SOCIETY OF HISPANIC PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
OFFICIAL STUDENT TEAM GUIDE
SHPE.ORG
REGIONAL ACADEMIC OLYMPIAD
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Olympiad Overview
2.0 General Rules
3.0 Written Exam Rules
4.0 Oral Competition Rules
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
Objective
Structure
Scoring
Categories and Questions
Team Responder/Buzzer System
5.0 Facilitator/Judge’s Instructions
Appendix I – Rules for the Audience
Appendix II – Technical Sources
Registration Form
Guidelines for the SHPE Academic Olympiad- Regional Competition
Official Rules
1.0
Olympiad Overview
The Academic Olympiad (Olympiad) is a technical team competition designed to test the technical and team skills
of the various college participants. Each official SHPE student chapter is invited to form ONE team consisting of
three (3) contestants1. Each team should include a variety of technical backgrounds due to the fact that technical
questions asked during the Olympiad will not be limited to any one particular subject. The technical areas to be
covered in the Olympiad include, but are not limited to, the following:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
Computer Science, Computer Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Engineering Economics
SHPE History/Information
Each of the seven regions of SHPE will conduct a regional competition to determine one team to represent their
region at the national competition2. Please check with your Regional Student Representative for the scheduled date
of your regional student competition. The national competition will be held at the SHPE National Technical and
Career Conference (NTCC) in New Orleans, Louisiana in January 2003.
The Olympiad shall consist of a Written Exam and an Oral Competition. Details and rules follow.
1
2
Teams may choose to appoint an alternate team member to serve as backup in the competitions. The alternate may
only participate in the competition (written and/or oral portions) in the event that one of the originally designated
team members cannot participate. The alternate must be a registered SHPE member.
Regional teams qualifying to compete at the SHPE National Technical and Career Conference (NTCC) 2003 will
receive sponsored registrations and small travel stipends by SHPE. However, alternate team members will not be
sponsored.
2.0
General Rules
The following rules should be followed for both the Written Exam and Oral Competition portions of the Olympiad.
There are, in some cases, separate rules that apply to either the Written Exam or Oral Competition, and these will be
discussed later in this document.

Each team shall consist of three (3) members. Teams may choose to appoint an alternate to serve as backup
during the Olympiad. The alternate may only participate in the Olympiad in the event that one of the originally
designated team members cannot participate. The alternate can participate in the Written Exam and/or Oral
Competition as needed.

Each team must fill out a registration form prior to the start of the competition. (See attached Registration
Form.)

Each team must have three (3) members participating at any time during the Olympiad. Teams consisting of
only one or two members shall not be permitted to compete in the Olympiad.

Each team member must be a registered SHPE member 3. Each member of the team must be a registered full
time undergraduate student member or a fulltime graduate student who does not & has not worked fulltime in
the industry.

Each team member must be from the same school. Teams consisting of members from a combination of
different schools are not permitted to compete in the Olympiad.

A maximum of one (1) team per school is allowed to enter the Olympiad.

Each team must use non-programmable calculators. Under some circumstances, subject to the Olympiad
facilitator’s discretion, teams may use programmable calculators with the programming functions turned off.
Teams are on their honor not to use the programming functions.

It is the responsibility of each team to bring calculators. Calculators will not be provided during the
competition to teams that do not have calculators.

No books or formula sheets may be used during the competition. The only documents that can be used during
the competition shall be the actual written exam and scratch paper, which will be provided by the Olympiad
facilitator.

Once the Oral Competition has started, the Olympiad facilitator shall insure that the audience is not assisting the
competitors in any way. The Olympiad facilitator shall read to the participants and audience the competition
guidelines as written in Appendix I.

It is up to the Olympiad facilitator to assign a date and time for the competition. The start time for the
competition shall be strictly adhered to.

Students shall not see Academic Olympiad questions prior to the competition.

In the event that the regional champion cannot compete at NTCC 2003, the second place team shall have the
right to represent the region at the National Olympiad.
3
SHPE student memberships are subject to verification.
3.0
Written Exam Rules
The purpose of the Written Exam of the Regional Academic Olympiad is to qualify teams to participate in the Oral
Competition. Only the four (4) teams with the top scores in the Written Exam will qualify to compete in the
Oral Competition of the Olympiad. If there are four or less teams attempting to qualify, no Written Exam
will be required and all teams shall compete in the Oral Competition.

Previous-year regional champions will not automatically qualify for the Oral Competition. Every team from the
region will need to compete in the Written Exam in order to qualify for the Oral Competition, except as outlined
above.

Three (3) team members must compete in the Written Exam. The alternate does not take the exam.

Each team will be given one (1) copy of the Written Exam.

Each team member will be given three (3) sheets of scratch paper. All scratch paper will be collected at the end
of the exam. Team members are not allowed to take scratch paper from the exam room.

The exam may be separated so that each of the competing team members can work on the exam.

All answers shall be selected only from the multiple-choice selection provided with each exam question. Each
team must clearly circle only ONE answer from the given selection. Questions with more than one answer
circled shall be marked as incorrect.

The Written Exam will last for exactly one hour. A start and stop time shall be clearly posted in the room the
exam is conducted. The competition facilitator shall assign an individual to be the timekeeper. The timekeeper
shall periodically announce the time remaining for the exam.

The timekeeper shall record each team’s test completion time.

If a team arrives after the Written Exam has begun, they shall not be given any additional time to
complete their work. The team’s recorded completion time will begin from the official start time. If a
team arrives after the Written Exam has been completed, they shall not be allowed to enter the
Olympiad.

Once the exam is over, the tests, answer sheets, and all scratch paper will be immediately collected. No team
will be allowed to take a copy of the exam or any other test materials away from the test site. Violation of this
rule is grounds for immediate disqualification.

All three judges shall grade the exams to provide a check mechanism. Each judge shall use the answer key that
has been provided with the exam questions.

Each question answered correctly will be worth one point. No points will be taken off for incorrect answers.

Once the exams have been graded, the judges shall total the points and announce the results.

In the event of a tie score, the first tiebreaker criterion will be test completion time. The team with the shortest
completion time qualifies. If a qualifying team still cannot be determined, then the second tiebreaker criterion
will be employed. The second tiebreaker criterion consists of additional tiebreaker questions.

No team shall be allowed to review the written exam. The judges scoring shall be final.
4.0
Oral Competition Rules
4.1
Objective
The top four (4) qualifying teams shall compete for points by answering weighted questions. The team
with the highest point total at the conclusion of the game is the winner.
4.2

Structure
Each game shall contain two (2) rounds, each twenty-five (25) minutes in length.

Categories and point values are chosen and read aloud by the moderator. The order and point value of
questions shall be predetermined.

Moderators shall speak clearly so everyone is able to understand, even if the students are able to read
the questions displayed on a monitor or screen.

After the question has been completely read, teams shall have 15 seconds to “buzz” in for the
opportunity to answer the question. Teams must wait until the question has been completely read
before they can “buzz” in. (See Section 4.5 for the buzzer system instructions.)

The first team to “buzz” in will have the opportunity to answer the question. The team has 10 seconds
to give an answer after buzzing in. During this time team members can confer with each other, but
answers must be delivered before the 10-second countdown finishes and the buzzer sounds.

Points will be added or deducted from the team’s score for correct or incorrect answers, respectively.
If no answer is given before the 10-second countdown finishes, points will be deducted from the
team’s score.

When an incorrect answer or no answer is given, the remaining teams will then have another 15
seconds to “buzz” in for the opportunity to answer the question. The team that has already answered
incorrectly shall not be allowed to “buzz” in again. As before, the teams have 10 seconds to give an
answer after “buzzing” in.

If the 15-second countdown finishes and the buzzer sounds without any team “buzzing” in, the
moderator shall read the answer and move on to the next question.

Each team shall be allowed to confer with each other before answering a selected question. Only one
designated team member shall answer the questions. Only the answer from the designated team
member shall be accepted.

Answers must be stated clearly and definitively. Once an answer has been stated aloud it cannot be
changed. The first answer given by a team is its final answer; therefore teams should be cautious not
to blurt out answers carelessly.

Teams may ask for a question to be re-read, but the clock will continue to run.

At the conclusion of Round 1, the two teams with the highest point totals shall advance to Round 2 of
the competition. In the event of a two- or three-way tie for the second highest score, those teams shall
also advance to Round 2.

Point totals from Round 1 are carried over into Round 2.
4.3
4.4
Scoring

During the first round, the point values for the question are 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500. During the
second round, the point values are 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000.

The point values are assigned relative to the degree of difficulty of the questions.

Correct answers will have the point value of the question added to their score.

Teams answering incorrectly will have the point value of the question deducted from their score.
Categories and Questions

There are five categories per round, four engineering/science categories and one potpourri category.

The category headings contain a generalized breakdown of subject matter by discipline and general
engineering course work. Category headings of Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science
contain material learned during a student’s first and second years. The category headings of Electrical
Engineering, Engineering Economics, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering include course
work from a student’s second and third years. The Potpourri category includes questions on: SHPE
history, inventions, and miscellaneous.

Question difficulty will be commensurate with the indicated point value. Therefore, Round 2
questions will generally be more difficult than questions in Round 1. Furthermore, questions within
the same rounds will increase in difficulty as the point value increases.

A bibliography of technical sources utilized is contained in Appendix II.
4.5 Team Responder/Buzzer System

Each team shall be provided with ONE desktop team responder (buzzer).

Any team member may activate the team responder. No team member shall hold the responder. The
responder shall remain resting on the team’s table at all times.

The responder system shall not allow for early “buzzing” in before the moderator completely reads
each question.

The responder system shall only be active after a question has been read and/or after a team has
answered incorrectly.

Teams shall not continuously depress the team responder button. Each team member's hand shall
be at least one foot away from the team responder until the question has been read and the team is
allowed to “buzz” in.

The team responder system shall be tested and certified by the Judges as described in Section 5.0.
5.0
Facilitator/Judge’s Instructions
Additional and more detailed instructions for Olympiad facilitators and judges are contained in the
Facilitator/Judge’s Manual-Revision 1, which is to be used in conjunction with the Student Team Guide-Revision 1.
All Olympiad facilitators and judges are REQUIRED to read the Facilitator/Judge’s Manual-Revision 1 as
well as the Student Team Guide-Revision 1 before the competition.

There will be three (3) judges for the Written Exam and Oral Competition.

An undergraduate or graduate student cannot be a judge. Judges must be SHPE professional members,
corporate representatives, professors, or alumni members.

The judge’s panel will determine amongst themselves who will serve as the chief judge.

The judges are responsible for clarifying any questions that may arise during the game.

Conferring between judges during the running of the game shall be kept to a minimum.

The buzzer system shall be tested in accordance with its enclosed instructions, in the presence of all judges.
The judges shall certify that the buzzer system is in proper working order. At the discretion of the judges, if the
buzzer system does not pass testing or becomes problematic during competition, the back-up system shall be
employed4.

Disputed answers will be reviewed by all judges and shall not slow the progression of the competition.

Disputes will be resolved at the end of each round and any point adjustments will be made accordingly.

The decision of the chief judge is final.
4
The back-up system is detailed in the Facilitator/Judge’s Manual-Revision 1.
Guidelines for the SHPE Academic OlympiadRegional Competition
Appendix I
Rules for Contestants and the Audience
These rules should be read aloud to the participants and audience prior to the start of the competition.
1.
NO PARTICIPATION from the audience whatsoever. NO MOUTHING OR SIGNALS FROM THE
AUDIENCE. Any team that receives help from an audience member will be immediately disqualified.
2.
Contestants may not have any books or papers (other than what is provided). Calculators are permitted.
3.
Contestants must fill out a registration form prior to the start of the competition.
4.
Each member of the team must be a registered SHPE member, a full time undergraduate member or a fulltime
graduate student who does not work fulltime in the industry.
5.
In the event that the regional champion cannot compete at NTCC 2003, the second place team shall have the
right to represent the region at the National Olympiad.
6.
Students shall not see the competition questions prior to the competition.
7.
The audience shall remain quiet and orderly during the games. Loud and unruly behavior is inconsiderate to
your fellow SHPE members and will not be tolerated. Anyone acting in a disruptive manner will be asked to
leave the area.
8.
The contestants shall not have contact with the audience during the competition.
9.
Photography is not permitted during the Oral Competition. Taking pictures of the displayed questions is
not permitted.
10. Students belonging to a SHPE region other than the one for which the Oral Competition is being held are
suggested not to attend the competition. Their presence in the audience may undermine the integrity of
the Oral Competition in their respective region.
11. During the Oral Competition, audience members are not permitted to photograph questions, copy
questions, or write notes pertaining to the questions. Any such materials will be confiscated. Audience
members found in violation of this rule will be asked to leave the premises immediately. Additionally, if a
student is found in violation of this rule, the school from which they are from is subject to disqualification
from its respective Regional Academic Olympiad.
12. Any dishonest act that challenges the integrity of the event is subject to disqualification from the event.
Guidelines for the SHPE Academic OlympiadRegional Competition
Appendix II
Technical Sources
1.
“How’s This for Size - Fascinating Science Facts”, R. Houwink, 1975
2.
“Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia of Science for Windows”, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 1995
3.
“Compton’s 1995 Interactive Encyclopedia for Windows”, Compton Publishing, 1994
4.
“Multimedia Illustrated - The Full Color Guide to How it All Works”, Que Corporation, 1994
5.
“Chemistry - An Experimental Science”, Chemical Education Materials Study, 1967
6.
“Advanced Placement Examination - Calculus BC”, Arterburn, Hubbard, Perl, 1990
7.
“Communication Networks: A First Course”, Jean Walrand, 1991
8.
SHPE Newsletter and Hispanic Engineer Magazine, various issues 1987 - 1998
9.
“Thermodynamics”, 4th Edition, J.P. Holman, 1988
10. “REA’s Problem Solver for Physics”, Research and Education Association, 1995
11. “College Algebra and Trigonometry”, 3rd Edition, Robert Ellis and Denny Gulick, 1987
12. “Manufacturing Processes for Engineering Materials”, Serope Kalpakjian, 1985
13. “Statistics: Concepts and Applications”, Knudson, Sweeny, Williams, 1986
14. “Calculus in One and Several Variables”, 4th Edition, Salas and Hille, 1982
15. “Calculus with Analytic Geometry”, Howard Anton, 1984
16. “Theory and Problems of Modern Physics”, Ronald Gautreau, William Savin, 1978
17. “Schaum’s Outline of Theory and Problems of Engineering Mechanics Statics and Dynamics 3rd Ed”, W.G.
McLean, E.W.Nelson, 1978
18. “Everything You Need to know About Latino History”, Himilice Novas, 1994
19. “Data Structures and Program Design in Pascal Second Edition”, L. Nyhoff, S. Leestma, 1992
20. “Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Outline Series College Chemistry”, H. Goldwhite, J.Spielman, 1984
21. “The Science and Engineering of Materials”, Donald R. Askeland, 1984
22. "EIT Review Manual", Michael R. Lindeburg, PE, 1998-1999
23. "Fundamentals of Engineering", Merle C. Potter PhD, PE 5th, 1996
24. "Engineer-In-Training", Exam File, Donald G. Newnan, PhD, C. Dean Newnan, PhD, 11th, 1990
25. "Physics for Scientist & Engineers", Serway, 2nd, 1986
26. "Hydrology & Hydraulic Systems", Ram S. Gupta, 1989
27. "A First Course in Differential Equations with Applications", Dennis G. Zill, 4th, 1989
28. "Calculus and Analytic Geometry", Edward and Penney, 2nd, 1986
Guidelines for the SHPE Academic OlympiadRegional Competition
Registration Form
Assigned Team#:
Chapter/Team Name:
Chapter Address:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
Chapter’s Advisor:
Address:
Phone:
Email:
Captain’s Name:
Address:
Phone:
Email:
Player 2’s Name:
Address:
Phone:
Email:
Player 3’s Name:
Address:
Phone:
Email:
Alternate’s Name:
Address:
Phone:
Email:
Contact your Regional Student Representative for registration deadline and submission information.
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REGIONAL ACADEMIC OLYMPIAD