Moscow school students have won three of the five medals awarded to the Russian team at the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) held in China, Sergei Sobyanin wrote on Twitter.
The 12th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics was held in Beijing between 3 and 11 November. Teams from over 40 countries came together in a high-pitched intellectual battle.
The Olympiad includes four contests: theory; practice; observation; and team. Moscow students on the Russian team have won two of the four gold medals and one silver medal. Stanislav Tsapayev was declared the absolute winner. Damir Gasymov won a gold medal, and Ivan Starostin earned the Russian team a silver medal. The three are studying at Moscow universities now.
As per the Olympiad’s rules, Russia also had a guest team in addition to its regular one. It included two students from Moscow whose participation was a kind of preparation for future competitions. The Russian guest team won silver and bronze.
“Astronomy is a cross-curricular subject. Teaching it is only possible when schools have a strong material and technical background and their students have solid knowledge of physics and maths. The brilliant performance of our students at the Olympiad is proof of the growing interest in astronomy. Our students have at their disposal the Sternberg Astronomical Institute of Moscow State University, the Moscow Planetarium and the Cosmos pavilion at VDNKh. Moscow offers broad opportunities for those who want to study astronomy and achieve this kind of success in the future,” Director of the Centre for Teacher Excellence Ivan Yashchenko said.
Moscow students routinely perform well in intellectual competitions. They were awarded a record number of diplomas, 906, at the final stage of the All-Russian Olympiad of School Students last year. In September 2018, Moscow students won in the team category of the 3rd Moscow School Olympiad of World Megacities and Capitals, also known as the Olympiad of Megalopolises, as well as gold and silver at the International Olympiad in Informatics. In October, two Moscow students won a gold medal at the International Exhibition for Young Inventors. The team of students from Moscow and the Moscow Region won four medals at the International Astronomy Olympiad. Alexei Shishkin from School No. 1589 was declared the absolute winner in the senior group.
Last year, the Moscow Government introduced grants for the winners of international Olympiads for school students: 1 million roubles each for first place, 500,000 roubles for second, and 250,000 roubles for third.