HOME > Korea Astronomy Olympiad (KAO)
01 About KAO
  The Korea Astronomy Olympiad (KAO) is administered by the Korea Astronomy Olympiad Committee under the aegis of the Korean Astronomical Society.
The Korea Astronomy Olympiad Committee on behalf of the Korean Astronomical Society takes the obligation of the Authorized National Representative Astronomical Organization (ANRAO) to represent the Republic of Korea in IAO, IOAA, and APAO.

02 Background
  On October 27, 2001, the Korean Astronomical Society and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute jointly hosted the 1st Korea Astronomy Olympiad at Seoul National University in Seoul, the capital city of Korea. Next year, in October of 2002, Korea participated for the first time in the 7th International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) that took place in Russia, with three high school students attending as observers. In 2003, the Korean government began providing financial support for KAO as part of the Korea International Science Olympiad Project, and the support has ever since been administered by Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology via the Korea Foundation for the
Advancement of Science & Creativity.

03 Objectives
  Promoting interest in the basic sciences among school children by providing them with opportunities to learn across the entire field of astronomy and to engage in astronomical observation.

Identifying and educating the scientifically gifted children from the early stages to foster their development into astronomers who will take active roles on the global stage.

Selecting student delegates to participate in the international astronomy olympiads, through which they can interact and connect with other young talents of the world, leading to the international friendship and cooperation.

Popularizing science and astronomy to promote the scientific mind or the scientifically oriented attitude amongst the general population.

Promotion of interest in science and
astronomy among school children
Identification and training of scientifically
gifted youth
International exchange in astronomy
through international astronomy olympiads
Popularization of science and astronomy
among the general population
02 Processes

Each spring, the Korea Astronomy Olympiad (KAO) is held with the participation of middle and high school students from around Korea who have interest and talent in astronomy.

Over summer months, students chosen through KAO’s preliminary document(including school records)-based selection process can participate in email-based summer assignments, online lectures and weekend sky-observation classes.

From fall through winter, based on the secondary in-depth interview evaluation, selected students are given chance to take part in the email-based autumn assignments and the winter camp held during the winter recess, where students learn through lectures, labs and sky observation classes on the foundational concepts of astronomy as well as more advanced contents.

In the beginning of next spring, student delegates who will attend the international astronomy olympiads are selected based on the scores of autumn assignments and the evaluations of the winter school performance including lab works as well as the results of written tests and observational skill test using telescopes.

From spring through summer to fall, the selected student delegates are trained via the email-based spring assignments, a week of summer camp held during the summer school break and final training camps held just prior to the international astronomy olympiads.

Over the period of late summer to late fall, students delegates participate in international astronomy olympiads.


from schools

1st Selection


Summer email
online lectures
weekend classes

2nd Selection

Fall - Winter

Autumn email assignments
winter school
written and sky-observation

Selection of student delegates

Spring - Fall

Spring email assignments
Summer school
Final training camp

Participation in the international
astronomy Olympiads