The International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics is the biggest annual astronomy competition for high school students, aiming to promote astronomy and astrophysics in education. Now at the 7th edition, IOAA gathered teams of up to 5 students from 35 different participating countries in the city of Volos, Greece, between July 27th - Aug 5th. The Olympiad was conducted in a friendly atmosphere, promoting future collaborations and encouraging friendships inside a global scientific community. While the participant students competed against one another by taking 3 different tasks (Theoretical, Data Analysis, Observational), they have also attended a series of astronomy-related lectures, and enjoyed the local greek culture and cuisine through a series of activities and events planned by the Organizing Committee.
One of our Ambassadors, Ana-Maria Constantin, represented WWTA at IOAA in Greece, as she went there to give a talk on how to use WorldWide Telescope in both research and education. Ana-Maria is a current Harvard Undergraduate Student, concentrating in Astrophysics and Computer Science, and a former participant student at IOAA. With the support of Microsoft Greece (thank you, Ms. Eleni Rachaniotou, for your time and effort), she made her presentation, "WorldWide Telescope - The Interactive Sky in Everyone's Hands" in front of the representatives from the 35 participating countries. WorldWide Telescope was received with excitement by the members of the International Board. The President of the Olympiad, Dr. Chatief Kunjaya, Associate Professor at the Institute of Technology Bandung (Indonesia), expressed his appreciation for softwares such as WWT, and his wishes of actively involving WWT and computer education in the preparation of IOAA from now on.
The next edition of IOAA will be held in Suceava, Romania, in the beautiful region of Bucovina. The members of the Organizing Board for IOAA 2014 have already expressed their interest in using WWT as a part of the competition.