New Delhi : After a successful completion and an overwhelming participation from young innovators across the country, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog declared the results of the ‘ATL Space Challenge 2021’ today. The Challenge was launched in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The event coincides with the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, also celebrated as the National Youth Day to honor the birthday of Swami Vivekananda who voiced the important role that youth play in the building up of a strong nation throughout his life.
The ATL Space Challenge witnessed over 2500 submissions from both ATL and Non-ATL students across the country from which 75 top innovators were selected and announced today. The Challenge was a one-of-a-kind challenge and the first time that an ATL challenge open to both ATL and non-ATL students. ATL Space Challenge 2021 witnessed over 6500 students participating in the challenge from 32 States/ UTs. This Challenge also had a heartening participation of over 35% from girl students.
Speaking during the virtual event for announcing winners , Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Prof K. VijayRaghavan stressed upon the value of space science and its challenges for humans. He said “This is sort of a natural challenge where people have a natural enthusiasm towards taking such challenges and the ability to explore space is something wonderful. India has a great history of exploring space so I believe that all students must have access to science and technology at its fundamental level have to be available to every student who wants to become an astronomer. These students can shape our economic future.”
Mission Director, AIM, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav while unveiling the winners said that the ATL Space Challenge is an example of how AIM has created an opportunity for young school innovators to directly learn and work in the ‘space sector’, a major sector which can’t be missed.
“I feel inspired seeing the innovations of our young school children who are leveraging the whole ecosystem – from a Tinkering Lab to the latest technologies to solve problems and create sustainable solutions. We are grateful to ISRO and CBSE who have partnered with us to make it a great success. Students from the top teams will be presented exciting prizes and opportunities,” he said.
The Challenge was launched on 6th September 2021 and the students could submit their entries using the online portal while virtual YouTube LIVE sessions were also conducted by the AIM-ISRO-CBSE team to guide and motivate the students. A total of 8 of these inspirational/ motivational sessions were conducted during a period of 6 weeks by esteemed scientists and experts for the students. The innovations were to be aligned to one of the four broad challenge themes under which entries were to be submitted.
Director, Capacity Building Programme Office (ISRO), Dr. Sudhir Kumar in g=his sppeech said that “It was an honor for ISRO to collaborate with ATL and CBSE. We have adopted 100 ATLs and we will energize them with the energy of ISRO in the coming time. Space is a multi-disciplinary thing which affects the social life of everyone around and social problems can be attempted to be solved through space. I am impressed by the entries received and we need more such programmes for our students so that aspirations of students are met through innovations.”
Meanwhile, Chairman, CBSE, Manoj Ahuja in his address said that the Space Challenge allows children to be active, learn and also correlate with the social problems around them. Knowledge is multi-disciplinary and when students are given a problem like space challenge, nothing hold their curiosity and innovative mind back.
“With the technology available we should make it a point to make knowledge available which is being promoted by ATLs. It has been a pleasure for us to see the response and the interest showcased by the students which was full of optimism,” He added.
The ATL Space Challenge 2021 was launched with an objective to enable innovation among young school students to create something in space sector that will not only help them learn about the space but create something that space programme can use itself. The Challenge also aligned with the World Space Week 2021, which is observed from 4 to 10 October each year at the global level in order to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology.