SoCal SciOly Official Rules Clarifications
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[T] Gravity Vehicle CSoCal State Tournament Update3.g. should read: "...The only parts of the vehicle allowed to contact the floor during the run are the wheels/treads. Pieces falling off..."
Elastic Launched Glider BIn the event your glider is heading out of bounds during a flight is it permissible to grab it before it lands out of bounds? Asking because planes that flew out of bounds at our regional event were not allowed to be retrieved during the competition.Yes, competitors can grab their gliders mid-flight, such as to prevent damage to the glider. Doing so ends the time for that particular flight. Gliders stuck in places can also be retrieved in the middle of the flight session if desired, but the 5 minute flight session will not be paused for this.
Elastic Launched Glider BCan the students have a trial flight by hand during their 5 minute session or must all flights be made using the launcher? I realize that once the clock starts it keeps going.Yes, test flights can be flown however you want. Just be aware that the 5 minute session starts when any flight (real or test) starts.
Mission Possible CCan my platform start 5cm below the top of my device? At what point is the platform required to have moved 20.0 vertical cm: when it passes the top of the device, or when it stops moving?No, your platform cannot start 5cm below the top of your device and still complete the Final Action. Per 4.c., the platform must move 20.0 vertical cm BEFORE the highest point of the device. This means that as the platform passes the top of the device, it should have already moved 20.0 vertical cm. This also means that in ready-to-run configuration, there should be at least 20.0cm between the platform and the top of the device.
[T] Gravity Vehicle CCan the track be a closed track?No. The only things allowed on the track are the vehicle and the ramp.
Mission Possible CCan we add the water to the tablet or does it have to be the tablet to the water?The tablets must be dropped into water. The water cannot be poured onto the tablets.
Mission Possible CAre teams allowed to have more than one bonus timer in the device?No.
[T] Detector Building CHow much time will competitors have for each station?This is an hour long event. Teams will be given 15 minutes to verify their calibration and then will be rotated through the four station with three minutes per station. They can work on the written questions anytime but all must be completed during the 1-hour timeblock.
Thermodynamics B/CAfter dispensing the water into the beaker, will the event supervisor measure the water while it is in the device, or will he/she measure the water temperature outside, then put the water into the device?Neither; the event supervisors measure and record the source water temperature before the water is dispensed into the team's beaker.
Forensics CIs SoCal still allowing each team to have 2 cheat sheets total? So that "each participant" is able to bring a sheet of their own?This question has already been answered; please see the previously posted clarifications.
Mission Possible CWill physical changes (phase changes) be considered endothermic actions (ex. specifically, will the melting of ice be counted as a acceptable task since melted ice will cause water to rise and complete the circuit?)While endothermic phase changes can be used for this action, your example is not allowed because it triggers the next action through a rising water level. The next action must be triggered by a reduction in temperature for this action to earn points.
Codebusters B/CWill the running key provided?Yes.
Codebusters B/CWill the students be provide with question paper in which they can answer? Should they copy the questions in a paper and then answer?We do not answer questions regarding the formatting of the test.
Sounds of Music CNational FAQ: The rules say that "all notes of the scale must lie between F2 and F5." Is this inclusive or exclusive, i.e. would having F2 or F5 as one of the notes be allowed, and if it is, would a slightly sharp F5 or a slightly flat F2 be disqualified?Yes, that is inclusive of F2 and F5. Any note outside of this range is not acceptable, whether sharp or flat. If the device ends up slightly outside that range, the appropriate cents off of the target note will be recorded.
Roller Coaster BCan teams choose to run their device on the floor instead of the table even if tables are available?Yes.
Sounds of Music CNational FAQ: Will manufactured bows be permitted to play string instruments or do they need to be produced by the students?No, commercial parts are not allowed except strings. They need to be produced by the students.
Water Quality B/CNational FAQ: Can electronic components be used in the construction of the salinometer/hydrometer?Yes, with a caveat. The rules do not specify what components can be used to make the salinometer/hydrometer. However, because students must build the device, store-bought salinity or conductivity probes, current-measurement devices, and similar store-bought components would be in violation of that part of the rules. Teams may only bring in one complete device of reasonable size. As the rules state "Extremely large devices may not always be able to be accommodated during testing, The volume of salt water available for testing will be between 400 and 600mls."
Water Quality B/CNational FAQ: Can we build a salinometer/hydrometer with multiple separate parts?Yes, so long as the parts are connected, forming a single device. As the rules specify that only one salinometer/hydrometer is allowed, any measurement system with two (or more) free-standing components would be considered to be two (or more) salinometers/hydrometers.
Water Quality B/CNational FAQ: What unit do we need to measure the salinity in?Percent solution can be defined many ways. We are using the biological definition of mass/volume.
Fossils B/CAre event proctors allowed to ask questions about taxonomy not on the list (e.g. class of genus archimedes)Per 3.d.ii., questions about taxonomic classification will be restricted to the hierarchy on the Science Olympiad Official Fossil List. Genus Archimedes is listed on the Official Fossil List under Phylum Bryozoa.
Codebusters B/CWill the prime numbers chosen to generate keys be 3 digits only? Using a 4 or 5 function calculator with 12 maximum digits, you may get overflows if prime numbers are 4 digits.There are no restrictions on the number of digits for the prime number.
Write It Do It B/CAre writers allowed to leave the room at the end of their writing time (25 minutes) or do they need to wait until end of the whole hour?They can leave at the end of the 25 minutes.
Water Quality B/CSoCal State Tournament UpdateTeams will be called up one-by-one during the written test and given 4 minutes to perform their salinity testing.
Crime Busters BPer, conductivity tools/testers is not listed. May competitors bring this in with them to the event; as part of the event requires competitors to test for conductivity?9V or less Battery Conductivity Tester is listed as the 5th to last item on the list. Please note that the "X" indicates that the item is likely to be used in the specific event and that each team may bring any or all of the items listed even if there is no "X" next to it.
Experimental Design B/CDoes a metallic retractable tape measure qualify as a linear measuring device?Yes.
Battery Buggy BNational FAQ: When are batteries used to power Battery Buggy allowed to be installed in the vehicle?Batteries and vehicles are to remain separate from the moment they are impounded until immediately prior to the team’s run. At that time, the Event Supervisor will instruct the team to install the batteries and prepare their vehicle for its run. At Impound, the batteries to be used are submitted in a non-metallic container free of any items that might cause a short circuit. The vehicle should be submitted at the same time but physically separate from the batteries. Teams violating any of these conditions will have the opportunity to remedy the situation to the satisfaction of the Event Supervisor should time allow.
Mission Possible CMy device has several instances where non-electrical actions are directly followed by allowed scorable electrical actions. How carefully do I need to document these actions in my ASL to ensure I don't receive the penalty in 6.d.ii?Precise wording of the ASL is extremely important in this case. Whenever there are ambiguities, Event Supervisors will turn to the ASL. Actions defined in the ASL must include the main action and a trigger to start the next action. For actions that don't allow electricity, neither the main action nor the trigger are allowed to use electricity. For example, triggering the next action by closing a circuit with a switch is a mechanical action and will be allowed (see action 1 in the sample ASL on Alternatively, triggering the next action by turning on a motor (see action 9 in the sample ASL) will result in penalty points, as the trigger requires electricity. These issues can usually be fixed very quickly at Regionals by tweaking the ASL, but this will not be allowed at the State tournament since the ASL is impounded.
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: Can the "magnet" which is removed and the "magnetic object" which falls be the same object?No, the fact that we list magnet and magnetic object as two different things shows that these cannot be the same object.
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: Can the object moving 2cm be on the rotating screw?Per rule 4.b.ix it refers to the object separately from the screw. This means the moving object must be seperate from the screw, not part of the screw
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: Does the ENTIRE quarter have to pass out of the top boundary of the device, or could only a portion of the quarter pass out of the top boundary of the device and still score the task?The entire quarter must pass out of the top boundary of the device. The quarter is either out of the device or in the device. If it is partially in the device then it is not out of the device and does not qualify for task completion.
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: In addition to timing, does scoring also stop at 180.0 seconds?Yes, timing and scoring end at the same time when the platform & battery stop moving or when 180.0 seconds elapses, whichever comes first.
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: What constitutes as being unmodified? Does attaching objects that can be removed (ie. tying a string, adding clay, etc.) mean that the object is being altered?Yes, attaching any objects to something that is required to be "unmodified" would be considered a modification; even if they can be removed.
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: What is defined as perfectly square? Specifically, to what level of accuracy should the sides of the square be measured to ensure they are equal (1 cm, 0.1 cm, 0.01 cm, etc)?.1 cm is the level of measurement using a ruler or tape measure.
Protein Modeling CWhen it starts off with "each participant" and then goes on to say one sheet of paper, does that mean one sheet of paper per team of 3 or a total of 3 sheets of paper (each participant having one sheet each)?According to the National Clarification on 1/11/19, "each participant" is changed to "each team", so only one sheet is allowed no matter the number of participants. It does NOT mean 3 sheets of paper if there are 3 participants.
Write It Do It B/CCan the instructions be in Chinese?No. The instructions must be in English.
Protein Modeling CSoCal State Tournament UpdateAt the 2019 Southern California State Tournament, the Part I. Pre-Build Model will not be scored. Teams do not need to impound or bring a pre-built model. 50% of the score will be the On-Site Build, and the other 50% will be the Written Test. This takes precedence over any future National clarifications.
Density Lab BIf students get calculations correct, but use strict SI units (Pa, Kg, M3) instead of general metric units (atm, g, L) will they be given full credit, penalized, or no credit for their answer?We do not answer questions about how an ES will grade a test. If in doubt, participants should ask the ES at the beginning of the event.
Battery Buggy BCan student use painter’s tape to tape the measuring device on the floor (only at the start and target point, not on the track) to align the vehicle and then clean all of them before the run? No, per 5.c.iii. no wet and/or tacky substances may be applied to the track, wheels, or treads. The Start and Target points are part of the track.
Sounds of Music CThe provided powerpoint on the website states that we are expected to perform a piece together with our instruments. However, the rules packets makes no mention of this as a part of the event (saying instead that the written test and the device testing are the only parts of the competition). Which source should we follow when it comes to preparing for the competition? Many of the resources online are from previous years and provide valuable information. If the instructions from the resources deviate from the current rules and clarifications, follow the current rules and clarifications
Sounds of Music CSoCal State Tournament UpdateThe Device Testing procedure that will be used at the 2019 Southern California State Tournament has been posted and can be downloaded from
Mission Possible CCan the action count if the ir beam is already being blocked, causing the curcuit to be completed (leading to the next action)? For example: the action before is an endotherm which completes the circuit based on the temperature, then there is an IR w/ a transmitter & receiver, the receiver does not receive the ir beam transmitted using the transmitter, because it is covered in foil (from before). That would complete the circuit & activate the next electrical action. The IR beam must be used to trigger the next action. If you trigger the next action by blocking the beam, then the blocking item triggers the next action, and not the IR beam itself. Additionally, if either the transmitter or receiver is already blocked, there is no proof that the transmitter is working properly.
Density Lab BAre the answers supposed to be in scientific notation?No, unless specified by the Event Supervisor or question.
Potions and Poisons BNational Rules Clarification3.Part I.a.viii. should read: "identification of various poisonous plants and animals, and their toxic effects: ...Western Water Hemlock (Cicuta douglasii),...". ("Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)" was changed to "Wild Carrot (Cicuta douglasii)") (1/30/19 Update: "Wild Carrot" was changed to "Western Water Hemlock")
Mission Possible CDoes the object being moved by the screw have to be in contact with the screw the entire 2 cm or can it lose contact with the screw after a short distance, move an additional 2 cm on its own and then start the next action?The object can lose contact with the screw, but only the linear force from the screw can be used to move the object initially. Other forces, such as gravity, cannot contribute until after the object moves at least 2 cm.
Potions and Poisons BAre commercially available battery powered conductivity meter that are powered by less than 9 volts total which also digitally display temperature and pH acceptable equipment for use?No - a digital pH meter is not on the allowed list.
Sounds of Music CAre fret wires allowed for construction of a fret board?Yes, per rule 3.a., strings of any type are allowed.
Battery Buggy BThe rule says Participants may bring but not impound measuring devices and stand alone calculator of any type.
Are we allowed to bring Analog or Digital Multi meter to Verify the voltage. Most of the commercially available battery packs go bad or contacts become loose quickly. Since the students has to install the battery before the run, It would be helpful for the students to verify the voltage across the pack before the run. If there is any loose installation they can identify with that.
No, please refer to rule 3.f.
Circuit Lab B/C3.d. says "AC circuit theory" is not included but 3.c.iv includes "AC characteristics". What's the difference between "AC circuit theory" and "AC characteristics"?AC Circuit analysis is not allowed, but AC characteristics such as knowing why they are used for power transmission and the dangers of AC current would be allowed as AC characteristics. What is meant in 3.I.c.iv is the characteristics (or properties) of AC electricity, which is an included topic. AC circuit theory, which is not included, involves methods of analyzing circuits with capacitors, inductors, transformers that behave differently for DC and AC.
In general, theory items delve into more technical analytical techniques (e.g. phases differences and power calculations, etc.), while characteristics are more general knowledge (e.g. typical frequencies and transmission voltages, etc.).
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: Can an inverter be used to increase incoming voltage from 9 VDC to a higher voltage?No, please see Rule 3.h.line 3. Nowhere in the device can more than 9 volts go across any two points.
Battery Buggy BNational FAQ: Is a solenoid considered to be a mechanical relay, given that they are both electromagnetic coils with a similar function?Technically, all mechanical relays are built with a solenoid. However, some event supervisors may not know this and you may run into a problem. That, plus "solenoid" is not specifically mentioned in the list of allowable components (rule 3.f.) could result in a construction violation.
Circuit Lab B/CNational FAQ: Don't questions concerning the "electrical characteristics of a silicon PN junction" count as questions involving semiconductors, which is a topic "not included in the competition" according to 3. d.?PN Junctions, Operational Amplifiers, and diodes are allowed for Division C and LEDs are allowed in limited capacity for Division B, no other semiconductors devices are allowed other than stated by rules.
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: What will students be asked to do with respect to the RSA cipher?Students may have to identify formulas for encryption or decryption of data values given one or more computed RSA values, compute the private key given a factored n, compute d given the other 5 RSA computed values, or decode an encrypted value using a given private key. Examples of all of these can be found at
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: When encrypting a hill cipher with a 2x2 or 3x3 encryption matrix, what should be done with letters left over that will not fill the encryption matrix? Different sources say to add different letters at the end, but it will change the final answer.For purposes of Science Olympiad, students should always pad an encryption matrix with the last letter in the alphabet (e.g Z for a 26 letter alphabet).
Crime Busters BNational FAQ: Can teams bring spoon straws in their kit for scooping and stirring?Yes, spoon straws would be an acceptable substitution for spoons and spatulas as part of the materials participants bring to the event.
Mission Possible CNational FAQ: To power a solenoid, can I use one 9 volt battery connected to 2 capacitors and diodes so that approximately 12 volts are delivered from the capacitors to the solenoid?No, please see Rule 3.h.line 3 Nowhere in the device can more than 9 volts go across any two points.
Battery Buggy BNational FAQ: Will competitors be allowed to remove the cans from the course prior to each run to set up their sighting device? With the understanding that the sighting device is removed and the cans replaced prior to each run.Yes, this will be allowed.
Mission Possible CWill a team receive credit for an action (start, scorable or final) if a touch is needed (25 point deduction) to complete it? For example, if a starting action (100 points) needs a touch to complete it do they still receive 100 points, but with a 25 point deduction for the touch?No. Per 4.i., touches that complete or adjust any scorable action (including initial and final actions) will make those actions not count for points.
Crime Busters BRecommended Lab Equipment Form lists several materials in plural form (beakers, flasks, etc). How many of each are allowed?Per General Rule #1, there is no limit to the number that may be brought.
Roller Coaster BHow do you define “next surface” in the rule? For example, When a ball lands on a surface after jumping a gap, can it continue to go up the ramp on the same surface and finally land on “next surface” which is 0.5cm below the elevation of gap landing surface.The "next surface" only refers to the surface immediately below the End of the Gap.
Thermodynamics B/CWill digital thermometers be used for more precise measurement as compared to a "Liquid-In-Glass Thermometer"? Teams should be prepared for different methods of temperature measurement.
Mission Possible CThe rule states the battery can not be series to make voltage higher than 9V. If a student use a "DC inverter" or a "DC-DC converter". Is this break the rules when student use such devices (As the voltage inside such device is higher than 9V). Or such device could be view as a black box, the 9V to 3V dc-dc converter are allowed?No. Per 3.h., "the expected voltage output across any two points [may] not exceed 9 volts...".
Boomilever B/CNational FAQ: Boomilever.5.b.ii. states:"ii. ¼” threaded eyebolt, no longer than 3”, and a ¼” wing nut". Does the 3" include the eye or just the rod/threads that extend from the eye? Is there a minimum length of the threaded eyebolt?The 3" threaded eyebolt refers to the labeled length at purchase. There is not a minimum length of the threaded eyebolt.
Boomilever B/CNational FAQ: Does the 6 minutes include "placement verification time"?No, the 6 minutes should not include time taken by the Event Supervisor to verify the placement, although any corrections that need to be made will count as part of a team's 6 minute.
Boomilever B/CNational FAQ: The parameter states "no portion" may touch below the line which is "more than" 15cm below the hook. Does this imply that supervisors can choose any distance greater than 15cm to draw the contact depth line?Boomilever B & C 3.e. The Contact Depth Line for a Boomilever is set at Div. B - 20 cm and Div. C - 15 cm. This is a set distance and will not vary between tournaments. All tournaments will have the same contact depth distance.
Chemistry Lab CNational FAQ: The list of equipment for the chemistry events is listed as "recommended". Are the check marks recommended for each event or are teams limited in each event to those items with a checkmark?Teams may have in their kits all the items that are listed as Recommended Lab Equipment for Div. C Chemistry events for any Div. C Chemistry event even if there is not a check mark in the column for that event. Please see The statement at the top of the list for Recommended Lab Equipment for Division C Chemistry Events says: Each team may bring any or all of the items listed below for use in Division C Chemistry Events. Teams not bringing these items will be at a disadvantage as Event Supervisors will not provide Recommended Lab Equipment. A penalty of up to 10% may be given if a team brings prohibited lab equipment to the event.
Crime Busters BNational FAQ: Can teams bring pipettes in addition to droppers?Pipettes are a type of dropper and are allowed.
Crime Busters BNational FAQ: The list of equipment for the chemistry events is listed as "recommended". Are the check marks recommended for each event or are teams limited in each event to those items with a checkmark?Teams may have in their kits all the items that are listed as Recommended Lab Equipment for Div. B Chemistry events for any Div. B Chemistry event even if there is not a check mark in the column for that event. Please see The statement at the top of the list for Recommended Lab Equipment for Division B Chemistry Events says: Each team may bring any or all of the items listed below for use in Division B Chemistry Events. Teams not bringing these items will be at a disadvantage as Event Supervisors will not provide Recommended Lab Equipment. A penalty of up to 10% may be given if a team brings prohibited lab equipment to the event.
Elastic Launched Glider BNational FAQ: If a team launches their first flight in 30 secs. Do they have 5 minutes beginning at the 1st flight to continue or only 4 min 30 sec because the 5 minute period started with the initial minute countdown?The team has a total of 5 minutes for their Flight Period. The start of that 5 minutes is either with their first flight (trim or official) or their 5 minute Flight Period will begin 1 minute after they have picked up their glider from the ground, whichever time comes first. If a team launches their first flight (trim or official) within the 1 minute, there 5 minute time begins at that point no matter how much time elapsed between picking up the glider and the allowed 1 minute.
Forensics CNational FAQ: Pertaining to each participant may bring one sheet of paper, does each participant have to have identical cheat sheets to that of their partner, or can they each have their own cheat sheet based upon how they divide up the parts between themselves...Each participant's allowed resource sheet does not have to be the same.
Forensics CNational FAQ: The list of equipment for the chemistry events is listed as "recommended". Are the check marks recommended for each event or are teams limited in each event to those items with a checkmark?Teams may have in their kits all the items that are listed as Recommended Lab Equipment for Div. C Chemistry events for any Div. C Chemistry event even if there is not a check mark in the column for that event. Please see The statement at the top of the list for Recommended Lab Equipment for Division C Chemistry Events says: Each team may bring any or all of the items listed below for use in Division C Chemistry Events. Teams not bringing these items will be at a disadvantage as Event Supervisors will not provide Recommended Lab Equipment. A penalty of up to 10% may be given if a team brings prohibited lab equipment to the event.
Write It Do It B/CNational FAQ: is the writer allowed to use phrases such as ‘shaped like a u’ or ‘shaped like a L’?Yes, the writer is allowed to use those phrases as long as the letter they are using does not take on any unique characteristics that would make it a diagram.
Codebusters B/CNational Rules Clarification3.h. should read: "For all questions, the event supervisor will identify which cipher is to be used." ("All but one" was changed to "all")
Protein Modeling CNational Rules Clarification2a. should read: "Each team must bring pencils or pens for the exam, a marker for marking the toobers, a metric ruler with cm marks, and one 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper that may contain information on both sides in any form and from any source. This sheet may be contained in a sheet protector or laminated." ("Each participant must bring a pencil or pen" was changed to "Each team must bring pencils or pens")
Thermodynamics B/CNational Rules Clarification5.c.iii. should read: "Heat Score (HS) = 20 x (the k value closest to zero of all teams) / k, where k is from Newton’s law of cooling: k = - (1 / cooling time) x ln((start water temp - room temp) / (final water temp - room temp))". ("(lowest k of all teams)" was replaced with "(the k value closest to zero of all teams)")
Thermodynamics B/CIn the rules, it states that we are not allowed to use COMMERCIALLY available vacuum sealed devices. However, if the box has been vacuum sealed by the team, not using any previously vacuum sealed parts, will that be permitted.Devices or components that have been built and vacuum sealed by teams are permitted.
Mousetrap Vehicle CThe rule states "Team may bring a ..... non-electric tools". The electric tools here means "No electric drill" or means "no tools can contain electric power". In another word, does a digital stop watch, digital caliper, digital counter, digital scale, even a digital wheel laser alignment system consider as electric tool?It means no tools may use electricity. Digital stopwatches, digital calipers, digital counters, digital scales, and digital wheel laser alignment systems are not allowed. The only electric tool (tool that uses electricity) allowed is a calculator.
Mission Possible C[UPDATED] National FAQ: Does the inclined plane have to be a flat surface or can it be a curved surface/half-pipe (such as a PVC tube) or a set of parallel rails?SoCal SciOly will be deviating from National Science Olympiad's response. In SoCal, the inclined plane does not have to be a flat surface - it can be parallel rails, tubes, half-pipes, linear-slides, etc. so long as it functions as the titular simple machine: it constrains the object's movement to an angle, reducing the amount of force required to lift the object.
Herpetology B/CThe instructions say you can bring a two-inch binder with information from any source, does that mean that a field guide could be modified and then placed into the binder?Yes.
Sounds of Music CIf you move your instrument to provide air for the instrument, similarly to an accordion, is this considered altering your instrument? In other words, Is introducing air manually into the system considered modifying your instrument per section 4. pt 2. e, and section 4. pt 2. g.i.? No.
Thermodynamics B/CCan I use Polyurethane foam (used for Seat Cushion) for device construction?
Can I use polyethylene foam (used for packing material) for device construction?
Please check rule 3.a. to see what materials are and are not allowed.
Thermodynamics B/CDoes "commercially available thermoses/coolers/vacuum sealed devices" refer only to thermoses, hydroflasks, etc., or does this also include vacuum insulated panels and chambers?Vacuum insulated panels and chambers are vacuum sealed devices.
Sounds of Music CCould you clarify what is meant by "principles of acoustics?" Principles of acoustics refers to the principles/concepts and physics of mechanical waves.
Mission Possible CFor the 4.b.i and 4.b.iii. When chemical reaction container is not transparent (i.e. Aluminum), does it consider not visible. Or the visible in 3.b is regarding to the action as balloon unfold? If the container is opaque, the reaction is not considered visible for 3.b.. However, event supervisors may still be able to verify the action through other means.
Mission Possible C"The balloon strikes an object". Is an infrared beam consider an object?No, an infrared beam is not considered an object.
Mission Possible C"20 cm away". How is this measured? Is it refer to the closest point of the balloon to the strikes object?The 20cm is measured from the closest point of the balloon to the object.
Mission Possible CRule states: so that a "magnetic" object falls. Is the "magnetic object" refer to A: "a steel piece that can be magnetic" , B: "Another magnet which is magnetic" or C: "Both are acceptable" Both ferromagnetic objects and magnets are acceptable.
Protein Modeling CWill the Jmol reference sheet with amino acids be provided?Yes, a Jmol reference sheet will be available, either printed or on the computer.
Boomilever B/CNational Rules Clarification3.e. should read: "Before and throughout loading, no portion of the Boomilever may touch the testing wall below the Contact Depth Line which is 20 cm (Div. B) or 15 cm (Div. C) below the center of the hole for the Mounting Hook (5.a.iii.)." ("more than" has been removed from the text.)
Mousetrap Vehicle CNational Rules Clarification7.a. should read: "The Lowest Final Score wins. The better of the 2 Run Scores is the Final Score." ("better" replaced "lower".)
Astronomy CNational FAQ: Can external hard drives that do not use an internet connection (i.e. flash drives) be used during competition?Yes, External hard drives i.e. flash drives can be used during competition.
Boomilever B/CNational FAQ: If Wood is turned into wood string, would that still qualify for build materials?No, string made from wood can not be used.
Circuit Lab B/CNational FAQ: Are the breadboards mentioned limited to solderless breadboards, or will they involve soldering?Only solderless breadboards will be used.
Circuit Lab B/CNational FAQ: Define the word "Basic." What is considered a Basic Multimeter? What is not considered a Basic Multimeter? Could it be digital? Auto ranging? What part is discretionary?Basic multimeter refers to those devices that are hand-held, battery powered, analog or digital, manual or auto ranging, measuring volts, amperes and ohms. Multimeters with advanced features, such as graphing, time waveform displaying, fft/frequency-domain functions, non-contact voltage sensing, current clamp probes are not considered basic. Whether to allow participants to use their own multimeters is at the discretion of the event supervisor. For example one regional supervisor may allow it, while another regional supervisor may not and require all participants to use multimeters they provide.
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: Are xenocrypts only limited to Spanish? The wording makes it unclear.Yes. For this year, all Xenocrypts will be in Spanish.
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: For aristocrats with spelling/grammar errors, should the errors be included in the final answer?Yes. The final answer should exactly match the errors in the encoded text. Specifically if the aristocrat was LFOE JG KOI GNFQJH then the correct answer would be HEAR IS BAD SPELIN in order to count as zero mistakes.
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: Is xenocrypt necessarily monoalphabetic substitution?Yes. All Xenocrypts will be mono-alphabet substitution following the same substitution rules of Aristocrats.
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: What type of baconian Cipher is being tested, the one in which V and J do not have a unique code or the one where all the letters have a unique code?The Baconian ciphers will use the 24 character alphabet in which I and J are both represented by ABAAA and U and V are both represented by BAABB.
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: Will the crib necessarily be provided in the exam?Not for all questions. "cribs" (also known as Hints) will only be supplied for cipher types under rules 3.e.iii.(1), 3.e.iii.(3), 3.e.iii.(5),, 3.e.vii, 3.f.iii and
Codebusters B/CNational FAQ: Does "Mathematical Cryptanalysis of the Affine Cipher" refer to merely decoding a cipher given the a and b values, or determining the a and b values from given ciphertext?Mathematical Cryptanalysis of the Affine Cipher means that the student has to decode the entire plain text of the cipher given two plain text characters to match the cipher text.
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