Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated 20 aspiring astronomers and scientists, the winners of the 12th Edition of Tata Steel’s Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) Programme 2018-19, at a function held in Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
The winning group will be taken on an exposure visit to one of the premier facilities of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in May 2019 to get a first-hand experience of space science in action.
Congratulating the winners and participants, Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said, “Tata Steel has a long history of being led by people with a scientific bent of mind and temperament. So, we seek to create a culture of scientific curiosity among our youth, both for their holistic development and the nation’s progress with YATS contributing to that larger objective. On behalf of Tata Steel, I wish the young winners and participants a bright future and I am confident that the winners make full use of the once in a lifetime learning experience when they visit the ISRO facility next May.”
The theme for 2018-19 was “Imagine space exploration, 50 years from now” and included an open-quiz for students from classes VI-X as well as an essay competition for students from classes IX-X.
While around 32,000 students had participated in the competition last year, YATS established a new record in the 12-year history as the number of participants this year almost doubled to 63,000 students from 300 schools of all 30 districts in Odisha.
YATS is a unique initiative of Tata Steel for high school students of the state, organised in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, under the Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha. It is aimed at creating awareness in the field of astronomy and space science among students, besides motivating and encouraging young minds to become scientists and astronomers. It provides an opportunity to the students in rural and remote areas of the State to exhibit their talent and come to the forefront in the field of astronomy. The top 60 participants were also invited to attend this event held at Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar.
More than seventy-five thousand young science enthusiasts of the state have participated in YATS in the last 11 years and 140 winning students had the opportunity to visit various facilities of ISRO in India.