Saturday, November 27

Panamanian students win bronze medals at the XIII Latin American Astronomy and Astronautical Olympiad

On November 10, 2021, the award ceremony of the XIII Latin American Astronomy and Astronomy Olympiad (OLAA 2021), organized by Peru, was held, in which the Panamanian delegation obtained three bronze medals.

The Panamanian students who participated were:

Diego Agustin Rodriguez Rodriguez, from the San Cristóbal Episcopal Institute, province of Panama (bronze medal).

Sofia Nicolle Pérez Pineda, from the Colegio Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles, province of Chiriquí (bronze medal).

Edwin Oscar Hou Zhong, from the San Cristóbal Episcopal Institute, province of Panama (bronze medal).

Gabriela Paola Torres Rivera, from the San Cristóbal Episcopal Institute, province of Panama (contestant).

The competition was held virtually and 17 countries participated with delegations of students under 20 years of age. The Olympiad consists of a series of individual (theoretical and sky observation) and group (theoretical and rocketry) tests. One of the objectives is to promote interaction between young people from different countries and personal and academic enrichment.

The Panamanian student Diego Rodriguez He stood out in the best rocket simulation test, along with his colleagues, Samuel Rojas, from Colombia; Isabela Gregio, from Brazil, and Jimena Paz, from Argentina.

The students who represented Panama were selected in the IV Panamanian Olympiad of Space Sciences, organized by the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt), which was held virtually between June 7 and 10, 2021, under the leadership of Dr. Madelaine Rojas and Ing. Francisco Matos.

The young people received virtual training and a face-to-face session at the Astronomical Observatory of Panama, with the team of Dr. Rodney Delgado and Sirius SAAC director, Mr. Louis Taylor, emphasizing topics of positional astronomy and sky observation.

“OLAA 2021 was a new, refreshing and hopeful experience. New, since, despite having prepared students in other OLAAs, the pandemic made us digitize, renewing because it made us reinvent ourselves, and hopeful, because seeing young people who love physical sciences and astronomy, I know that my country , Panama, will have a better tomorrow. It was fantastic, ”said Ing. Taylor.

OLAA 2021 was held from October 25 to November 6 and featured academic and cultural events on Peru’s aerospace development, rocketry workshops, a conference on science scholarships in Russia, and the presence of a cosmonaut to whom students They asked him questions about his experience in space.

This year Venezuela joined the OLAA and a space was opened for a “time machine” where delegations from all countries sent a message to the future, so that within 100 years at the 2121 Olympiad, what they thought would be read young participants from different countries.

“The Latin American Astronomy and Astronomy Olympiad has become the largest educational astronomy activity or event in our continent, which year after year, more than a competition, aims to lay the first seed to insert astronomy into basic education regulate from each of our countries, in search of a better education and development ”, mentioned Víctor Vera, Peruvian professor and director of OLAA 2021.

OLAA is an annual astronomy and astronautics competition for high school students. Its objectives are to promote exchange and provide students with contact with research and science teaching, particularly astronomy.

Dr. María Heller, SENACYT’s Director of Innovation in Science and Technology learning, comments: “year after year we see our young people enthusiastically participate in these activities, which in addition to focusing on increasing knowledge about the sky and the physical laws that govern it promote knowledge between nations and teamwork, which is very necessary to facilitate coexistence and collaboration between countries ”.

During the award ceremony, Panama confirmed its commitment to host the XIV Astronomy and Astronomy Olympiad 2022, under the presidency of Astrophysics Dr. Madelaine Rojas, currently working at the Specialized Higher Technical Institute (ITSE).

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