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

Bhubaneswar: The winners of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2022-23 from Odisha have returned from a dream trip to the Space Application Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Ahmedabad. YATS is a unique initiative by Tata Steel, in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium under the Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha that aims to nurture the curiosity and passion of high school students across the state for astronomy and space science.

The winners of the 16th edition of YATS were selected from among 75,500 students who participated in various competitions and activities based on the theme “Exploring the Universe”. They were accompanied by their guide teachers on a week-long exposure trip that took them to some of the most prestigious institutions and exhibitions related to space science and technology.

At SAC Ahmedabad, they got a rare opportunity to interact with Shri Nilesh M. Desai, Director of SAC, ISRO, who briefed them about the diverse range of ISRO facilities and projects. They also visited various laboratories and learned about the ongoing research work from the ace space scientists of the country.

“Interacting with brilliant scientists was a blessing. Visiting ISRO and the Vikram Sarabhai exhibition center was remarkable. Thank you Tata Steel and Pathani Samant Planetarium for this opportunity,” said Sairam Mangaraj, one of the winners from Puri.

The students also explored Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Exhibition (VSSE), where they gained more insights into the fascinating world of science and innovation. “During our visit to the Science City in Ahmedabad, we met the director and learned about robotics. Exploring Science City provided insights into artificial intelligence and robotics, crucial for the digital world,” said Swasti Pragyan Rath from Kendrapara.

“The exposure visit enhanced students’ understanding of science and astronomy. Visiting ISRO Ahmedabad was memorable,” said Asutosh Satapathy a teacher from Kendrapada, who accompanied the students.

The visit was flagged off on May 22, 2023, by Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister for Science & Technology, Public Enterprises, and Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability, representing the Government of Odisha.

YATS has been a successful platform for inspiring young talent in Odisha for the past 16 years, with more than 270,000 students participating in various editions of the program. Out of these, 180 deserving students have been rewarded with a visit to various ISRO facilities across India.

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