Space Science: the Young Progressors Olympiad Took Place at SUSU

The Young Progressors Olympiad for schoolchildren took place at South Ural State University. The event was organized by the SUSU Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

The Olympiad is held for the 8th time, bringing together many schoolchildren studying in 5th-11th grades of general education institutions (gymnasiums, lyceums, schools), students of college and professional lyceums.

A welcoming speech for participants of the Olympiad and for their parents was presented by Aleksandr Kartashev, the Dean of SUSU Polytechnic Institute’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

“Olympiad of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering is traditional; it evolves and excites continuously growing interest. I would like to wish you successful performance, and we will try to maximally efficiently evaluate your knowledge.”

After the ceremonious opening of the Young Progressors Olympiad, participants were divided into 4 sections: Space Exploration and Spaceship Engineering; Devices and Control Systems; Scientific Readings; and Engineering Exhibition. Within these sections, schoolchildren presented their projects in the sphere of aircraft engineering, space exploration, deep submergence vehicles and technology in aircraft engineering and spaceship engineering. Experts were represented by teaching staff from the Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering (the city of Nizhnaya Salda), the Dean of Moscow Polytechnic University’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, and lecturers of SUSU’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

Within the frameworks of the Young Progressors Olympiad, an engineering exhibition was opened at SUSU, where schoolchildren could display their creations. One of the exhibition’s participants was an 11th-grade student from school No.23 of the city of Kopeysk, Pavel Tretyakov. He presented a mockup of a Mars research vehicle which can be operated with the use of any smart phone.

“The device is equipped with a camera which can rotate by 360 degreed and produce special signals. Moreover, it has a gripping device which can automatically pick small-sized random objects if any comes in the way. The Mars research vehicle can be operated with the use of a remote control or using a smart phone, at that control loudspeakers are used at the device. Also, it is possible to display indicators of temperature and the environment’s humidity at a special display. I am interested in the topic of space and, of course, I would like to become an astronaut. This year I am planning to apply for SUSU’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.”

By the results of the Olympiad, all participants were given certificates, and prize winners were awarded with honorary credentials of the 1st, the 2nd or the 3rd degree.

“I presented a project entitled ‘Neurostimulator for drivers’. It was quite difficult answering questions from the position of physics, but I will surely thoroughly consider advices provided by the team of jury. I am very happy to win, because it is not just the honorable first place but also additional points for my university application,” says the winner of the section of Devices and Control Systems, an 8th-grade student of school No.1 of the Verkhny Ufaley, Sofia Matveeva.

“Me and my sister had a project entitled ‘An astronaut’s protection from space radiation’. It is a mattress filled with soft airtight polyethylene containers with water; the protective module is made of a fabric shell. We are interested in the topic of space because our parents are working at a space enterprise and they tell us many interesting things about this science,” say winners of the section of Space Exploration and Spaceship Engineering, students of the 4th and the 6th grades of gymnasium of the city of Nizhnaya Salda of the Sverdlovsk region, Alisa and Alena Kulyabin.

For the 11th grade students, additional points are guaranteed when applying for SUSU’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering: 10,8 points for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places accordingly.

“The event is not just intended to draw attention of children to the holiday on April 12, but also to allow them with their own hands and under the tactful guidance of their mentors bring their ideas into reality, put their inventive abilities into practice, reveal their engineering talent. This is how the great constructors, such as Viktor Petrovich Makeev or Sergey Pavlovich Korolev, begin their path. Participating in the event helps a schoolchild to uncover his talent and abilities, finish the started and not to be afraid of difficulties in making engineering decisions,” says organizer of the event, Deputy Dean for Professionally-Oriented Activity, Yulia Baranovskaya.

As a reminder, the main goal of the Olympiad is to attract talented, creative, dedicated to aircraft, spaceship and rocket engineering young researchers to the aerospace engineering industry of the country. The event was held on the occasion of the All-Russian Cosmonautics Day.

Marina Kovyazina; photo by the author
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