Student to be part of Mars robot team
October 17, 2016
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Yash Kumar Johar, 19, is one of two Ohlone students chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Nasa Ames in Mountain View and work on NASA’s Mars robot prototype.
Johar will be leaving for the NASA Ames Research Center on Sunday for a four-day program. There will be other students coming from other colleges as well. NASA Ames will provide dorm rooms, meals, and other services, such a swimming pool, for all students.
It all started last semester. Johar said he was on his way to his class, but he was early and was still walking around the school. Then, he passed by a Fremont portable where a NASA engineer was giving a talk. He saw the poster on the door first, so he decided to check it out and see what was going on.
“I was so happy that I made that decision, I am happy that I applied, and now I am going to NASA because of my smallest decision,” said Johar. “I feel like I am very lucky. I have the potential to do things, but then I always try for opportunities, and I am so happy that I found this opportunity. So, what I believe is to never give up on any opportunities because now I know that, this will change my life.”
NASA is visiting community college to persuade students to participate in the National Community College Aerospace program. It is an online five to eight week summer course where students learn about NASA projects (from past to present), including aerospace, physics, and math.
A student can participate only once in the National Community College Aerospace Program. Johar decided to apply, and he had to provide NASA with a recommendation letter, a transcript, and an essay on why he wanted to join the program.
He was selected and he became part of the NASA summer course which consists mostly of quizzes, with a final 8-10-page paper on “Mission to Mars.”
Johar received 100 percent on the entire course.
All participants of the program will get to meet NASA scientists, engineers, weather forecasters, and physicists and will be given opportunities to talk and work with them. They will be working together on how to build and work with robots.
All participants, including Johar, will also be working on their resumes, with tips such as how to fix it in order to apply for NASA, to become a permanent member, and be part of NASA alumini. They will also talk about current opportunities NASA has for community college students.
During the four-day program, the students will be designing a prototype robot that will work on Mars. After the program, the NASA Ames Research Center will create a Mars-like environment, and they will be testing the prototype in that area.
Johar is a first year student at Ohlone. This fall is his third semester. He is currently majoring in chemistry, but also considering chemical and physics. He will be applying this fall for transfer in 2017.
“I am very excited because I am not very decided with my major,” he said. “And it’s because I am not sure if I want to be a scientist or an engineer. If I go to NASA Ames, I can talk to the scientists and engineers, have both of their perspectives and decide on my major finally,” said Johar.
“You should never give up on any opportunities that you actually want to take. Just always believe in yourself and work upon it. Because whatever you want to get, you will always get if you work on it.”