Dubai-based girl, 15, wins an all-expenses-paid trip to NASA
Dubai: An Indian expatriate student from The Westminster School — Dubai (TWS) has won an all-expenses-paid trip to NASA in the United States.
Nuzhat Mahdiyat, a Year 10 student, said her trip to NASA is all thanks to a two-week global fellowship programme by Lifology.
In February, Nuzhat took part in the free ‘Lifology Global Fellowship Program – The Future 10,000’, a fellowship programme for school students.
“I was among the initial 40,000 Year 9-13 students who applied from across the world to take part in the programme, which involved mentoring by experts, including Indian author Chetan Bhagat, senior NASA scientist and astronomer Jennifer Wiseman, and Manchester University professor and former WHO advisor Dr Mukesh Kapila,” she told Gulf News.
Nuzhat took the opportunity to explore what the future holds for her and how to adapt to a world that is constantly changing. “I learnt valuable life lessons that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
At the end of the fellowship, she picked up the Diamond Ace Award and is now looking forward to her trip to NASA, as well as a year-long mentorship programme, not to mention exposure to top global universities and elite development programmes.
Nuzhat said students were allowed to participate in the programme by her school career counsellor Lali Saji Mathew. “She was recently awarded the ‘Amazing Counsellor 2022’ at the International Career Counselor’s Award last month,” she added.
“For the record… of the 40,000 applicants, 10,000 students were selected globally. 143 TWS students from Year 10 to 13 were selected to take part. At the end of the programme, I was awarded the top performer, earning the Diamond Ace Award. I feel blessed to have won this. It is an honour for me truly,” she said.
LifeBook to record learnings
Nuzhat said she was given a ‘LifeBook,’ wherein she recorded her learnings, thoughts, and experiences after each session. Also, a Lifology app ensured she completed a variety of tests to discover career paths based on her strengths, weaknesses, skills, and personality characteristics.
“I learnt valuable life lessons which I will treasure throughout my life. Writing in my LifeBook helped me find my direction. I am thankful for how it allowed me to put my thoughts into words. I strongly believe that this programme will help boost my future career prospects,” she added.
Delighted to go to NASA
Nuzhat said she is delighted and eager to go to NASA. “My younger self would find it unbelievable that I am going to NASA at only 15 years old. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a great inspiration and a role model for me. He inspires me to be a strong student leader. I am extremely grateful for my parents who never doubted me and always cheered me on.”
Passion and interests
Nuzhat took part in the ‘Connecting Minds Project’ recently at Expo 2020 Dubai. “My team and I designed a sustainable Martian habitat. We presented our project at the Australian Pavilion in January. Taking part in various innovative initiatives allowed me to discover my passion for designing and sustainability,” she said.
She added: “Another field that I am interested in is space architecture, such as building habitats in outer space. I would like to design rovers and spacecrafts and I aspire to discover ways to make those habitats sustainable.”