Outreach in India: Talk About Space

BMSIS ​Young Scientist ​Anuti Joshi engaged a group of ​fifteen​ ​engineering teachers at Saraswati College of Engineering in Mumbai, India​. ​

Anuti’s engagement was part of h​er​ Communications requirements for the BMSIS Young Scientist Program. BMSIS is continuously committed to engaging the public in the wonders of Space Exploration and the Earth System. Our ​Young Scientist Program continues this tradition by engaging local communities around the world.

Read ​Anuti’s impressions below:

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with a group of about fifteen engineering college teachers at Saraswati College of Engineering, Mumbai. These teachers, who attend to and feed the curiosity of students, got a chance to get their questions answered. My initial thought was that not many people from a different field would enjoy listening to someone from another field giving a speech, but what I experienced was the complete opposite.

As soon as I entered the room, I could see their eyes light up and they greeted me with a big smile. All the nervousness I had before the talk seemed to have vanished. The audience was extremely friendly and welcoming, making me feel at ease. The talk started off with me explaining my passion for physics and astronomy and the reasons why I chose to pursue it as my career. It, however, didn’t follow a set structure as I had planned due to the enthusiastic questions from the audience. One topic lead to another and soon there was a very heathy discussion among us.

The main content of the presentation was general space and things related to it. During my third year at university I had the privilege of being taught by an astronaut as part of the human spaceflight module. Building up on his lectures, I talked about the training given to astronauts for the flight, survival techniques and adversities faced among other things. We then discussed about the feasibility of the science fiction movies and some scientific errors which not everybody was aware of. The main question which was lingering on everyone’s mind was would they take a one-way ticket to Mars? What would they expect to see there and how comfortable will they be without seeing their family for a long time. About half of the audience was eager to venture and explore the world beyond but the other half was a bit hesitant. However, everyone was willing to travel if they were promised a safe return too.

Overall the talk was a success. Everyone was actively engaged and some great questions were asked. Some teachers were even thinking about encouraging their children’s interest in space and letting them pursue a career in this field. They were enthusiastic and eager for answers which made me feel ecstatic and want to give more talks to other people in the future.