P. O. BOX 2120

February 26, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Russian International Space Olympics for Students

The Virginia Department of Education, the American Academic & 
Cultural Exchange, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, the 
Moscow Region Ministry of Education, and the Education Department 
of Korolev, Russia announce the 1999 Russian International Space 
Olympics.  This pilot program provides an opportunity for nine 
Virginia students who will be juniors or seniors during the 1999-
2000 school year to participate in the International Space 
Olympics in the Moscow suburb of Korolev during October 1999.  
tudents will compete in the 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 as well as other countries.  Students will also 
participate in a variety of cultural activities.

Students who are selected to participate will be provided with 
room, board, and entrance fees to cultural events while in 
Russia.  They will be expected to pay air fare, ground 
transportation to the airport from their homes, and provide their 
own discretionary spending money.  Scholarship funding will be 
available through the support of Hughes Space and Communications 
Co., Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and the 
Virginia Space Grant Consortium.  Other scholarship funding may 
be available. 

The International Space Olympics is a two-week trip to the Moscow 
region of Russia.  It is tentatively scheduled to leave the 
United States on October 11, 1999, and return on October 24, 
1999.  The costs to participants will be approximately $950 per 
person.  This cost may vary slightly because negotiations for air 
fare have not been completed.   

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 videotaped project
presentation.  The student-produced research project should be on
the topic of space exploration.  An announcement of the
International Space Olympics and an application form will be
mailed to all mathematics and science contact persons and high
school principals. 

Selected students 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.  

Thank you for your support of the International Space Olympics.  
If you have questions regarding this program, please do not 
hesitate to contact Dr. Beverly Thurston, Specialist for History/ 
Social Sciences & International Education, at (804) 225-2893.