In love with sky

Dream High

In love with sky

Debotrinya Sur, a Std VII student in a city-based school doesn’t get stirred at the idea of spending time with friends as much as with his laptop on which he likes to check on astronomy, space shuttles and missions sent by the NASA such as ARCTAS, CALIPSO and Cassini-Huygens.

Though he returned from the global space research agency — NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) in July, but the moment you allude the topic of astronomy, he gets ebullient and his unbridled enthusiasm spills over into his words and is immediately visible all over his facial expressions, in twitching of his eyebrows, in twirling of lips and in restless darting of eyes.

“I learnt that NASA is preparing for a mega mission in 2025, I wish to be a part of that,” he says with an unflinching aura of confidence.   

Debotrinya was sent to NASA for 11 days this summer after standing second in a national level Olympiad so that he could witness the world’s biggest space research agency of the government of USA.

Winning the Olympiad was no mean task. He had to outshine hundreds of thousands of contenders to turn a winner. “The Olympiad saw the participation of a large number of students but not all of them were thoroughly prepared. But I prepared for it rigorously and managed to sail through it,” he said.

About the incredible experience at the NASA, he tells Metrolife, “I took part in a robotics workshop there, where I learnt the mechanism of robots,” he says. When we asked him if he can now put together a robot, he affirmatively nods his head, but with a firm caveat, “Yes, as long as I have all the equipment in place.”

This year, he was the only student from his school who made it to the prestigious trip this year, but it came with its share of riddles. “We were shocked to learn that our visa was rejected, though it is a prize visit awarded to the winner of Olympiad every year. However, after the organisers intervened, the issue was sorted and we got the visa in no time,” he revealed.

His love for sky is not limited only to the indelible NASA trip. He pores over the books on space and astronomy which his father, an engineer by profession, often brings him. “I normally don’t watch movies but reads books on space and universe,” he shares.

Not only Debotrinya, there are some other students from the city-based schools who visit the NASA every year. In one of such trips called Endeavour, 14-year-old twins Nainika and Tarunika Vyas from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya who went to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, call their experience a “dream come true.”

“We have always wanted to understand the mysteries of this universe and explore the unexplored. This was our chance to experience the challenges an astronomer faces and the science behind astronomy. We were a part of large group of 50 children from different nationalities – Indians, Asians, Americans and a large group from Russia. The course involved class room teaching, demonstration through experiments, lab
exercises and visiting
museums,” says Nainika.

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