Sataparna Mukherjee, an eighteen-year-old student of 12th class from a village around 30km from Kolkata has done something that most of the students can only dream of. Sataparna Mukherjee has been selected by the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) for its Goddard Internship Programme under the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and it is not as simple as sounds.
This GIP program from NASA selects only 5 of the smartest individuals from across the globe every year and the selected candidates get funded for their entire education after school. Sataparna who is yet to appear for her final exams of 12th grade from St Jude’s School, Madhyamgram, in Kamduni, will be at Oxford University. She will pursue graduation, post-graduation and Ph.D. (as NASA faculty) in aerospace engineering at its London Astrobiology Centre. This 18 year old has not only made his parents proud but also embedded a star in the nation’s pride.
Sataparna is a perfect example for all those who think that beauty does not comes with brain. Her intelligence is a proof that girls do not only just upkeep on their nails and hair but also do upkeep on their minds.
Sataparna says, “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’s paper on Black Hole Theory, and how this could be used to create a ‘Time Machine’, was hugely appreciated.
She added, “I am very happy to get this opportunity where I will also work as a researcher at the Nasa centre in London.”Under the GIP scholarship program, she will work as an “employee and researcher”. Sataparna will be a part of earth science and technology development programme. She will be provided a generous sum as honorarium by NASA apart from all of her expenses.
Pradip Mukherjee, her father who is a headmaster of a primary school is excited about her achievement. He said,”She has made us, and the entire country, proud.”
Well, Sir, she definitely is and all we can do is to wish her the best for her future.
29 Feb, 2016
Avni S. Singh