The 21st KAO
1. The Trainee Round (all eligible applicants to be admitted)
Registration Dates : Apr. 26(Mon)~ June 10(Thu), 2021
Host : Korean Astronomical Society
Sponsors : Ministry of Science and ICT,
Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity,
Korea Lottery Commission,
Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute
Categories & Participant Eligibility
 School Category
- Middle School : students enrolled in the 2nd and 3rd grade of middle schools in Korea,
and who were born before Dec. 31, 2007
- High School : students enrolled in the 1st or 2nd grade of senior high schools in Korea
- General High school : including the autonomous private high schools
- Science High school : including the high schools for the science-gifted
 Personal Background Category
Regular Application : students who are not eligible for the Special Application.
Special Application : students whose personal background belong to the groups that need
improvement in social integration such as
low-income or welfare families, rural area residents engaged in agriculture and
fishery, persons with disabilities, North Korean refugees and multi-ethnic families,
etc. who have an interest in and aptitude for astronomy.
(* supporting documents needed)
Gender bias improvement application (for the 1st round)
The majority gender at the 1st round application can not take up more than 75% in the
1st selection list. However, the exception is allowed if the total number of the minority
gender does not exceed 25% of the 1st round selection list.
Documents to be submitted :
- online application (additionally applicants can opt for providing the name of their school teacher /advisor in their application, in which case the teacher will be given access to the online education material enlisted at the website of KAO)
- Permission to collect and use the personal information of the applicant
(by mail only with the signature of a legal guardian for those under the age of 14, whereas
by online for those aged 14 or over)
Procedure : (everyone) Complete the online application form at the website of KAO
(applicants for special application or under the age of 14) send all required or supporting documents by mail
Results (informed via email in June, 2021): 174 students (53 from middle schools, 56 from general high schools and 65 from science high schools) all of whom have completed the online application form for the round are admitted without any evaluation procedures.
2. The 1st Round (based on homework assignments and online exams)
Date/Time (online exam)
: Sep. 25(Sat), 2021 / 13:00~17:30
Format : online (virtual) event
Applicant Eligibility for the first round :
- was admitted to the trainee round.
- has participated in the online video lectures given on the website of the Korea Astronomy Olympiad
- has completed at least one of homework assignments given over the period of Jul. 31 through Sep. 10, 2021.
Format of the online exam:
- Two exams, theory exam and data analysis - observation exam are given consecutively with a 20-minute break in-between. Each exam has four multi-step questions to be solved within 90 minutes. After each exam is over, contestants scan their solution papers using a mobile phone camera and submit it by email. The exam questions file protected with a password was uploaded to the chat panel of each ZOOM room prior to the exam and its password was announced when the exam started.
- Contestants were proctored via a zoom session through a webcam of their computer as well as a second zoom session running on their mobile phone.
Results (to be announced in early October of 2021):
※ The students selected at the 1st round will be trained via a Saturday observational class to be held in the Songam Space Center as well as homework assignments from October through December 2021. Also online (zoom) classes will be given with dates to be announced later, as well as a winter training camp in January, 2022 where they have lectures, labs and night sky observing sessions, while staying together in a dorm for about 8 days.