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Frequently Asked Questions

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP AND TOURNAMENT

I am new to a national competition. What do we need to do to prepare for the tournament?
Follow this link. We have a checklist that you can print out to help you begin preparartions. Make sure you read over the team preparations page and the tournament page.
What is the weather like there?
May is the month of transitions, with Orlando weather rapidly transitioning from the dry cool winter season to the hot and humid summer season. Average high temperature is approximately 88°F, with 12 days in May being over 90°F. So you can count on it being hot! Overnight lows are approximately 66°F. The wet season has not quite started yet, with average rainfall 3.5 inches and only about 8 days with any rain. It is quite possible for their to be a brief afternoon thunderstorm so an umbrella is a good option at all times. The average relative humidity is about 70% at this time of the year. Hurricane season starts June 1, but an occasional tropical storm has occurred in May.
Where can we ship our packages?

They can either be shipped directly to your hotel, or to UCF. There is a cost of $15 per package per day. Ship to the following address:

University of Central Florida
CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics
4304 Scorpius Street
Orlando, FL  32816
Phone:  407-823-6376

REFERENCE: Science Olympiad

Can we ship our packages back to home from UCF?
Your package MUST be pre-labeled with a prepaid FEDEX or UPS label.  We will not have the ability to pay for return shipping charges.  The package must have the shipping label and be ready to ship and must be dropped off before 6:30 pm on May 17.  Shipping will occur on Monday. Drop off in the lobby of CREOL, Building 53.
If we arrive after 5:00 pm, can we still check into the dorm? What about registration?
Registration will only be open until 5:00 pm. There will be someone present at the dorms until 11:00 pm ONLY. After this time, it will not be possible to check into the dorms.
Parking on campus?
Parking will be free if you use the parking pass that will be uploaded and stored on our website.  Please note:  DO NOT PARK in 24 HOUR RESERVED PARKING.  You will be towed!  Park only in designated student parking lots.  Parking in staff and faculty lots will result in a ticket.  The UCF online map shows these locations.
I see the pictures of the rooms. Can I request information about the room or changes to the rooms?
No. These pictures are for informational purposes only and we can not accomodate changes to the rooms or modifications in the room.
Do you have a shuttle arranged from the airport to the hotels?
No.  We have not made these arrangements.  Check with your hotel for shuttle availability or contact a local bus/shuttle company for details.  Here is a link to a list of providers, but we make no claim on their service or prices.

 

LIVING IN THE DORM

Where do we check in and check out?
Check in and check out will occur in the Libra Community Center.  Registration for Science Olympiad is in the Key West Ballroom in the Student Union.  Please let us know if you are expecting a late arrival, after 11:00 pm.
Can we cook in the dorm rooms?
No, cooking is not permitted, other than in a microwave.  However, microwaves and refrigerators are not provided in the rooms.
If we are getting linen service, are towels also provided?
Yes, they are provided only with the rooms that are given linen service.

 

PURCHASES, ACTIVITIES, AND FREEBIES

In the past we have been given many free materials.  Will this be the case this year?
The national economic conditions have made fundraising extremely difficult for us.  In the past, other tournaments have had budgets that are double, triple, or even quadruple the level of what we have funded.  Consequently, our funding is going to mission critical items (i.e. the tournament, opening and closing ceremonies).  We plan on providing an awesome competition while eliminating the “flash” of past tournaments.
Will T-shirts and other items be provided free of charge to teams?
No.  Because of our extremely tight budget, we are providing these items for sale to teams.   These items and souvenirs will be available for presale and we can either send them to you or have them available for pickup at registration.
What types of activities occuring during the tournament?
We have field trips, campus tours, and a special exhibit event on Friday. More details on this can be found on our field trip page.
Are their cost associated with the field trips and other campus activities?
There are costs associated with off campus field trips.  All on-campus tours and events are free, with the exception of meals.
What about meals and banquets?
We are offering a Friday picnic dinner, a Saturday reception, Saturday boxed lunches, and meal plans for those visiting and attending the competition. There is no limit on who can purchase these meals (parents, observers) with the exception of the Saturday night dinner, which is limited to 1800.
Where do I pick up the tickets for field trips?
We will have a field trip table in the registration room (Key West Ballroom) that will be separate from the registration table.  ID or the PayPal Receipt will be required and tickets will be organized by purchaser’s name. 

 

COMPETITION AND CEREMONIES

Can we get into our homerooms on Friday?
No.  Classes are in session so rooms are not available until Saturday morning beginning at 5:00 am.
Is there a spirit award for this competition?
Science Olympiad gives one each year and we will this year too.
Do we need to dress up for the banquet and closing ceremony?
You should dress-up for the Awards Ceremony and the banquet.
What are the requirements for the Parade of States?
Check out this link for more information It should be noted that any display must be appropriate to the event and the audience. We will have a practice walkthrough at 5:30 pm.
Will our whole team and all of our coaches be allowed to sit together as a team during opening ceremonies and closing ceremonies?

We will allow 1 coach and 15 team members to sit together on the main floor. The parade of states participants should be part of that group. You will leave room for them at the end of your team’s row to join the team after the parade of states is over. Any other students, parents, or chaperones traveling with the team are not permitted to sit in the assigned team areas. They can only sit in the general seating areas. The VIP area, on the right side of the stage, is not open to general seating. 

After the Parade of States is over, is there somewhere in the building where we can store our state flag, school banner and costumes?

For the remaining part of the ceremonies you will need to keep it with the team by putting it next to your team's row in the aisle. After the ceremonies there will be a table for your team during the swap meet and it is suggested that a chaperone go with the team and stand at the table with all your items under that table until the swap meet and ice cream social are over. Alternatively, if you arrived on a bus, the chaperone can return the materials to the bus.

Can we arrange for a schedule change because of a scheduling conflict?

Teams are not allowed to make schedule swaps with other teams and supervisors are not permitted to grant any time changes in the posted team schedule. The national tournament schedule is set with no exceptions allowed for individual team conflicts. Almost all the the teams coming to the national tournament have conflicts to work around since the state schedule is rarely identical to the national schedule. Supervisors are encouraged to allow late students to enter if it does not disrupt the event, but no extra time will be granted. So, wherever possible, avoid scheduling a student in back-to-back events.

What time do the opening and closing ceremonies begin and what time does the live video streaming begin?
Follow the link to the schedule page. Please note that the times are in eastern. Please adjust for your time zone if you watching the live stream.