Documents to help with understanding STYLE:

Style, Style, Style
What the Heck is Style?
OM Style: What is it?

Long-Term Style
Style is an added element that enhances the presentation of the solution. The Style portion of the competition gives teams an opportunity to further showcase their talents and creative skills and to elaborate on their long-term problem solution. Each problem has its own required Style elements, as well as Free Choice Style categories that are determined by the team. These provide incentive for creativity in different areas because teams can choose the elements they want scored. Style score is in addition to the long-term problem score.

Scoring Style
Each long-term problem lists five Style categories. Categories one through four are either specific scoring elements or “Free choice of team.” The fifth category is always “Overall effect of the four Style elements in the performance.” All Style categories are scored subjectively, and each is worth 1 to 10 points, for a maximum of 50 points. The team awarded the most Style points receives a score of 50; every other team receives a percentage of 50 based on its raw score.

  • To receive score for Style, the team must complete a Style Form (see Appendix) and present four copies to the Staging Area Judge. The team must list the first four areas to be scored and explain how they relate to the long-term problem solution and how they contribute to the overall effect of the performance. Teams must be very specific when explaining their Style categories.
  • In technical problems, a team may present its Style elements even if the technical components of its solution are not successful. A skit or performance is not necessary to receive score for Style.

Defining Style Categories
(1) Mandatory Style categories: Usually each problem will include one or two mandatory Style categories. These are categories that are scored in every team’s solution for that problem. However, a different element, or a different aspect of that element, may be scored from team to team. For example, if a specific Style category is “Costume of one team member,” it’s up to the team to decide which costume and which aspects of that costume are to be scored. One team may want a clown’s costume scored and another may want a cowboy costume to be scored. And, the first team may choose to have the overall appearance of the clown’s costume scored, while the other team may want only one aspect of the cowboy’s costume scored, for example, a hat.

If a team wants a specific element of a costume scored, it must state on its Style Form exactly what that element is and identify the team member wearing the costume. Getting back to the cowboy costume, this team might list on its form “Appearance of the cowboy’s hat,” or, it could choose other aspects and list them, for example, “Construction method of cowboy’s costume,” or “Materials used for cowboy’s costume.” In any case, the team would provide enough
information on the form so judges know precisely which part of the cowboy’s costume is to be scored. If the team lists “The cowboy’s costume,” the judges will consider everything about the costume.

(2) Free choice of team: For these categories, teams cannot select anything that is already being scored; however, they can list a different aspect of something already being scored. For example, a vehicle scored for how well it functions may be selected to be scored for its appearance and a mandatory character scored for its performance may be scored for something else.

Free choice categories should be what the team feels to be the most creative aspects of its problem solution. The team must be careful to list on its Style Form exactly what it wants scored. Following are some ways to list categories, using a clown as an example:

    • If the team would like the clown’s overall appearance to be scored — costume, makeup, hairstyle, etc. — it should state “Appearance of the clown.” 
    • If a team would like a specific aspect of the clown scored, it might list on its Style Form, “Appearance of the clown’s costume,” or “Appearance of the clown’s makeup.” 
    • If the team used items in a unique way to make the clown’s costume and would like this scored, it should state “Materials and technique used to make the clown’s costume.” 
    • If the team states “The clown,” the judges will consider all aspects of the clown, including its performance, which could result in a lower score than having specific elements scored.

Some common “Free choice of team” categories include special effects, artwork, costumes, music, dance, poems, or the integration of a specific dramatic or humorous element. Anything may be selected by the team for free choice Style categories including drawings, a model of the solution, the unveiling of a model of the solution, costumes, or other special enhancements of the solution itself. Teams can choose to be judged on the creativity of a specific element in the problem, even though they are judged for overall creativity of the performance. For example, if a team reads a poem during its performance, and it is not specifically scored for creativity, it may select creativity of the poem as a free choice style category.

(3) Overall effect of the four Style elements in the performance: For this category, the team is scored on how well all of the Style elements come together to enhance the presentation of the long-term solution.