Russian Open School Astronomical Olympiad by Correspondence - 2007 is completed. Starting to summarize, we have to note that during three years of existing in such format this competition became new fully International Olympiad in Astronomy. This Olympiad has its own face, its own difference from existing analogs, its own requirements to the participants and its own educational function, that is the basic part of any school Olympiad.
The Olympiad-2007 sufficiently differed from two previous ones by its problems. The reason is not only the expansion of authors group (which had however made the problems more various) but also the shift of the focus on the physical base of astronomy. We sure that participants being solving the problems and reading the literature had known more and more not only about processes in space, but about reasons of these processes. It is especially concerned the theory of comet evolution in the Solar System, which was devoted to by the special set of three problems, most difficult in the Olympiad. Their solutions had defined the distribution in the upper levels of final protocol and the destiny of three Olympiad medals. We especially want to note the problem 8, which does not have the only correct solution, and the participants were asked to build their own scientific theory aimed to estimate the number of comet bodies in Oort cloud. This experiment was successful: a number of theories suggested by students were quite good and physically based. Such type of problems will appear at the next Olympiads.
Olympiad was participated by the students of 12 countries of Europe and Asia, which are much more than at two previous Olympiads. We were pleased to see the interest from the students of different countries including the ones not participating in the other intellect competitions in Astronomy. The results didn't make to wait: the Russian students were taking all best places earlier, but now the Olympiad become real International by the winners stuff. Three highest awards of the Olympiad (gold, silver and bronze medals) will go to three different countries. Six I-III Diplomas holders are representing four countries, eight students from four countries are awarded by the Diplomas for Successful Participation. And one more diploma for the best paper of most young participants is going to Lithuania.
The most part of students was participated in the Olympiad by the first time. It is very pleasant with account of the fact that the problems were very difficult. But it had not stop the participants, just gave them the enthusiasm. The main surprise was the paper of Romanian student Edvin Memet, who had participated in this Olympiad for the first time. He had sent so complete, based and exact paper, and in spite of solving just 9 problems of 10, he had one the Gold Medal, leaving strong and experienced contestants far behind. Along with the medal, Edvin will collect the Diploma of the I degree and the Special Diploma for the best solution of the problems about comet evolution in the Solar System. On the Jury's opinion, these problems gave the new Champion the possibility to reveal his real possibilities.
The system of Jury work had not changed after the last year. All papers were checked by two Jury members, the best ones were checked by six Jury members. Solution of each problem was marked by the 8-point system, the final mark was the average of the six Jury members' marks, the minimal and maximal of these six marks were taken into account with the half-weight. In rare cases, 9 points marked complete and expanded solutions.
The Diploma distribution was the difficult problem for the Jury. Even when all the marks were made, the discussions did not stop for the couple of hours. It shows that the number of strong papers was so high. Unfortunately, there was the unpleasant moment again - some papers from the participants from the same town were absolutely identical. The decision of Jury was not for these participants. We want to remind you once more: the Olympiad is the personal, not the team competition!
But these small problems do not affect the general picture, seen by Jury when the Olympiad is completed. There's a number of schoolchildren from different countries whose are ready to solve difficult (sometimes investigational) problems in Astronomy. Their interest, knowledge and, first of all, eager to expand it gives us the hope that Olympiad will improve, its geography will expand, and we as the Jury members will feel the pleasure, reading the good papers.
See You at Russian Open School Astronomical Olympiad by Correspondence - 2008!
Jury Report in PDF Format.