While these eihght students may come from different schools across the city, they share a single dream – to propel India into an “advanced country” by scientifically solving the country’s problems.
Fifteen-year-old Prema S, a student from Chennai Girls High School, Pulla Avenue, wants to become a robotics engineer; her friend Gopinath R from Chennai High School in Koymbedu dreams of a career in aeronautical engineering. Subhash T, a 13-year-old from Chennai High School in New Washermenpet, hopes to join the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
PS Reshmakumari from Chennai High School in Koyya Thoppu, a shy 13-year-old, wants to become an astrophysicist. These teenagers may be from different schools run by the Greater Chennai Corporation, but they will soon be flying off to the United States for a trip to NASA – one which they won after three, highly competitive rounds of a science talent hunt titled ‘Wings to Fly’ organised by Rotary Club of Madras East and Corporation. The prospect of visiting NASA thrilled the teenagers.
“We want to learn more about zero gravity and find out about other planets and the scientific expeditions carried out by NASA,” said S Rajkumar, another 15-year-old winner. I Adhavan said that they’re eager to experience a new culture.
“We want to find out what are the modern amenities in the city, the kind of food people eat, their culture and also the infrastructure and the beautiful buildings,” he added. They share a passion for contributing towards propelling the country forward.
Yogesh G said, “We want to gain knowledge and use it to make India on par with other leading nations in the world.” 12-year-old Kavyanjali D chipped in, “We want to scientifically contribute towards the development of our country, for a better life for every resident,” she gushed.
The students were at the American Centre in the US Consulate, presenting their exciting journey to inspire a group of 30 children from government schools across the city, who were a part of the English Access Microscholarship program.
A two-year after-school initiative that imparts a foundation of English language skills to bright, economically disadvantaged students, primarily aged 13 to 23 years, with a focus on economic empowerment and grooming future community leaders. “This program will help build people-to-people connection and empower young leaders from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a focus on women’s economic empowerment,” said Lauren Lovelace, Consul, Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.