40,000 students across Odisha participate in YATS zonal round competition

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Bhubaneswar: With an aim to nurture the minds and imagination of budding talents to explore the mysteries from beyond earth and to provide an ace platform for high school students to explore Space Science and Astronomy, the zonal round competition of the 10th Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) was conducted by Tata Steel in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium in the city here.

With this, YATS has come to an end after a six-month long exercise to find twenty best young astronomers in the state.

The YATS programme for 2016 had witnessed active participation of nearly 40,000 students from over 300 schools of 28 districts, giving wings to the efforts of the Tata Steel Group in promoting intellectual and cultural pursuits in the society. Participation from remote and tribal dominated districts like Kalahandi and Koraput was also quite encouraging.

The 10th edition of YATS witnessed a change in format to ensure more participation and to take it to the next higher level.  The competition comprised of an essay competition (open to students of class 9 and 10), which required students to secure a qualifying percentage in a written astronomy quiz section. The students got an opportunity to choose and write an essay on any one of the four topics selected for the year.

The essays received will undergo rigorous evaluation by three expert panels selected by the Pathani   Samanta Planetarium. Only the top two winners from each participating district will be invited to participate in the grand finale to be held at the Pathani Samanta Planetarium on December 13 in memory of Pathani Samanta, on his 181th birth anniversary of the legendary astronomer.

The participants at this state-level competition will take part in a final round of evaluation for selection of top 20 winners of YATS 2016-17. The winners will be taken by Tata Steel on an exposure visit to one of the facilities of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 2017.

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