The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) is an annual astronomy scientificeducating event, born in 1996. It relies basically on an intellectual competition between students aged between 14 and 17 coming from different countries.
The Italian Astronomy Olympiad, whose winners are entitled to attend the IAO, has been organized since 2007 by INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) and SAI (Società Astronomica Italiana). It is becoming more and more visible and widely spread over the Italian scenario: more than 500 Italian students participated to the 2011 edition, with 13 INAF institutes involved in their organization.
Unfortunately, it is still hard for the Italian Olympiad Organization to involve school teachers, since astronomy is only marginally accounted for in the scholastic programs. This critical point, however, turns out to be a good opportunity for students, teachers and astronomers. Indeed, they can develop together a new method of learning and experiencing astronomical concepts and issues.
To this purpose, the Committee has been developing in the last years a non-traditional mediatic, highly interactive approach to turn on the interest of teen-aging students for astronomy.
We give here an overview of the Italian Astronomy Olympiad project and its current status, with particular reference to this non conventional mediatic approach.
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The Italian astronomy olympiad project
Status and perspectives

Stefano Sandrelli   INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

Stefania Varano   INAF - Istituto di Radioastronomia di Bologna

Mauro Dolci   INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Teramo

Giuseppe Cutispoto   INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania

Angela Misiano   Società Astronomica Italiana

The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) is an annual astronomy scientificeducating event, born in 1996. It relies basically on an intellectual competition between students aged between 14 and 17 coming from different countries.
The Italian Astronomy Olympiad, whose winners are entitled to attend the IAO, has been organized since 2007 by INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) and SAI (Società Astronomica Italiana). It is becoming more and more visible and widely spread over the Italian scenario: more than 500 Italian students participated to the 2011 edition, with 13 INAF institutes involved in their organization.
Unfortunately, it is still hard for the Italian Olympiad Organization to involve school teachers, since astronomy is only marginally accounted for in the scholastic programs. This critical point, however, turns out to be a good opportunity for students, teachers and astronomers. Indeed, they can develop together a new method of learning and experiencing astronomical concepts and issues.
To this purpose, the Committee has been developing in the last years a non-traditional mediatic, highly interactive approach to turn on the interest of teen-aging students for astronomy.
We give here an overview of the Italian Astronomy Olympiad project and its current status, with particular reference to this non conventional mediatic approach.

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