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Green Templeton College | Oxford

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Green Templeton College Associate Fellow Charles Barclay led the UK team at the 12th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) in Beijing.

The five-strong team of 17 year olds won two silver medals and received two honourable mentions at the ten-day long event.

Started in 2006, the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics is an annual competition at the highest level for secondary school students, who have to be under 20 years at the start of the competition.

Countries enter teams of five students and two team leaders. Selection for the UK team (British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO) team) takes place via a number of competition papers, sat in schools, in the preceding year, until the final team of five (and a reserve) are chosen at a training camp in Oxford.

The questions are aimed at years 12 and 13, but the timing of each Olympiad tends to affect which year group can actually compete.

Charles also led teams to Indonesia in 2015 and India in 2016.

This year China hosted the competition and 39 countries competed with the top country teams (in order) being Iran, Russia and China. Russia had the highest scoring student overall.

The 13th IOAA will be hosted by Hungary in August next year.