International Astronomy Olympiad
The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) is an internationally recognized annual astronomy scientific-educating event for high school students (14–18 years old), which includes an intellectual competition between these students. It is one of the International Science Olympiads.
The Eurasian Astronomical Society founded the IAO in 1996.
The competing part of IAO consists of three rounds: a theoretical, an observational, and a practical. Problems of the theoretical round involve classical problems in branches of astronomy, astrophysics, space and planetary physics, and maybe hypothetical situations. The observational round involves recognizing stars, constellations, estimating star magnitude and angular distance, working with telescopes or other observational technique. The practical round consists of problems based on data results of observations, solutions propose analysis of these data. The chairman is Michael Gavrilov.
The style of the problems of IAO is aimed at developing the imagination, creativity and independent thinking. They stimulate the students to recognize the problem independently, to choose a model, to make necessary suppositions, estimations, to conduct multiway calculations or logic operations. The rounds are not tests of speed or memory or knowledge of formal facts and data, and all basic data and formal facts are provided to the students. The ways of solutions are of the first priority in evaluations of the participants' solutions, while the correct formal final answer (formula or numerical value) does not play the determining role in the evaluation. Participants should have a possibility to exhibit the analytical capacities, and not just to do all procedures by hard rules. Also the jury board does not demand from participants to follow the way of solution that is written by the author or composer of the problem.
The International Astronomy Olympiad is carried out in the spirit of friendship and tolerance, where the competition is a stimulus for showing the participants' capabilities but contacts, exchange of ideas and collaboration between students, teachers and scientists from various countries have a primary importance. The competition at the IAO is not the only part of the programme.
The students for IAO are selected during National Olympiads and Camps of the participating states.
Traditionally the teams of Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Moscow Land, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Serbia, and Thailand take part in the IAO. Crimea, Ukraine and Belarus take part not regularly. Croatia, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan joined the competition at last years. A few countries plan to join IAO in the nearest future.
Moscow Land and Crimea send teams apart from Russia and Ukraine. As organizers of the oldest open astronomical olympiads and competitions (since the 1940s), and due to their historical service in the formation and development of IAO they are considered at IAO as independent states with all rights and duties.
List of IAOs
Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad
The Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad (APAO) is a regional annual astronomy event for high school students from Asian countries. It provides a program for teams of students that did not qualify for the International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) and the APAO follows the IAO on the calendar. The APAO was founded April 25, 2005 by IAO chairman.
List of APAOs
Other International Olympiads related to Astronomy:
- International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO, since 1959)
- International Physics Olympiad (IPhO, since 1967)
- International Geography Olympiad (IGeO, since 1996)
- International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO, since 2004)
- International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA, since 2007)
- International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO, since 2007)
- Gavrilov, Michael G. "Founding of the Asian-Pacific Astronomy Olympiad". Euro-Asian Academic Society. Retrieved 2011-02-27.