Superintendent’s Memo #193-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 3, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Russian International Space Olympics for Students

The Virginia Department of Education and the Education Department of Korolev, Russia, announce the 2012 Russian International Space Olympics.  A Virginia team has participated in this competition since 1999.  The Space Olympics provide an opportunity for as many as five Virginia public school students who will be juniors or seniors during the 2012-2013 school year to participate in the International Space Olympics in the Moscow Region and its suburb of Korolev during October 2012.

Students will compete in the Space Olympics through oral presentations of their research projects and by participating in selected tests in physics, mathematics, computer science, and literature.  Highlights of the visit will include the opportunity to talk to scientists and cosmonauts and to interact with students from Russia and other countries.  Students will also participate in a variety of cultural activities.

Students who are selected to participate will receive a travel scholarship for $2,800.  This scholarship covers all major costs of participating in the Space Olympics, including air transportation to Russia, travel insurance, meals, and housing during the International Space Olympics competition.  All interested students are encouraged to apply for the International Space Olympics.  Students should anticipate some additional expenses such as attendance at one mandatory, pretrip orientation session, passport costs, ground transportation to the airport from their homes, and discretionary spending money.

The International Space Olympics is approximately a two-week trip to the Moscow region of Russia.  Participants are tentatively scheduled to leave the United States on October 16, 2012, and return on October 28, 2012.

Applicants must obtain permission to participate in this program from their parents or guardians and school divisions.  Selected students and a parent or guardian must agree to attend one one-day training seminar in Richmond on Saturday, September 22, before the departure date. The seminar will provide orientation and background materials for the trip.

The opportunity to participate will be competitive, based on a student’s research project, grades/courses taken, and answers to questions in the application package.  The student-produced research project should be on the topic of space exploration.  For information from past competitions, the following links will provide additional information: http://www.thinkfinityva.org or http://worldnetva.pwnet.org/.

The International Space Olympics application form is attached to this memorandum.  Upon acceptance into the program, the participating student and parents may be required to complete additional authorization forms.  An announcement of the International Space Olympics and application form will also be sent to mathematics and science contact persons during August.  All applications must be received electronically by 4 p.m. on September 7, 2012.  Applications will be considered as they are received before the September 7, 2012, deadline.

If you have questions regarding this program, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Beverly M. Thurston, history and social science coordinator, by e-mail at Beverly.Thurston@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.

PIW/BMT/vdg

Attachment:

  1. Virginia Department of Education Participation in the International Space Olympics Application Packet (Word)