Mantodea correct?

Answer 1: While scientists are often making new discoveries that change how they classify animals and their relationship to each other, Praying Mantis is a mantid in the Order Mantodea, in the Family Mantidae.  

Question 2: There are a few kinds of cockroaches--should they know the American Cockroach? Also, similar to Mantids, they are sometimes put in Order Dictyoptera and then Family Blattidae but I see it in other places listed as Order Blattodea. Can you confirm spelling and which Order?

Answer 2: Taxonomy is always changing.  Currently, cockroaches are in the Order Blattodea.  We would accept this answer as it's in the Kaufman guide students have access to.  Some scientists consider cockroaches and mantids to be in the same Superorder Dictyoptera.

For WAAAAAAAAAY more information than you need and likely want, there's a nice article on Dictyoptera here. https://askentomologists.com/2015/03/16/unlikely-sisters-roaches-and-mantises/
For WESO purposes, you do not need to know this, we just think it's cool.  

Question 3: Ants are on the list--is there a particular ant they should know? Carpenter? Pavement?
 
Answer3: Ants, same concept as mantids.  More information is always encouraged and helps with an overall comprehension of Michigan insects, but with the exception of tie-breakers, the answer would be "ant".

Question 4: Just to be sure--4th graders only need to know the 14 insects on their list and identify their Orders. They won't be tested on Families, correct?
 
Answwer 4: Yes, with regards to classification, 4th graders only need to know the 14 insects on their list, their orders, and facts about bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, and true bugs.  Similarly 5th grade for the purposes of classification only needs to know the insects listed.  However, general questions on insect anatomy, life cycle, natural history, sociality, and impact on Michigan ecology are all possible.

If you decide you are really excited about insect taxonomy, I like this 4 minute video by EcoSapien.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ogh7_ITZ3Xg
Not required at all, but fun if you want to learn more.

Thanks and happy coaching!