Greek children swept the medals at the 2nd Astronomy – Astrophysics Olympiad
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Greek children swept the medals at the 2nd Astronomy – Astrophysics Olympiad

The natural disaster that struck Thessaly and Volos last September, fortunately, did not affect the 2nd International Youth Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad, which took place in the capital of Magnesia from 24 to 30 September, at the Cultural Centre of Nea Ionia.

As the announcement of the organizers says, “If a year ago, when we accepted to organize the 2nd International Youth Astronomy – Astrophysics Olympiad, we were told that after 365 days the skies would open and would pour within a period of 20 days as much water as in a whole year, and there would be too many disasters in Volos, we certainly would not accept to organize such an important Olympiad. And because we did not believe that such a thing would happen, we decided to start the procedures to hold it. But at the beginning of September the clouds thickened and the storm hit Volos and on Wednesday 27 September, right in the middle of the Olympiad, the nightmare would come back to life with a second storm! Nevertheless, we continued our effort”.

Children from 13 countries from three continents of the world (Europe, America and Asia), from countries such as India, China, Estonia, Colombia, Romania, Thailand, arrived in the city of Volos, where they were welcomed by the well-known professor of Space and Astronomy, Mr. Stamatis Krimizis.

The Greek delegation consisted of ten children based on the results of their participation in the three phases of the 28th Panhellenic Student Astronomy & Space Contest organized by the Astronomy & Space Society and the University of Thessaly under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.

Final report? 10 out of 10 from the Greek students, who won 3 silver and 7 bronze medals, giving the mark of the new generation in a field that is also intertwined with our country since ancient times.

The students, Melistas Giorgos from the 1st High School of Nafpaktos, Koustoumbardis Nikolas from the Experimental High School of Pan. Gikas Theodoros from the Nea Karvali Gymnasium of Kavala won silver medals, while Eliadis Alexandros from the Educational Renaissance of Athens, Terzopoulos Ioannis from the Standard Gymnasium of Anavryta, Kustoumbardis Dionysis from the Kontronis Modern Schools of Patras, Pantelis Philipos from Pierce-American College of Athens, Theocharis Adamos from the 1st Gymnasium of Farsala, Tsolaki Ioanna from the 2nd Standard Gymnasium of Volos and Karagiannopoulos Andreas from the Standard Gymnasium of Anavryta won bronze medals.

The preparation of the mission was done online for 3 months of the summer, as well as at the facilities of the University of Thessaly by a group of selected instructors who have served as members of the Olympic Astronomy Teams, have won medals and are students of Physics departments of our country, Eftychia Vassiliou, Konstantinos Xyloportas, Panagiota Batsella, Spyros Yani, Themis Pultourtzidis and Dionysis Gakis.