Updated: March 18, 2019




Official Rules Clarifications are made to clarify or correct the rules printed in the manuals. These Official Rules Clarifications apply to all states and all tournaments and originate at the national level. Click here to Submit a Question or view FAQs.

9/17/18 (Divisions B&C) 3.a.iii. should read, edits in bold: Starling's forces in the capillaries (not Startling's)

9/17/18 (Division C) 3.c.vi. should read, edits in bold: SN2014J (was missing the J)

11/19/18 (Divisions B&C) 3.e. should read, edits in bold: Before and throughout loading, no portion of the Boomilever may touch the testing wall below the Contact Depth Line which is more than 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)

1/11/19 (Division C) 3.h. should read, edits in bold: For all questions, the event supervisor will identify which cipher is to be used. (not all but one question)

10/5/18 (Division C) 4.b.iv. should read, edits in bold: Add water to a container to raise a standard, unmodified golf ball located in the same container at least 5 cm so that the golf ball rolls out of the top of the container and initiates the next action.

11/19/18 (Division C) 7.a. should read, edits in bold: The Lowest Final Score wins. The better of the 2 Run Scores is the Final Score. (the word better replaces the word lower)

1/11/19 (Division B) 3.Part I.a.viii. should read, edits in bold, to correct Wild Carrot: identification of various poisonous plants and animals, and their toxic effects: ... Wild Carrot Western Water Hemlock (Cicuta douglasii)

9/19/18 Two changes:
1. DESCRIPTION, should read, edits in bold: Students will use computer visualization and online resources to construct physical models of the CRISPR Cas9 protein and Anti-CRISPR protein that are being engineered to edit plant and animal cell genomes, and answer a series of questions about the chemistry of protein folding and the interaction of structure and function for model proteins.
3. THE COMPETITION Part I: The Pre-Built Model, a. should read, edits in bold: Participants will use the program Jmol/JSmol to visualize a model of residues 1-85 of the Anti-CRISPR protein, based on the coordinate data found in the 5vw1.pdb file. The 5vw1.pdb file can be accessed for free from the RCSB Protein Data Bank (www.rcsb.org). Jmol/JSmol can be accessed here for free.

1/11/19 2a. should read, edits in bold: 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.

2/8/19 4.a.i-iii., should read, edits in bold: SCORING: a. High Score wins. Final score will be derived from all three parts of the competition:
i. The pre-built model (Part I) will count for 40% 20% of the final score and be scored based on the accuracy and scale of the secondary structures, as well as the relevant functional features added to the model (e.g., sidechains, DNA, or associated molecules). As the competition level increases, the scoring rubrics for the pre-built model will reflect higher expectations for model accuracy, detail, and addition of relevant functional features. Features that are not relevant or do not explain the structure/function relationship of the protein will not receive credit.
ii. The on-site built model (Part II) will count for 30% 40% of the final score. The on-site built protein model will be scored based on accuracy of folding the model and positioning specific amino acid sidechains.
iii. The written exam (Part III) will count for 30% 40% of the final score. The exam will be scored for accuracy.

9/24/18 2c. should read, edits in bold: Participants without eye protection will not compete and will be awarded participation points only. (removed "ranked in Tier 4" as there is no Tier 4 for 2019)

10/11/18 (Division C) 3.Part II.f.ii should read, edits in bold: Participants will play one pitch at a time, holding it for a duration of 5 seconds as indicated by signals from the event supervisor. For devices with a quick decay time, multiple attacks on the pitch are allowed (for example, striking a bar multiple times with a mallet or plucking a string). The pitch measurement will be the average value during the 5 seconds. Participants will wait until the supervisor records the measured pitch frequency and indicates that they may proceed before playing the next note in the sequence. (average replaces best)

1/11/19 (Divisions B and C) 5.c.iii. should read, edits in bold:

Heat Score (HS) = 20 x (lowest k of all teams)(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))

Science Olympiad Policy for Significant Figures (12/5/12)


  • North Dakota Rules Clarification: At the State Science Olympiad, we will not be including trial events into the total team scores. This ruling has been made upon advice from the national office. (The national event likewise does not include trial events into total team scores). (Posted 10/28/02).

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