P.O. BOX 2120



April 11, 2003







Patricia I. Wright

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction



Russian International Space Olympics for Students


The Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and the Education Department of Korolev, Russia, announced the 2003 Russian International Space Olympics in Superintendent's Informational Memorandum No. 45 dated March 14, 2003. This program provides an opportunity for 10 Virginia students who will be juniors or seniors during the 2003-2004 school year to participate in the International Space Olympics in the Moscow suburb of Korolev during October 2003.


Students will compete in the Space Olympics by presenting an oral presentation of their research project and participating in selected tests in physics, mathematics, and/or computer science. 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 scholarship for $1,800. This scholarship covers all major costs of participating in the Space Olympics including air transportation to Russia, 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 two mandatory, pre-trip orientation sessions, 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 14, 2003, and return on October 26, 2003.


Applicants must obtain permission to participate in this program from their parents and school divisions. The opportunity to participate will be competitive, based on a student's research project, grades/courses taken, and answers to the questions in the application. The student-produced research project should be on the topic of space exploration.


An application packet is attached. Please distribute this information to the appropriate staff in your school. The application packet will also be mailed to all mathematics and science contact persons in April.


Selected students and a parent must agree to attend two one-day training seminars in Richmond before the departure date. The seminars will provide orientation and background materials for the trip.


If you have questions regarding this program, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Beverly Thurston (, specialist for history/social sciences and international education, office of middle instructional services, at (804) 225-2893.