18-year-old Sataparna Mukherjee is a Class 12 student, about to appear for her ISC Boards exam, this year, from the St Judes School, Madhyamgram, in Kamduni.

bengali girl wins nasa scholarship

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However, that’s not the reason we decided to write about her. She’s also one of five students who’ve been selected for the Goddard Internship Programme of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which we know as NASA!

bengali girl wins nasa scholarship

Picture Source  bengali girl wins nasa scholarship

NASA‘s Goddard Internship Programme (GIP) under the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), selects five exceptional students from across the world and funds their entire education after completing school.

So once her exams are over, she would be going this August to Oxford University where she would pursue her graduation, post-graduation and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering as NASA faculty in The London Astrobiology Centre. All her expenses, including food and lodging, will be covered by NASA.

Sataparna told The Times Of India,

It all started in May last year when I was a member of a group on a social networking site where there were many members, including some scientists. One day I shared some of my thoughts on ‘Black Hole Theory’, and one of the members of this group gave me Nasa’s official website and told me to post my findings, which I did.

Sataparna had written a thesis on The Black Hole Theory, and how it could be used to create an actual ‘Time Machine‘, which was immensely appreciated.

bengali girl wins nasa scholarship

Picture Source  bengali girl wins nasa scholarship
Sataparna, according to her father, Pradip Mukherjee, isn’t really extraordinary in her studies, however, she has always been among the toppers in her class. Mukherjee said she had scored 88 per cent in her 10th exam, and is interested in science, and loves writing as well.

Maybe a blend of these disparate subjects would work for her.

– he said.
bengali girl wins nasa scholarship
Sataparna‘s father is a headmaster of a primary school and was one of the leaders of the Kamduni Pratibadi Mancha – a forum created to demand justice for the Barasat Derozio College student who was gang raped and murdered in Kamduni village in 2013. The girl had been his student. bengali girl wins nasa scholarship

She had always been an inspiration for me. When our forum came under threat from the ruling party, many people told me to delink myself from the movement. But my daughter kept telling me that I should not stop protesting and that the victim was not only my student but also a daughter.

Sataparna is quite confident when speaking about her goal to help change how people and society think, and promote a scientific rationale.

My theory on Black Hole will be my PhD paper. I can’t give more details as I’m bound by a confidentiality clause. I am thrilled to have got this opportunity. I will also work as a researcher at NASA’s London centre.

– said Sataparna.

Our sincerest congratulations to Sataparna, and immense respect, for making us proud!

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