Registration for the First Round of the 2018 USAAAO is now open on our registration page until Feb 7 at 11:59 PM EST! For information about the selection process, see our selection process page.
Note that this year we are changing the registration process so that students must be registered by a teacher who will proctor the exam. If you believe you can’t find a teacher or have any other questions about the USAAAO send us an email at email@example.com.
If you’re new to the USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad, we select and train a team of students each year to attend the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Our selection exams will cover a broad variety of topics from cosmology to observational astronomy. Anyone is welcome to participate, however you must be a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for the team.
Check out our Resources page to see what kinds of things might appear on an exam. See our About page to learn more about the USAAAO. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Forty-four countries competed in the 11th IOAA in Phuket, Thailand from November 12th – 21st. Team USA placed 2nd out of the 44 countries, taking 2 gold medals and 3 honorable mentions:
Hagan Hensley — Gold Medal
Jason Yang — Gold Medal
Siddharth Sridhar — Honorable Mention
Andy Zhu — Honorable Mention
Shubhanga Ballal — Honorable Mention
This is the best Team USA result to date and it comes in no small part to amazing guidance and training from team leaders Roxana Pop and Ioana Zelko. We’re very excited the upcoming year of astronomy and astrophysics olympiads! We hope to open registration for the 2018 First Round Exam soon, so stay tuned! If you’re interested in competing in the future, sign up for our mailing list from the Registration page.
Please consider helping the USAAAO fund the US team‘s trip to the IOAA this year! We’ve started a campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/usa-team-at-international-astrophysics-olympiad to raise money for the travel costs as well as other USAAAO costs like a team t-shirt and training camp resources. We’re a completely volunteer-run organization and have had little luck with corporate sponsorship, so any help is appreciated! Feel free to donate through the campaign link above and email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Our fundraising is supported by and done through the American Association of Variable Star Observers (https://www.aavso.org/). The AAVSO is an international non-profit organization of variable star observers whose mission is to enable anyone, anywhere, to participate in scientific discovery through variable star astronomy. The funds raised through this fundraising will be given to and used solely by the USAAAO to cover travel costs to the IOAA, the training camps, and miscellaneous items such as T-shirts for the team.
Huge thanks to senior lecturer Amanda Bosh from the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department for being the lead organizer of the training camp! It was an intense week of lectures, exams, and practice, going from classroom to observatory to planetarium, but we enjoyed teaching and getting to know everyone and we hope all the participants enjoyed it too.
Check out this article written about the training camp: http://news.mit.edu/2017/training-students-eyes-on-skies-mit-astronomy-camp-0810
Next year, we hope to continue our strong relationship with MIT and use the training camp as a selection camp for the US IOAA team.
For now, we’ll be looking forward to preparing the current team for the IOAA in November!
We’re excited to announce the 2017 US team for the 11th IOAA:
For more info, see The Team.
The team, along with the following students, will attend a training camp at MIT from July 23-29.
Thank you to all the students who participated in the USAAAO this year and all the proctors who helped administer tests and for everyone’s patience in the process. We had 222 participants this year, 47 of whom were invited to take the NAO.
Out of 90 points, the mean score on the NAO was a 34.06 with a median of 30.5 and standard deviation of 16.40. Based on results, we’ve invited 5 students to represent the USA at the 11th IOAA in November (more information on the team to come soon). Additionally, we have invited the following students (in alphabetic order) to participate in a training camp at MIT in July:
Solutions to all the exams from this year are now posted on our Past Exams page. If you’d like to join our mailing list to make sure you get updates about future competitions see our Registration page. As always, let us know if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invited almost 50 students to participate in the National Astronomy Olympiad from May 15-19. This year, the exam was a 3 hour written exam (to be posted soon). Thanks to all the proctors who helped us administer the tests and to all the participants who sat for the exam. At the moment, all tests have been submitted and we are in the process of grading, so check back for updates soon!