Science Olympiad Competition Model This! Event Guidelines

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1 Science Olympiad Competition Model This! Event Guidelines These guidelines should assist event supervisors in preparing for and setting up the Model This! competition for Divisions B and C. Questions should be sent to: Note: Both division competitions can be modified each year using the same software. For example, students can model sales fluctuations, banking system, predator-prey balance, the spread of epidemics, and molecular interactions to name a few. NetLogo is an agent modeling program; VenSim PLE is a systems dynamics program. Suggested volunteer roles: Note: the numbers vary according to need and availability. 1. Event Supervisor ensures all volunteers have roles, computers are set up, pre and post activities are completed. Supervisor or another volunteer conducts the registration. 2. Proctors roam the computer lab to ensure that teams are following rules. 3. Timer keeps track of the time by announcing 10, 5, and 1 minute remaining and if possible, writing 10 minute intervals on the board. NOTE: Students have been enlisted to serve as timers and proctors if volunteers are limited. 4. Judges can number to 3 if available to ensure consensus of rubric scoring. However, at least one judge is needed. Event Setup Prior to the competition: 1. Prior to competition, provide potential participants with the following by posting on your website: a. A set of general rules for the event (no calculator, no phones, no password protected websites, no chat websites). See the general rules document posted on this website. b. A description of the event with recommendations for preparation. See the example competition posted on this website. i. The preparation for the event document should include the topic identified (the system or process being modeled, such as predator-prey, etc.), the modeling software used, and links to some background information on the topic. Stress the importance of reading background information, knowing related terminology, and becoming familiar with the appropriate software, including specifically mentioning of editing the code. 2. Design the problem based upon a commonly modeled system or process (e.g., spread of disease, predator-prey relationship). Include questions requiring students to use and manipulate a model or create a model to demonstrate understanding of how the model functions (including both strengths and shortcomings), and to exhibit knowledge of the scenario being modeled. 3. A detailed rubric for scoring each question is posted on this website as an example. You will need to develop a similar rubric for the problem set designed for Model This! a. Include acceptable answers for each question, including a range of potential answers. b. Include total point values for each question as well as a breakdown of points within each question for assigning partial credit.

2 4. Print of a copy of the problem packet (rules, competition) labeled with each team number. This packet should also contain blank scratch paper at the back and a blank cover sheet in front (so it can be handed out without revealing the problem). Making individual team packets help ensure that all packets are returned at the end of the event. You may place the packet on the desktop, however note that this may take away important time while students toggle back and forth. 5. Print hard copies of the Student Score Sheet for each team. It is helpful to have students sign the sheet during the competition. An example of the score sheet is posted on this website. 6. Make available a USB drive (thumb drive) for each team to save their work on. Label the drive with the team number using masking tape. During the day of competition, these drives will be recycled for each session, however due to quick turnaround, it may be necessary to have enough USB drives for the first two sessions (e.g., during the second session, prepare the drives for the third session). 7. It may be helpful, although not necessary, to have access to a network drive. This way, as teams finish, their files can be loaded on to the network drive to be ready for the judges. Not using a network drive may cause delays for the judges. It may be helpful to pre-configure folders for each team expected to compete on the network drive. This way, documents can be dropped into the pre-prepared folders. 8. Sufficient rooms will need to be secured and configured for participants and judges. One or two rooms for the B and C competitions and a room where the judges can score the competition. (Suggestion: a projection of the team s model and answers to questions, where all judges can view and discuss simultaneously, can help with scoring consistency. Computer Setup Prior to the competition 1. Provide as many PC computers per round, as teams are expected. It is possible to support 20 teams (20 laptops/desktop computers) in each of 3 sessions for Division B and C for a total of 6 sessions. 2. Computers must have all appropriate software installed and configured (such as MS Word, MS Excel, Adobe Reader (if background PDFs are offered), NetLogo, VenSim, Internet browser). (Note: You may wish to have students access a server that hosts the software to avoid downloading on each desktop, but this is up to the event supervisor). 3. NetLogo can be downloaded from and VenSim PLE can be downloaded from a. For VenSim, when the download window appears, download disks 3-6 onto your computer for the online help documentation, followed by disk 1 (the installation disc). 4. Have several replacement computers available should any issues come up with any one computer. 5. Provide a mouse with each laptop, as students should not waste time with touchpad, if not comfortable with it. 6. Each computer must have access to a reliable Internet connection. 7. Computers should be configured so that they do not sleep when the lid is closed. Internet browsers should be configured to empty history, downloaded files, etc. on close of the program. Recycle bin can be configured to delete automatically (not send to the recycle bin), or should be manually emptied between competition rounds. 8. Create folders on the hard drive that contain all necessary shortcuts and files for each division. 9. Each computer should have a desktop shortcut pointing to the folder for the appropriate division.

3 10. To change the shortcut in between divisions, right click on it and select Properties. Then, change the Target Bar to the desired address. You can find that address by opening up My computer and then looking at the address bar of the desired folder. 11. Arrive early on the day of the competition to power up all stations to ensure that all computers are functioning properly. Checking in teams on the day of the event 1. As teams register and attendance is taken team members sign a score sheet before beginning the competition. The score sheet will be used by the judges to place teams. 2. Team members receive a copy of the general rules and may read the rules prior to the competition. 3. Check off team number on overall attendance list, and according to Olympiad guidelines. 4. Teams must leave all backpacks and jackets outside the judging room (for example, on a secure table, etc.) prior to entering the computer lab. Cell phones, Pads are left in the backpack. Running the competition 1. As each team enters, provide them with a. A packet with coversheet, scratch paper, and a copy of problem labeled with their team number (Students cannot look at the problem until the timer says stop). Ask them to turn the packet on its backside and not look at the problem until the timer tells them to do so. b. A pencil. c. A blank USB drive, labeled with their team number with masking tape. 2. Greet the teams and read over the rules quickly before beginning, remind teams of the time limit, and provide them with instructions for saving their files (i.e., save all files as schoolname_team#_filename.doc to the flash/thumb drive). 3. Aim for a ratio of one proctor for five to ten teams (At least one proctor per room). 4. Provide a clock for participants view to track time on their own, and provide announcements for ten, five, and one minute remaining (it may help to also write the time remaining on a board every ten minutes, if available). 5. After time is up, instruct students to close the computer laptop, or immediately stop using the mouse, and collect packets, scratch work, flash drives, etc.) 6. Between rounds, check computers to verify that no files have been saved to the computer, that the browser history is empty, and that the original competition folder is not missing any documents. It may be helpful to have a few Master Copies of a USB drive in the event any files need to be replaced. Judging Setup 1. Provide a computer for uploading each team s files from the USB drives to a network drive (if available) or on one computer. All files on USB drive should be carefully emptied onto the network drive (or judges computer). 2. Depending upon number of judges and set up, there are several scenarios for scoring. 3. Provide a separate computer for viewing each team s files. a. Can be connected to a projector so judging team can work collaboratively, for consistency

4 b. Must be connected to Internet. 4. Have copies of problem, team score sheet, and detailed rubric available for each judge. Judging Procedures 1. Verify that rubric and problem are consistent before beginning. It is suggested that judges practice going through the rubric when the first team is in the event as practice. 2. Clearly define tiebreakers before the round begins. (For example, if there is a tie, you may use the highest number of points on questions 1 and 2 for the tiebreaker). 3. Be sure to remain consistent in assigning and deducting points. 4. Judge according to what the written question of the problem is asking the student. Students are gifted in gab and can give answers that do not necessarily apply to the problem! 5. Do not try to interpret or pull meaning from submitted work. Remember, it is the job of the students to provide clear and concise answers to the questions. 6. To complete judging in required time frame, streamline the process by using a detailed rubric that allows simple cross-checking of student answers with desired answers this requires a rubric with partial credit and acceptable answers already laid out and a well prepared judging team. 7. Detemine the number of points possible for each section of the question and place on individual team score sheet. Scoring the event 1. Add up the total points for each team. It is good to have someone check the addition. Rank order the scores (highest number ranks first). In the event of a tie, use the tiebreaker system to determine placement. 2. Place the score sheets in order of rank and turn in.

5 2010 National Science Olympiad Model This! General Instructions: 1. You will have 50 minutes to complete this event. You will be provided with a USB thumb drive to save all your files; make sure to save your files before the 50 minute time limit is up, when proctors will call hands off all materials. After that, you will not be able to use the computer, etc. 2. Please place your school name and team number at the top of your Model and Word files. 3. Please name your files with team number and school name, (Examples: teamnumber_schoolname.mdl or teamnumber_schoolname.nlogo or teamnumber_schoolname.xls or teamnumber_schoolname.doc) and save on your USB thumb drive (external drive) which you were given by the event staff. 4. Save your work regularly throughout the event on this drive. You will submit all work on it. 5. Your model file should include the model, a graph and credit if the model is a modification of another. Note: Give credit to the person who created the model by naming him/her, giving the date it was created and URL. 6. Your Word file needs only to include question number and your answers for each of the questions. 7. No paper resource materials, calculators, or other communication devices may be used during the competition. Blank scratch paper and writing instruments will be provided to assist you in organizing your thoughts. This must be turned in at the end of the competition. 8. If you have constructed your own publicly accessible (non-password protected) website to organize URL links and reference information for use during the competition, you may use it. Teams may also freely access any publicly accessible www site or search (e.g., Google or others) to locate information about modeling using any or all of the tools listed and sample models. 9. However, during the event, no external communication is permitted with other individuals via e- mail, chat rooms, or other forms of collaborative computing; the penalty for an infraction of this nature will be immediate disqualification. 10. This is a two-person event. 11. Please raise your hand if you have a technical problem or question on the event. Note that proctors may or may not be able to answer your questions. 12. Please speak in a low tone with your team. Help keep the noise level down. 13. When you are done, please save your files on the external USB drive and turn it in to the designated event proctors. 14. ALL MATERIALS: SCRATCH PAPER, THUMB DRIVE, INSTRUCTIONS, AND CHALLENGE, ETC. MUST BE TURNED IN TO THE JUDGES AT THE END OF THE EVENT.

6 MODEL THIS! 1. DESCRIPTION: This event integrates computer technology, the Internet, quantitative data analysis, and computer modeling. Teams are presented with a problem that requires modifying and creating a computer model that will represent the scenario presented. They are also given short answer questions related to the problem being modified. A TEAM OF UP TO: 2 ALLOTTED TIME: 50 Minutes 2. EVENT PARAMETERS: No resource materials or calculators may be used during the competition. Blank tablet paper and writing instruments will be provided to organize their thoughts, if desired. Prior to and during the event, teams may freely access any publicly accessible www site or search (e.g., Google or others) to locate information about modeling using any or all of the tools listed below and sample models. However, during the event, no external communication is permitted with other individuals via , chat rooms, or other forms of collaborative computing; the penalty for an infraction of this nature will be immediate disqualification. 3. EVENT PREPARATION: This section should include a specific description of the scenario being modeled (but not a copy of the exact problem). Provide students with links to example models and background information as necessary and stress the importance of preparation prior to the event. Students are expected to download the appropriate software beforehand for practice creating or modifying models as well (provide a link for the download site to promote preparation). 4. THE COMPETITION: a. During the competition, each team will be provided with a single Windows OS PC with word processing (MS Word), spreadsheet (MS Excel), WWW browser, modeling software (e.g., NetLogo, VenSimPLE) and Internet access. b. Teams will be given information about an air-borne disease and all required information will be located on web sites supplied at the time of the competition. c. The problem statement will require the development of an original or modification of a model to reflect the specific information supplied during the competition. d. The problem statement will include short answer questions. Questions may involve discussion of assumptions or simplifications made in the model. e. Teams will construct an MS Word (.doc) file that contains the answers and evidence associated with the short answer questions. The event supervisor will specify how these files are to be submitted at the conclusion of the event. Teams should include their school name and team number (as appropriate) within both files to ensure proper identification by the event supervisor. 5. SCORING: High score wins will be based on the logic behind the model developed, the clarity of the explanations and the students ability to follow directions, and the comprehension of the model features and limitations as evidenced by the answers to the short answer questions. Rev 5/25/10

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