Indonesian students made it to the top 10 at the 12th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) held recently in Beijing.
They secured one gold medal, one silver and three bronze medals at the competition, which was hosted by the Beijing Academy of Science and Technology and the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, kompas.com reported.
The high school students were among the 209 participants, 71 team leaders and 35 observers from 39 countries participating in the event, which was held on Nov. 3-11.
Indonesian team leader Hakim L. Malasan said that in the 10 days, the students were able to pass the theoretical round, team competition, as well as the observation and analysis round.
Observation rounds were carried out indoors due to the weather, with the data analysis round taking five hours during temperatures of below zero degree Celsius. In the team competition, students were asked to determine the height of the hill behind their lodging.
“The weather was minus 5 degrees when they conducted an observation round, but with such conditions, their fighting spirit was extraordinary. Their results in this observation round were quite high, even close to perfect,” Hakim said in a statement.
The team’s results this year marked a big jump from 2017 when Indonesia took home four bronze medals.
Winners at this year’s competition include Nathanael Beta Budiman from state high school SMAN 2 in Jakarta who won a gold and Muhammad Ikhsan Kusrachmansyah from SMA Kesatuan Bangsa in Yogyakarta with one silver, as well as bronze medalists Ahmad Izuddin from SMAN Plus in Riau, Made Yongga Anggar Pangestu from SMAN 1 Mataram West Nusa Tenggara and Muhammad Fajril Afkaar Ali from SMA Kharisma Bangsa in Banten, West Java.
“I’m very thankful for the gold and I really didn’t expect it,” Nathanael said. The next annual IOAA is slated to be held on Aug. 2-10 in Keszthely, Hungary.