First phase of Astronomy Olympiad organized by INAF and SAIT now underway
On 14 February, the inter-regional phase of XV Italian Astronomy Olympiad attended by 850 students (435 for the junior category (14 to 15 years) and 415 for the senior category (16 to 17 years), took place in 14 Italian cities with the aim of qualifying to the national final that will be held in Cremona in April.
The Italian Astronomy Olympiad are organized by the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and the Italian Astronomical Society (SAIT), in collaboration with the Minister of Education, University and Research (MIUR), and they are linked to the International Astronomy Olympiad, set up in 1996, by the Euro-Asian Astronomic Society that every year, in Autumn, involve over twenty National teams from Asia and Europe, including Italy.
The 2017 edition was characterized by a significant increase in the number of applications to the competition: the national committee, with almost 6000 participants to the pre-selection phase, had to double the number of eligible people to the interregional competition, and have the competition run over two days, 13 February for juniors and 14 February for seniors.
“Also this year I would like to wish good luck to all girls and boys who have overcome the first step and are now getting ready to the interregional competition”, said Ginevra Trinchieri, President of the Italian Astronomic Society (Sait), and the INAF Astronomical Observatory in Brera. “The Olympics are a somewhat special gym for who one is engaged. In order to participate and be successful you have to want to know fascinating objects and the laws that regulate their movement and their nature, you must have the courage to get involved, to study and to love subjects such as mathematics and physics, but also know how to address particular problems. Thanks to all those who in various capacities work towards the success of this event: teachers who believe in the importance of satisfying the curiosity of their students and astronomers who are dedicated to the various aspects of this race. Come on guys!"
The interregional juries are currently working to publish online, by 3 March, the names of the 40 people eligible to the national final, (20 for each of the two categories) on the official website of the Italian Astronomy Olympiads.
In the national final, 10 winners will be declared (who will be awarded the Margherita Hack Prize) and, among them, 5 people to form the Italian team that will compete in Autumn in the XXII International Astronomy Olympiad.