Announcing the 2020 USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Team!

We are excited to yet again bring 10 students to the IOAA, this time to Colombia:

Team:

Leo Yao (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North)

April Cheng (Canyon Crest Academy)

William Huang (Lynbrook High School)

Sean Chen (Canyon Crest Academy)

Max Tan (Phillips Exeter Academy)

William Li (King High School)

Adithya Balachandran (High Technology High School)

Shion Murakawa (North Hollywood High School)

Jupiter Ding (State College Area High School)

Jared Machtinger (Adlai E. Stevenson High School)

Team leaders: dr. Tad Komacek (University of Chicago) and Sandesh Kalantre (University of Maryland)

For the first time in our history, all the travel and registration costs will be covered for the entire team.

We are extremely grateful to “The Masson Family Fund” for the generous donation and to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) for their help and support.

In addition to the team, we will invite several younger participants of the NAC to join the online training. Weekly online training is scheduled to start mid May. Together with the team leaders, we have several coaches: Nima Chartab Soltani (University of California Riverside), Katarine Emanuela Klitzke (Georgia Tech), Lucas Pinheiro (University of Notre Dame), Vlad Rosca (UCLA), and Natasa Dragovic (University of Texas at Austin). In the upcoming weeks you’ll get a chance to learn more about the team and the coaches.

We understand that this year’s exam was especially difficult for several reasons, so we want to congratulate all the participants. In order to increase transparency, we gave students an option to have their score released. You can find the official National Astronomy Competition results here.

We thank again all the volunteers for all their work! If you have any questions or want to get involved next year, email us at info@usaaao.org.

Grading of NAC is Complete!

We want to thank all the students for participating and quickly adapting to the new circumstances! We know and understand that everyone has been affected by the COVID-19, and some more than the others. We sincerely hope that everyone is safe and that the situation will get better soon.

We sent all the grades and will announce the team soon. We will post more detailed scores later in the week. For now, we are sharing the score histogram. If you participated and haven’t received your score, please email us at info@usaaao.org as emails sometimes bounce!

Finally we want to thank all of our volunteers for stepping up and helping out with the proctoring and making sure the National Astronomy Competition is a success.

National Astronomy Competition is Complete!

We thank everyone that participated and that made our first online exam a success! Problems and solutions are posted on the website. There were 2 versions of the exam, they differed in numerical values given in question 4. The difficulty of the exam was the same on both days. On different days students got different versions. Students should expect to hear their results in 2 weeks.

Top 10 students will be invited to represent USA at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad and will start online training shortly after the selection is made. So far the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad is still planned to be held in September in Colombia. We will post any updates as we learn.

For any further questions, please email us at info@usaaao.org!

National Astronomy Competition is less than a week away!

This year due to recent developing events we decided to move NAC online. All registered students should have received a confirmation email together with more detailed instructions and the table of constants. Some emails bounce or go to spam, so if you know you registered and didn’t receive an email, email us at info@usaaao.org!

We understand this situation is highly stressful and unusual for everyone so we thank all the participants on understanding and their cooperation! We are trying our best to adapt and accommodate everyone.

We wish all the students the best of luck in their final preparations!

Updated March 22nd: NAC is moving Online!

Due to COVID-19 situation and the high school closures across the nation, we decided to move the NAC to online proctoring with Zoom. We are offering 2 online sessions, one on April 3rd at 8pm Eastern and one on April 4th at 9am Eastern. Students from the same school should coordinate to take the exam at the same time slot. If you haven’t received an email from us and you qualified for the National Astronomy Competition, please email us at info@usaaao.org! We will send the detailed instructions and time slot confirmation once we receive everyone’s preferences. We understand that this is not an ideal situation, but we want to ensure we can enable students to safely take the exam across the different time zones.

We expect students to comply with the standard honors code and only students that qualified will be able to take the test. The exam will be monitored by our volunteers and recorded. Any suspicious behavior will be penalized. Showing your work is mandatory in this round and just a correct answer will bring no points.

Top 10 students will represent USA at the next IOAA in Colombia in September and will begin online training shortly after this round. Organizers are monitoring the situation and will assess in June whether to postpone the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

COVID-19 NAC Update and the Guest Team Update

We are aware that many schools are going to be closed during the current schedule, so we are working to figure out how to manage this situation. As soon as we establish a solution we will be emailing all the students and proctors. For now students should still be ready to take the exam during the scheduled window, but potentially online. Thank you for your patience!

USAAAO will invite top 5 scoring students to be part of the main team that represents the USA at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in Colombia in September. Next 5 top scoring students will be invited to be a part of the USA’s guest team. All 10 students will be part of the weekly online training sessions with our coaches.

Anyone can participate in NAC but only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents can represent USA at the IOAA.

Good luck to all the participants!

For any additional questions email us at info@usaaao.org!

First Round Complete

All the exams that have been to submitted have been graded and emails have been sent to all the participants! This year the cutoff is 11 and up. Currently there are 79 students that qualified for the National Astronomy Competition (NAC).

Unfortunately we discovered some typos in problems 24 and 30 and had to cancel them. Exam and the solutions can be found at https://usaaao.org/resources/.

If you haven’t received an email, check with your proctor that they submitted the exam and email us at info@usaaao.org.

Thank you all for participating and being interested in Astronomy and Astrophysics!