Winners of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search from Odisha explore the wonders of space at ISRO Ahmedabad

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Bhubaneswar, July 10, 2024: The winners of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2023-24 from Odisha recently returned from an inspiring trip to the Space Application Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Ahmedabad.

This unique initiative, organized by Tata Steel in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium under the Science and Technology Department of Government of Odisha, gave the students the rare opportunity to interact with Shri Nilesh M. Desai, Director of SAC, ISRO. He provided insights into the diverse range of ISRO facilities and projects. The students also toured the Vikram Sarabhai Space Exhibition (VSSE), various laboratories and engaged with leading space scientists to learn about the ongoing research works.

“Interacting with the brilliant scientists was a blessing. Visiting ISRO and the Vikram Sarabhai Exhibition Center was remarkable.  I am thankful to Tata Steel and Pathani Samanta Planetarium, for this opportunity,” said Om Raj Mishra, one of the winners from Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir in Kalahandi.

The students also explored Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad, gaining deeper insights into the fascinating world of science and innovation. “During our visit to ISRO and to the Science City in Ahmedabad, we learned about the robotic technologies, augmented and virtual reality at the robotic gallery and gained knowledge about the underwater world at the aquatic gallery,” said Krutika Prataya Panigrahi from Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya in Boudh.

“The exposure visit enhanced students’ understanding of science and astronomy. Visiting ISRO Ahmedabad was memorable,” said Rajashree Hota, a teacher from GMR Varalakshmi DAV Public School, Dhenkanal, who accompanied the students.

Aiming to ignite curiosity and passion for astronomy and space science among high school students across the state, this 17th edition of YATS saw participation from 80,000 students, who competed on the theme “The Moon Base – Future Launchpad for Space.” The winners were accompanied by their guide teachers on a week-long exposure trip, visiting prestigious institutions and exhibitions related to space science and technology under the leadership of Shri Prasanna Patra, Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar, Smt. Urmiprava Maharana, Deputy Secretary, Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha, Shri Jaydev Kar, Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar and Tata Steel Officials.

The visit was flagged off on June 29, 2024, by Shri Krushna Chandra Patra, Hon’ble Minister of Science and Technology Department and Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department, Government of Odisha in presence of Smt. Chithra Arumugam, IAS, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha.

Over the past 17 years, YATS has captivated the enthusiasm of over 350,000 young science enthusiasts from the state, with 200 students, including those from the 17th edition, having the privilege of visiting various ISRO facilities.

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