Science Study Sources...

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mhawlik
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Science Study Sources...

Post by mhawlik » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:38 am

This might be a question already answered somewhere else, but I am completely at a loss at how to expand my knowledge in the sciences. I have many sources from which to expand my knowledge of literature, history, and such stuff like that; for example, the frequency lists that NAQT publishes. However, in order for my team to get better, I feel that we need to be able to have a working knowledge of frequent topics that arise in questions. What would be some strategies/resources that our team could use to improve our breadth and depth of scientific knowledge?

Help much appreciated, Matt
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:45 am

You can search ACF science questions here. Start with questions from Fall from recent years.

It's also good to go through the AP Curricula, which are on the College Board website, and textbooks that are used in AP courses.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by cchiego » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:01 pm

Biology isn't too hard to learn actually; I'd recommend starting with all the cellular organelles and then expanding to stages of mitosis, photosynthesis, etc. Sparknotes has a pretty good biology site: http://www.sparknotes.com/biology/ . I would recommend you first read through the ACF Fall TUs on Bio to get an idea of what's "askable" first and then use that to help guide your studying.

For Physics my favorite study site is hyperphysics: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/hph.html . It's like a much more reliable version of wikipedia and though it doesn't go into too much depth and covers a lot of stuff that doesn't come up in quizbowl, I've found it to be very clear and useful. It also includes a good section on astronomy and there's a sister site devoted to math.

Earth Science is always passed over but I've actually found wikipedia has a lot of pretty reliable info in that area. I recommend in particular the geologic time scale table included halfway-down this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_timescale .

Chemistry, I'm sorry, I have nothing to offer- I've spent hours trying to figure it out myself and just can't seem to get anything to stick. Computer Science too I'm clueless on. Good luck, trying to break into science as a non-science person is difficult, but it's actually not as hard as it might seem if you focus specifically on a few areas where you can make rapid improvement (the minor sciences seem like an ideal place for that, since the answer canon isn't very large).
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:57 pm

I'd second the recommendation to read questions and presumably everything Chris posted is useful too. With all the laws and things it might be useful to try and memorize the giveaways for all of them if you want to at least have a basic knowledge of that stuff. Also, I learned pretty much everything that comes up in the high school biology canon in a classroom, and my teammates who took chem and physics learned a good deal of those subjects in class as well. I would highly recommend just paying good attention in all of your classes if you want to get better at quizbowl (this is both in and out of science).
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by cvdwightw » Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:28 pm

I think Reinstein's hit the nail on the head. Step 1: read questions, especially old ACF Fall questions - anything that comes up here is either fair game for HS level or too hard (but might be used as a leadin/middle clue). Step 2: read AP Test review guides. Since most quizbowl players are studying for AP/IB tests anyway, you might as well get full (extra!) value out of whatever study guide your teacher makes you read (seriously, we had "coloring" assignments in AP American History, which were essentially "take the REA study guide and highlight the entire chapter on whatever we were covering"). A lot of writers try to use the "is this taught in AP [subject]?" criteria for determining whether a topic is right difficulty-wise for high school.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Wall of Ham » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:58 am

Read any book titled History of Science and you'll get more questions than from reading a textbook.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:12 am

Any good ways to help retain science clues better?(yes, I know how useful question writing is. Aside from that, I mean)
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Gautam » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:00 am

Probably the best way to learn science is to do science itself; take a class, especially ones with labs. Labs really help keep the laws in perspective, and tell you lot of things that what the laws imply, or exceptions to rules, and things like that. That kind of stuff helps you get questions early, which is great, but most of all, you learn what the things actually mean rather than memorize some phrases that show up frequently. This stuff also prevents you from reflex buzzing on certain words (if at all you come to that point) which can result in negs.

If taking classes is not feasible, then read stuff about the history of science. Books like A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson and The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene are useful. Some of the Science textbooks are also great, like Halliday, Resnick, and Walker Physics Text, the Campbell Biology Text, and General Chemistry by Linus Pauling.

If you are really lazy, you can go look up some of the stuff on youtube. There are some great videos which describe how things work, and although they are rather simplistic, they have helped me get points, even at difficult collegiate tournaments.

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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by lasercats » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:24 pm

For chemistry, I would reccommend memorizing the periodoic table. I remember many questions having to do with "name this element next to Uranium" or "name this Alkali Earth Metal, whose atomic number is...". I don't know if your high plays any tournaments with 6-second rounds, but if so, those categories come up frequently. If you know where each type of element is located and what they're near, you will be able to figure those out easily.

For Bio: like Chris said, start with the parts of the cell, then mitosis. Then, I would reccomend learning the Kingdoms, and as many phyla as you can. If you know that the only animals in phylum Porifera are sponges, or that Plathyhelminthes are flat worms (I remember the flat worms coming up A LOT), then you can narrow down your choice of an animal much more quickly.

Good luck!
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:26 pm

lasercats wrote:For chemistry, I would reccommend memorizing the periodoic table. I remember many questions having to do with "name this element next to Uranium" or "name this Alkali Earth Metal, whose atomic number is...". I don't know if your high plays any tournaments with 6-second rounds, but if so, those categories come up frequently. If you know where each type of element is located and what they're near, you will be able to figure those out easily.
Hey Matt: Rather than doing nonsense like this to prepare for bad tournaments, you should instead go to good tournaments.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by lasercats » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:30 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
lasercats wrote:For chemistry, I would reccommend memorizing the periodoic table. I remember many questions having to do with "name this element next to Uranium" or "name this Alkali Earth Metal, whose atomic number is...". I don't know if your high plays any tournaments with 6-second rounds, but if so, those categories come up frequently. If you know where each type of element is located and what they're near, you will be able to figure those out easily.
Hey Matt: Rather than doing nonsense like this to prepare for bad tournaments, you should instead go to good tournaments.

I wasn't talking about NAC. Our weekly matches consisted of 2 halves of TUs divided by a 60-second round. I was trying to be helpful by mentioning that those came up a lot during our matches.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Matt Weiner » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:33 pm

I don't care what you're talking about. No good tournament is going to have periodic table questions.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:44 pm

The bio advice, for what it's worth, isn't half bad. Though I would probably learn some human and plant anatomy before getting to many phyla past the basics; you'll have many bonuses on plant reproductive systems for every tossup on rotifera. Also, genetics (both population and molecular) vocabulary comes up a lot.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:00 am

Maggie - lightning rounds seems to be an exclusively middle American phenomenon (plus the NAC). The reason Matt says that's a bad idea is because the majority of good high school tournaments don't ask a single question about elements, much less rote memorization questions that your ideas help prepare for.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by lasercats » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:11 am

I wasn't aware that lightning rounds were so uncommon. I was just trying to recall as much science-based stuff from high school as I could. Sorry about that.

I just found a site from an AP Bio teacher that provides many powerpoints on each topic: cells, genetics, evolution etc. I'm not sure about the presentations because I don't have powerpoint, but they're accompanied by very helpful links, some of which are AP practice questions.
http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/gbssci/b ... ecture.htm
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by ClemsonQB » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:12 am

Deesy Does It wrote:Maggie - lightning rounds seems to be an exclusively middle American phenomenon (plus the NAC). The reason Matt says that's a bad idea is because the majority of good high school tournaments don't ask a single question about elements, much less rote memorization questions that your ideas help prepare for.
I'm not fully comprehensive of your definition of "middle America", but most 4Q format tournaments in the southeast have the first round as a lightning round (including Ezell-Harding, Brookwood and Dorman).
Last edited by ClemsonQB on Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Gautam » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:09 am

ClemsonQB wrote: I'm not fully aware of your definition of "middle America"
It's that giant wasteland in our backyard
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by dbarman » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:57 pm

Lightning rounds are uncommon because it doesn't test depth of knowledge. Therefore, it is more difficult to differentiate between good teams and bad teams

Ping @ Dunbar
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:22 am

Not to mention they skew the scores hilariously if one team happens to be experts in a particular subject.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by ClemsonQB » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:44 pm

dbarman wrote:Lightning rounds are uncommon because it doesn't test depth of knowledge. Therefore, it is more difficult to differentiate between good teams and bad teams
Lightning rounds and other bad quizbowl is more common than mACF, mNSC or any other form of good quizbowl. Ideally, lightning rounds will be eradicated soon.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:45 pm

Is it? I thought NAQT was really common, at least much more so than lightning rounds.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:38 pm

Considering their popularity in crappy local formats, I'm doubtful that NAQT gameplay is more common.
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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by theattachment » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:58 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:Not to mention they skew the scores hilariously if one team happens to be experts in a particular subject.
Case in point: me 100ing a NASCAR venues bonus in 30 seconds.

Anyhow, getting back to the task on hand, reading Princeton Reviews of AP U.S. and World History have helped me get a few middle clues and more later clues in my day, and I would assume that the Bio and Chem ones would help as well. I stay away from them because I really suck at science and have no reason to get better, but I hear they're as good as the APUSH books.
Colin O'Donnell -- ex-Eden Prairie High School (man, that feels nice to say), eventually University of Minnesota

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Re: Science Study Sources...

Post by Aziridine » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:43 pm


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