The Indian team bagged three medals-a gold, a silver and a bronze-at the 16th International Astronomy Olympiad held at Almaty, Kazakhstan. Twenty-one teams from 20 countries participated in the event held in September.
Two professors and an observer from the Nehru Science Centre, Worli, had accompanied the three-student team.
Sandesh Kalantre from Amravati won the gold, while Pavan Hebbar from Karnataka and Varun Reddy from Andhra Pradesh bagged silver and bronze medals respectively. Std XI student Pavan said, "It was a proud moment for me. I have been interested in astronomy since my childhood and want to become an astronomer."
The selection process was conducted by the National Council of Science Museums. Three hundred students selected from all over the country were given an aptitude test in astronomy. A three-week orientation camp was conducted jointly by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science and Education and the Nehru Science Centre.
The students were taught astronomy, trained in sky observations and telescope handling and data analysis. The Indian team participated in various events at Almaty in Kazakhstan, which was hosting the olympiad in junior category. The events included theory papers, practicals and astronomical observation [courtesy -Times of India]