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Science bowl

  1. Jul 18, 2005 #1
    I am studying an honors physics textbook so I can try out for my school's science bowl team. Basically to make the team at my school, you have to be VERY good....you pretty much need to have it all memorized (due to the intense competition). The book I am studying is about 1000 pages long (with small print) and obviously covers a lot of material (and a lot of formulae).
    Try outs start in December (or somewhere around that time). While that may seem like a lot of time, my scheduel during the school year (which starts in august) is really busy. So busy i pretty much don't have a life. I was wondering if anyone here can tell me the best way to study/"memorize" (I mean, to guarantee I know the subject matter like the back of my hand) the physics book.
    ****For those of u who don't know what the science bowl is: It is basically Jeopardy, except entirely for science related subjects. ***

    The kinds of questions I should be able to answer within a span of seconds are conceptual problems and quantitative problems. an example:
    List the mediums in order of which sound can travel the fastest: blah blah
    blah (here you would be given a list of mediums)

    quantitative: find the potential energy of a 10kg ball dropped from a hight of 20.

    (of course they may be of a difficulty greater than this.)

    So now to my point in posting here: I would like people to suggest questions that I could study.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2005 #2
    Last year I was on the national science bowl team for my high school (I'm in college now).

    The key thing with Science Bowl questions is to realize that the toss-up questions only give you a few seconds to respond and even the follow-ups only give you 20 seconds. That means you'll only be doing really simple physics. Physics isn't entire quantitative, but for the large part that is, you'll just need to memorize formulas and use them very quickly.

    Of course, the key thing for you is how you'll be tested to get on the team. If you're doing sample questions (these are available from previous years online, and you can find references from some regional competitions, too), then studying your honors physics text is definitely not the way to go about it. Brushing up on basic equations for physics and math so you're able to do calculations confidently and rapidly is the key thing.

    Conceptional problems are trickier. There really isn't much of an alternative to having a solid understanding of each of the sciences, but really, the concepts in a physics text are not the difficult part.

    Learning something independently like earth science can be very valuable (since it wasn't offered as an honors course, nobody on my team had taken it).

    Overall, it's clear that the best way to study for science bowl in general (though perhaps not for tryouts) is to simple run through practice rounds so you get a sense of the questions. That will also get your team a good sense of where the holes in your knowledge is so that you can all specialize and pick that all up.
  4. Jul 19, 2005 #3
    Where do I get references from regional competitions?
  5. Jul 19, 2005 #4
    If I remember correctly, we simply searched for science bowl practice questions in Google. I just tried that again and came up with several sites, including the sample questions from the official Department of Energy website (they run the program). The national and regional competitions have the same sort of questions, although the national ones become more difficult. You should be able to find a large selection of regional practice sets online if you search for them, though.
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