Guwahati, Dec 4: It was less of science and more of the attitude towards work in the US that floored the seven students who visited Nasa on an Assam government-sponsored educational trip.
The 13-day trip was a reward for their excellent performance in the matriculation and Assam high madarsa examinations, 2012.
“For any student, a visit to Nasa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And I was no exception. The association symbolises the zenith of America’s success in the field of space science. But I was also highly impressed by the quality of life and values that every citizen of America follows from their childhood,” Gyandeep Sarma, who stood first in the matric examinations, told The Telegraph.
Gyandeep, along with six other meritorious students, reached the city this morning with memories that they would treasure for their lifetimes.
“During my short stay in the US and interaction with different people, I found that Americans are disciplined in whatever they do. I was amazed to see their accountability and commitment to their work. I was particularly impressed with their competitiveness. Scientists and officials whom we met during our trip always kept telling us what America has achieved and what it could not. They always keep comparing their success and failure with other countries, especially with Russia,” Gyandeep said.
The students reached New York on November 22 and went directly to Orlando, where they visited Disney World, Universal Studios and Kennedy Space Center. They spent four days in Orlando.
From Orlando, the students went to New York and joined a three-day Nasa space camp at Huntsville. There they experienced artificial moonwalk and learned of an astronaut’s regimen during space missions.
“During the US visit I found that history can be as exciting as science. Even as a student I considered history a dead subject. But the way Americans preserve and highlight their history is simply mind-blowing. Also, we got to observe cartooning as an interesting career option,” Priyanka Bezbaruah, another topper in the matric exams, said.
Ratul Khan, the topper in the Assam high madarsa examinations, who was initially denied a visa to visit Nasa by the US embassy, also spoke of his experience.
“My visa was finally confirmed and I could go to Nasa. With the financial constraints of my family, I could not even dream of going to Nasa. Today I have realised how Allah was merciful to me,” Ratul said.