Sanjita Pokhrel is a 19- years old young and inspiring teen who is passionate about Physics and Astronomy. She aspires to be a NASA Journalist one day. Currently, She is serving as an executive member of Astronomy Enthusiast in Nepal (AEA). She is working as an event moderation team in the Mathematics Initiative in Nepal. Also, she is a content creator for Girls Mathematics Olympiad Camp. Sanjita Pokhrel is an Opportunity Funds Grantee 2021 from Education USA.
Her various achievements include Global Nominee at NASA Space App Challenge 2020, Selected for Closed Camp of 7th National Astronomy Olympiad, Winner of South-western Inter college Science Exhibition 2020, Runner Up at Nationwide Himalayan Whitehouse Science Exhibition and many more. She is an avid reader and enjoys meaningful conversations.
Sanjita is one of the Presenters for the “Empowerment Panel” at Wai Wai Presents Glocal International Teen Conference, 2021. To Know more about her, below you can read her inspiring stories;
How did you develop your interest in the sector of Physics and Astronomy?
Since my childhood, science has been my favorite book. I have always been curious to know about different physical phenomena. I used to wonder a lot about how we experience day and night. In this process of quenching my curiosity, I became more and more inclined towards physics. Most specifically, the origin and existence of life has attracted me a lot. However, topics related to Astronomy were merely limited to the last few chapters of the science book. With the help of YouTube videos and articles on the internet, I have always enjoyed more and more about physics and Astronomy.
How did your journey start in the National Astronomy Olympiad?
Ironically, I had a false idea that the Olympiad are only held in India. I don’t know why. My sister was aware of my interest in Astronomy. Fortunately, she saw the post of extended deadline of 7th National Astronomy Olympiad. I think it was my fate to be in the National Astronomy Olympiad because the night she saw the post was the second last day of the extended deadline. The next morning, I rushed to the NASO office and registered myself. To be honest, I was not quite hopeful that I would be in the Closed Camp. However the mentors were helpful and I still look up to them. Overall, my journey to the Olympiad was a great experience of learning and networking.
Why, in your opinion, do we need to promote girls in Astronomy?
The number of girls participating is very low in Astronomy. In fact, I was one of the two girls selected for the closed camp of the National Astronomy Olympiad. So, I have always felt the need to promote girls in Astronomy. I believe that one girl can greatly encourage other girls. However, we have only a handful of women in Astronomy to look upto. If we increase girls number in Astronomy, the girls coming next generation will be super confident before involving in this field.
Despite the low involvement of girls in Astronomy, girls have led historic events like creating images of black hole. It is not that women are incapable, it is the fact that the main problem lies in the underrepresentation of women in Astronomy.
What are your future plans?
I will be going to the USA for my undergraduate study in Sweet Briar College this fall. I am planning to study physics and mathematics there as my major and minor. I am looking for some research related internship programs there. In future, I would take back those experiences earned there and will be working to enhance STEM in Nepal ensuring equal participation of girls . I want to devote my knowledge and experiences to serve the young minds of my country in future.
Glocal International Teen Conference is a fantastic platform for teenagers to share their thoughts, ideas, insights, perspectives, and experiences while also reflecting on world affairs and impacts based on teenagers and youths. Teenagers from all over the world virtually participate in learning and sharing their beautiful insights in order to make a social impact through their work & inspire other fellow teens to make a difference.