International Earth Science Olympiad

International Earth Science Olympiad

The International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO), one of the International Science Olympiads, is a recently intitiated competition for secondary school students that tests their abilities in the disciplines of geology, meteorology, environmental science, and terrestrial astronomy. The first IESO was hosted in October in Daegu, South Korea, and won by Taiwan with three gold medals and one silver. The Korean team took second with one gold and three silvers, and the United States followed in third with two silvers and two bronze medals. []

The 2008 competition is currently being held in Manila, Philippines. Its theme is "Cooptition in Addressing Climate Change", and it aims to promote global earth science education and international cooperation in mitigating anthropogenic harm to the environment.

The third IESO will he held in Taipei, Taiwan.


The IESO was first suggested by Korean earth scientists. In 2003, the Korean Earth Science Society (KESS) organized the First Korean Earth Science Olympiad. The International competition was adopted as one of major activities of International Geoscience Education Organization later that year. In November 2004 in Seoul, representatives from ten countries gathered to discuss the curriculum and the format of IESO. 23 presentations were made and the IESO Advisory Committee was established with 11 members including Chairperson Moo Young Song. The IESO Syllabus Commission was then developed in 2005, and the first International competition was held in 2007.


The International competition consists of a theoretical and a practical examination. The written examination contains a set of earth science problems which the participants are to solve in no more than six hours, and the practical portion consists of experimental or field work, also to be completed within a suitable time limit. Participants are allowed to bring non-programmable calculators for the examinations.The written challenges are completed and graded on an individual basis, whereas the practical portions involve group work. []


Each team consists of up to four competing students, an alternate, and mentors. The mentors must be specialists in earth science and/or earth science education and capable of serving as members of the International Jury. The official language of the competition is English, and the mentors must also translate for their teams from their native language. Students qualify to attend the IESO by winning national earth science competitions in their home countries. In the United States, selection of the traveling Earth Science team is run through the Global Challenge organization and involves theoretical assesments as well as essay writing and participation in an online training camp. The team is chosen based on skill in earth science, ability to solve complex problems, interaction with other students, and ability to diplomatically discuss pressing environmental issues.

External Links

[ IESO 2008]

[ Global Challenge Competition]



[ "Korean Team Ranks 2nd in Earth Science Olympiad"]

[ "IESO Statutes"]

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