MT Science Olympiad

Science Math Resource Center

401 Linfield Hall, MSU PO Box: 172804

Bozeman, MT 59717 Email:


Toll Free: 800-455-7837 ph: 406-994-6768

fax: 994-3733

Event Questions & Clarifications

We will post answers to questions from Coaches and Students regarding the 2013 Events. The 2013 Event Captains have been selected and await your questions!

See event questions and answers below:



Question: Is there a size limit for the 2 three rings binders students are allowed to bring?

Answer: No, the maunal does not state any size requirements.



Question: Is there a specified dimension the Boomilever cannot extend past when measured horizontally from the testing wall?

Answer: As long as your loading block is 40 to 45 cm there is no specified dimension your Boomilever may not extend past horizontally from the testing wall.


Elastic Launch Glider Event:

Question: What is the height of the Brick Breeden Field House?

Answer: 50 feet to the steal beams, 65 feet to the roof.

Question: Does the launcher have to be hand held?

Answer: The launcher does not have to be hand held.

Question: Can the launcher be based off a tripod design like a music stand that rests on the floor.

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is there a limitation on the type of elastic that can be used to launch the glider?

Answer: Any elastic is acceptable unless it is unsafe.


Forestry Event:

Question: What is the time limit for the Forestry Event?

Answer: approximately 50 minutes long.

Question: What Tree list will be used for the 2012 Forestry Event?

Answer: As of now the Forestry Event captain has advised to study last years Montana State Tree List. If any changes are made the the Montana State Tree List we will post the new Tree List here.

Question: For Forestry, students are allowed to have 2 field guides. Each tab can only have 3 words on it, but can they make more notes on the individual pages within the field guide?

Answer: Yes, the manual states "commercially published resources... may be annotated"



Questions: Concerning rule 3d.  Rotor not exceeding a maximum diameter of 30.0 cm.  Does that mean each rotor not exceeding 30 cm or all rotors together not exceeding 30 cm. 

Answer: Each rotor must have a maximum diameter of 30.0 cm. If there were 2 rotors in a design, each could be up to 30.0 cm in diameter. The finished rotor(s) would need to fit through a circular opening that was 30 cm in diameter.


MagLev Vehicle:

Question: Clarify instruction 3i "Motors must have a cross-sectional diameter or diagonal of <or= 3.5cm."

Answer: This measurement is like measuring a TV. From the front view start at the bottom left corner and measure to the top right corner.


Mission Possible:

Question: Can you use a mousetrap?

Answer: Mouse traps, NOT rat traps, are acceptable EXCEPT for task 4.e.

Question: is the screw a wood screw or a "machine" screw? Are they able to use a battery operated spinner type of device like a boring drill bit?

Answer: The term screw in task 4d is a very generic term, feel free to interpret it as a simple machine with an inclined, spiral groove.  In that sense, I think a drill bit would be fine.  Just make sure you follow the rules about how much voltage you can have!


Rocks and Minerals:

Question: Is there a written test in addition to identification?

Answer: The test will be a mix of both identification and a written test. With about 80% of the test over sample identification and the remaining 20% a written test.


Sounds of Music:

Questions: If students build a xylophone for the sound of music, do they need to also construct their mallett or can they use one that is manufactured?

Answer: For consistancy the mallet must me constructed as well.

General Questions:

Question: Can students other than those who are competing in the specific event help those students who are competing in the event prepare their mechanisms? ie. Elastic Launch Glider, Boomilever, Mousetrap Vehicle etc..

Answer: Yes, as long as the only the TEAM is building those mechanisms.

Question: What events will be offered at the 2012 Science Olympiad in Bozeman??
Answer: Click Event Schedule to see the events selected for Montana's Science Olympiad.
Factors influencing new events:
1. Each year National replaces/rotates new events into the schedule.
2. If last year's Captain is unable to run the event, a new Captain will need to be identified.
This person may or may not have the same expertise and this will effect whether the old
event or a new event will be offered.
3. Visit the National Science Olympiad website to see the list of all APPROVED TEAM
EVENTS FOR 2012-2013. Not all national events will be offered.

Question: Will there be a Science Fun Night on November 19th?
Answer: Yes, we are working with the Museum of the Rockies to host
a Science Fun Night for Students, Coaches and Chaperons

Question: Will there be an increase in Team Registration Fees?
Answer: Yes. We raised the membership price by $25 this year to cover for increased cost of running the competition.

Question: Is there anything I can do to assist the Montana Science Olympiad Event?
Answer: Yes! Contact your colleagues at other middle schools and high schools and
encourage them to bring a team of students to compete. You may also email our office
and Ben or Alaina will send a special invitation to your colleague.

Questions Are Welcome!!