Ocean Science Bowl

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Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Great Bustard » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:46 am

This. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_O ... ences_Bowl
Does anyone who frequents the forums have experience with this? Other than knowing this exists and from what I got off of wikipedia, I know nothing about this, and am curious about people's experiences with it. Anyone want to comment on it?
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Cody » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:04 am

What exactly do you want to know? Your post seems a bit vague.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Great Bustard » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:11 am

Pretty much anything. I mean, is there any semblance of pyramidality here? Have people had fun/been thoroughly exasperated/something in between by their experiences here? More broadly, as far as I know, NHBB is the only single-subject competition (well, US Geography Challenge now too) that has any institutional tie in to good quizbowl. Does anyone know of any efforts to do outreach to the ocean sciences people? I mean, it's pretty cool this exists at all, but it would be even better if they could somehow be tied in with the greater qb community. Apparently the director is based out of DC, so maybe I'll try and meet up with her to learn more. I have no interest in getting involved in something else at this point, personally; it would just be neat if they could be integrated into the overall scheme of things.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Cody » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:48 am

Any sense of pyramidality is lost because you are required to give the answer as it appears on paper (or the letter of the answer--at the end of each question, you are given four answers lettered W-Z). Sometimes this isn't a problem (say, a tossup on a phylum); other times it can be killer. I once saw a team tragically lose a bid to nationals after they answered a bonus with "the [blank] sea" instead of "the [blank] sea off [some country]". Also, in 2011, they introduced a policy brief to the national competition, which is a substantial portion and takes it further from such competition. As far as I know, it has no tie in to actual quizbowl beyond the usual intersection between the groups.

It's also quite rigidly structured (based on my experiences w/ the VA regional competition)--there is one regional competition (for your state, although sometimes you can go in between states I'm told), and winning it qualifies you to the national competition. However, from what I remember, the actual entrance into the regional competition is done by a "lottery," although I have no idea of the specifics of how it works (I assume they don't just draw names out of a hat, since, in VA, at least, the top teams are usually present).
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Golran » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:19 pm

There's also National Science Bowl run by the Department of Energy (http://science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/) which is a almost single subject in the way that history is single subject. A lot of these teams are crossovers in the area I'm from, but the questions are not quite the greatest, and the format is a bit wonky.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:49 pm

(In Science Bowl) Just adding, the readers are all volunteers who have varying experience, the difficulty varies insanely, even in regionals, from question to bonus, where questions are worth 4pts and bonuses 10, with only one bonus per question. Blurts are disqualified and negs add 4 points to the other team's score.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Mooman » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:09 pm

I competed in this all 4 years of high school- not pyramidal, but I personally enjoyed it. Lots of state college people used to do this and science bowl as well. Any specific questions?
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by jonpin » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:53 pm

Golran wrote:There's also National Science Bowl run by the Department of Energy (http://science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/) which is a almost single subject in the way that history is single subject. A lot of these teams are crossovers in the area I'm from, but the questions are not quite the greatest, and the format is a bit wonky.
I can't decide which of these is more of an understatement.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:56 pm

I did both Ocean Bowl and Science Bowl in high school. While the format of both competitions was annoying (especially the timed rounds, blurts, and multiple choice/exact wording thing), I actually got more out of doing them than I've ever gotten from quiz bowl science. This is mostly because Ocean and Science Bowl put more emphasis on understanding and applying scientific concepts, instead of emphasizing relationships between scientific concepts. I think pyramidality is great; I also think that science doesn't always lend itself to pyramidality as effectively as other subjects. For example, if you want to see whether someone understands Hooke's Law, you could argue that asking them to solve a Hooke's Law problem is more meaningful than asking them the following question:

"Arruda-Boyce, Ogden, and Mooney-Rivlin models are all alternatives to this law, and another alternative assumes that that the work done on a solid is equal to the rate of change of Helmholtz free energy via a relation involving Cauchy stress and the stretch rate tensor. This law gives Young's modulus as the ratio of stress to strain. For 10 points, name this law the governs the motion of springs and is typically written as F equals negative k x."

I'm not suggesting that quiz bowl science be replaced with Science Bowl science, I'm just pointing out that dismissing either of these competitions based on their lack of pyramidality is a little shortsighted. For example, we tried to get my high school's strongest Science Bowl player (a guy who was top-12 nationally in chem olympiad) to play quiz bowl, and even after getting acquainted with the format, he only got a handful of science tossups over the course of several practices. This suggests that Science Bowl, and I guess Ocean Bowl, aren't totally invalid competitions when it comes to testing real knowledge.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by vinteuil » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:54 am

echhsquizbowl wrote:I did both Ocean Bowl and Science Bowl in high school. While the format of both competitions was annoying (especially the timed rounds, blurts, and multiple choice/exact wording thing), I actually got more out of doing them than I've ever gotten from quiz bowl science. This is mostly because Ocean and Science Bowl put more emphasis on understanding and applying scientific concepts, instead of emphasizing relationships between scientific concepts. I think pyramidality is great; I also think that science doesn't always lend itself to pyramidality as effectively as other subjects. For example, if you want to see whether someone understands Hooke's Law, you could argue that asking them to solve a Hooke's Law problem is more meaningful than asking them the following question:

"Arruda-Boyce, Ogden, and Mooney-Rivlin models are all alternatives to this law, and another alternative assumes that that the work done on a solid is equal to the rate of change of Helmholtz free energy via a relation involving Cauchy stress and the stretch rate tensor. This law gives Young's modulus as the ratio of stress to strain. For 10 points, name this law the governs the motion of springs and is typically written as F equals negative k x."

I'm not suggesting that quiz bowl science be replaced with Science Bowl science, I'm just pointing out that dismissing either of these competitions based on their lack of pyramidality is a little shortsighted. For example, we tried to get my high school's strongest Science Bowl player (a guy who was top-12 nationally in chem olympiad) to play quiz bowl, and even after getting acquainted with the format, he only got a handful of science tossups over the course of several practices. This suggests that Science Bowl, and I guess Ocean Bowl, aren't totally invalid competitions when it comes to testing real knowledge.
Yes, to summarize: Quiz Bowl tests if you've read/heard about science, [Ocean] Science Bowl is better at testing if you can actually do stuff with science; both of these have obvious merits and weak points.

I will point out that [Ocean] Science Bowl actually does have maybe 25% short-answer questions that could be improved by turning them into Quiz Bowl-style pyramidal questions, just because they tend to have one (sometimes very poorly worded or false) clue etc.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:31 pm

So it seems as though there's some sliver of goodness and light to be found in the depravities of Science Bowl and Ocean Bowl after all. Do you two have thoughts about how that experience might inform quizbowl science questions that better fit your ideal? We do have the constraint that questions can't be computational, but it seems like some questions involving quick thinking with simple formulas, or stone cold recall with solid knowledge, are possible to answer within five seconds. Things such as:
2012 PACE NSC, round 14 wrote:[10] Consider a convex lens. Name the location, i.e. which side of the lens, and what type of image is produced if the object is placed nearer to the lens than the focal length.
ANSWER: virtual and same side [equivalents for "same side" ok, both answers required, DO NOT prompt on partial answer]
have existed already; should we want more of them?
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by vinteuil » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:04 pm

RyuAqua wrote:So it seems as though there's some sliver of goodness and light to be found in the depravities of Science Bowl and Ocean Bowl after all. Do you two have thoughts about how that experience might inform quizbowl science questions that better fit your ideal? We do have the constraint that questions can't be computational, but it seems like some questions involving quick thinking with simple formulas, or stone cold recall with solid knowledge, are possible to answer within five seconds. Things such as:
2012 PACE NSC, round 14 wrote:[10] Consider a convex lens. Name the location, i.e. which side of the lens, and what type of image is produced if the object is placed nearer to the lens than the focal length.
ANSWER: virtual and same side [equivalents for "same side" ok, both answers required, DO NOT prompt on partial answer]
have existed already; should we want more of them?
I love those questions, personally, although one has to be very careful that the wording doesn't make the question ridiculously confusing (this one is pretty confusing—why not "within the focal length"?)
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:49 pm

Yeah, I would personally like to see more of these questions. It's definitely possible to test knowledge of concepts without computation--the NSC question is a decent example.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by vinteuil » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:53 pm

I'd also like to note (one more post on this before the thread completely derails) that Adam Silverman definitely did a good job of testing this kind of knowledge with his science for this year's BDAT set (also trying not to reveal any details about it), with questions that were much more answerable from Physics C than from studying packets—I admit that I complained about this at first, but that's really more because I'm more used to QB science being different.
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Re: Ocean Science Bowl

Post by Auroni » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:24 pm

I'm generally fond of bonus parts like these, but I don't think there's a way to test knowledge of applying concepts in tossups without compromising the principles of good quizbowl in some fashion. Let's suppose that there was a tossup where all the clues were physics problems of increasing ease that happened to share the same numerical answer. That would still be too hard for all the people who have never taken physics; it'd be like having a completely pure music theory tossup on a note, and then tacking on some nominal giveaway. Maybe at some point, we can experiment with tossups where some of the early clues require you to know how to do problems with the concepts being asked about, but for now it's much more plausible that a non-physics specialist can get a respectable buzz on "quarks" just from reading about them, than they would on some tossup that requires knowledge of how to do rotational motion problems for a majority of the clues.

I'll be happy to be proven wrong, though.
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