UAE Students secures top ranks in International Astronomy Olympiad

UAE Students secures top ranks in International Astronomy Olympiad

8 Students from various UAE schools secured top ranks in International Astronomy Olympiad 2021 in their respective grade results. International Astronomy Olympiad, commonly known as National Astronomy Challenge (NAC) conducted yearly by STEM & Space, India. In year 2021 more than 4000 students participated from UAE, India, Oman, Kuwait, US and Canada.

Among 29 topers worldwide, 3 Students from UAE ranked 1st in their respective grades. Edna Nima Varghese from Delhi Private School Sharjah, Gowtham Karunakaran from  New Delhi Private School Sharjah and Saswata Nayak from The Indian High School Dubai are the students who secured 1st position in their grades.

National Astronomy Challenge (NAC) is a yearly engagement based around the concept of an astronomy and space Olympiad, conducted yearly by STEM & Space, India. This year the 3rd NAC was held on 9th to 23rd January 2021. This year showed the highest participation with 4000+ students from all over the world.

Other students from UAE, who secured the top ranks in NAC are S. Shihad Hussain from HIS Dubai, Raghav Krishna Seshadri Sumanth from DPS Sharjah, Manya Garg from HIS Dubai, Shuaa Swaleh Sadiq from TMS Dubai, and Jishnu Singha from HIS Dubai.

Every year, the NAC toppers are taken to a space based exploration trip. This year, toppers will be taken for a 3-days experiential astronomy camp to visit India’s premier space organisation, the ISRO Satish Dhawan Space Center at Shri Harikota. Organisers are aiming to synchronise this with a launch viewing which will make it a once in a lifetime opportunity for NAC winners. This will be accompanied by meeting opportunities with scientists and workshops.

This was the 3rd successful chapter of NAC, with a participation of more than 4000 students and it has become one of the most prestigious Olympiads in Astronomy and Space in India. This time, the online conduction mode enabled a diverse spread in geographies, giving participants an exposure to a truly international level of pitting of minds. And across Indian borders participants hailed largely from UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia but also from Canada and the US.

NAC is conducted in an Olympiad format and was designed to propel the thinking ability of students and open their minds to possibilities in STEM careers. The organizers nurtured the love of STEM through expert provided reading material, self-paced hands on activities and a slew of career talks with experts in the field.

Renowned Space scientist and Co-founder of STEM & Space Dr Mila Mitra, congratulated the champions of NAC and said, “this is the only Olympiad that reaches out to students with the primary objective of fuelling their inquisitiveness and guiding them towards the path of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math).” Additionally, it was a pleasure to see young learners making such important decisions to follow the path of science in a direction that is the way of the future. Our initiative is to get the best platform for every student so that their learning exemplifies a global stature” she said. For more information on the same, visit

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