District toppers of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search to now compete in the finals on December 13

~ Participation of 62,000 students from 300 schools across all 30 districts of Odisha ~

~ Top 60 invited to Pathani Samata Planetarium for the grand finale on December 13 ~

~ 20 winners will be taken on an exposure visit to an ISRO facility in May 2020 ~

Bhubaneswar: With the successful conclusion of the school activation round of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2019-20 edition, the district toppers (two from each district) will now compete at the finals to be held at Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar on December 13, 2019, commemorating the birth anniversary of the legendary astronomer of Odisha, Pathani Samanta.

YATS is being organised by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium since 2007 to provide a platform for school students of Odisha to exhibit their talents in the subjects of astronomy and space science. It aims to popularise the exemplary contributions of Pathani Samanta and inspire students to develop an interest in the field.

YATS is a unique outreach programme and includes students even in the remote areas of the state. It has received an overwhelming response this year with a participation of nearly 62,000 students from 300 schools across 30 districts of the State. The theme for this year’s edition is ‘Unravelling the Wonders of the Universe”.

The programme kicked-off in the first week of August 2019 with notification to schools. Engagement activities with schools (Open Quiz competitions for students of classes 6 – 10 and Essay Competitions for students of classes 9 – 10) were organised between August to November 2019. While the quiz competition winners were felicitated on the spot, the essay competition entries were evaluated by an independent jury following which top two students from each district were selected and have been invited for the finals. After further evaluation based on personal interactions, the Top 20 winners will be announced and felicitated in the award ceremony at the planetarium in the evening of December 13 and will be later taken for an exposure visit to a facility of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in May 2020.

Adding to the gaiety of the finals, special interesting science based exhibitions will be organised and will be open for public viewing between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on December 13.

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