A Class 11 student of Tamil Nadu's Government School K Jayalakshmi is all set to fly to the United States next year in May to spend a week at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She will also get a chance to interact with NASA astronauts. Jayalakshmi is among the winners of the National Space Science Contest 2019, an online science aptitude and general knowledge test conducted earlier this year by the US-based Go4Guru, online tutoring, and educational tour services company.
Jayalakshmi is one of the selected few who will be getting a full tour of NASA. The winners will also be taken to nearby tourist attractions like Disney World for five days. Jayalakshmi has also won numerous scholarships such as the National Means Cum-Merit Scholarship. However, the trip to NASA poses a challenge. Travel expenses are likely to be around Rs 1.69 lakh.
Jayalakshmi is a science student at the government high school in Adanakottai. She is also a Tamil medium student and had taken English coaching classes for a month to prepare for the competition. Further being the sole breadwinner for her family Jayalakshmi has sought help from the Collector to meet her travel expenses. Her family consists of a younger brother and her mentally challenged mother to look after. To meet her daily needs Jayalakshmi takes tuition classes for class 8 and 9 students and also sells cashews.
There are thousands of student participants at the National Space Science Contest 2019, organised by Go4Guru, an educational travel services organisation based out of the US, earlier this year. Go4Guru has been organising educational tours since 2011 for Indian students. So far the organisation has taken about 4,000 Indian students to the space organisations in the US, Europe, and Japan.