Pentathlon: Math Problem Process

We have been informed by Pioneer High School that we are not allowed to place tables and chairs on the court area of the gym where Pentathlon is taking place. In order to accommodate this, the students will be asked to complete their math problem sitting on the floor following the completion of their physical activity. They will be given their math problem on a piece of paper on a clipboard. They are only allowed one minute to complete their problem. That one minute will begin when they pick up the clipboard. When they pick up their clipboard, one of the official timekeepers will flip over the one minute sand timer so the participant can keep track of their time. When they have finished their problem, they should put the clipboard on the ground. This will indicate that they are finished and the timekeeper will verbally signal to the next participant that they can start their physical activity. If they have not finished their problem in one minute as determined by the emptying of the sand timer, the timekeeper will automatically signal to the next participant to go. If they have recorded an answer at the end of the one minute, it will be graded.

Pentathlon Preview video will be posted on Friday by midnight!

Potions: Lab coats; Colloids; Element knowledge; “Acid” definition; Lewis dot structure

Q: Do the students need to wear lab coats or is a long sleeve t-shirt sufficient?  If a long-sleeve shirt is sufficient, does it matter if they wear it over or under their school science olympiad shirt?

A: Students can wear a lab coat or a long sleeve T-shirt. We suggest that they wear it over the SO T-shirt just for the Potions test session and then remove it (the lab coat is supposed to serve as a safe protective cover for any spills that may occur).


Q: In the 2022 study guide, Colloids are defined as a mixture where microscopic particles of one substance are Evenly distributed throughout another substance.  Yet, it is listed under heterogenous mixture. It seems colloids wouldn’t be a heterogenous mixture? 

A: Thanks for pointing this out. Colloids are a difficult concept with an ambiguous definition. Please disregard this concept for the Grades 4,5 and the students will not be questioned on this.  


Q: In the study guide, page 6, section D, copper is listed as an element to know for the competition.  I thought we only needed to focus on the first 18. 

A: The students will not be asked to draw the atomic structure of anything beyond the first 18. However, as described in the event description, students need to know the listed characteristics about these basic elements: Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon, Aluminum, Sodium, Copper, Chlorine, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Helium, Argon. 


Q: In the study guide, page 16, one question asks (True or False) Acids are electron acceptors?  This is a Lewis definition of acid.  Are the students expected to know this or just the Bronsted-Lowry acid definition? 

A: Thanks for pointing this out. Please disregard the above sample question. Students need to know only the Bronsted-Lowry acid definition. 


Q: Are the students expected to know the Lewis dot structure of elements? 

A: No. 

Read It/Build It: Foundation Paper; “Top” of the paper; “Build Space” definition.

Q: Please define “foundation paper”? Is it going to be different then the one on which the picture is supposed to be constructed?

A: The foundation paper is the surface upon which the teams will construct their picture.


Q: You have answered about writing “TOP” at the top of the paper but there is still ambiguity. If there is only one paper, how is TOP defined, especially if the instructions say to fold that paper?

A: Before the build phase begins, teams will be told whether the build surface (foundation paper) should be in the landscape or portrait orientation. From there the teams will identify the top of the build surface. The build surface (foundation paper) will not be folded.


Q: It is mentioned “Teams are responsible for writing the NAME of the SCHOOL VISIBLY on the build space. Please clearly define “build space”, is it the paper on which the picture is to be constructed?

A: Build Space is the space where the teams will construct their picture. It has been referred to as Foundation Paper, Build Surface. We apologize for any confusion as this is the first year for Read It; Build It, we have not yet solidified our terms. When the teams arrive, the competition space will be set and the build space will be clearly indicated. We thank you for your questions and patience.

Pentathlon: Time warning

Q: Will students be given a verbal warning (such as “5 seconds!”) or will they need to monitor timers themselves?

A: They will have to self monitor. The Detailed Event Description says that timers will be visible to the participants.These will be 1 minute egg/sand timers. We will show this in the Pentathlon preview video that we will make during competition week.