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Student Building a Robot That Will Work on Mars

Bharg Shah with Meenu Jain

Bharg Shah ’17 was a precocious 6-year-old in elementary school in India when he heard his principal over the loudspeaker with a very special opportunity. He announced a program that would send two dozen of the young students to a NASA research center in the United States.

Bharg was heartbroken when he learned he couldn’t go.

But two of his friends did, and they returned with stories and photos that fueled the second grader’s desire to learn as much as he could about science and visit NASA.

Twelve years later, that dream will come true this fall.

Mr. Shah, a 2017 MCC graduate in Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, was part of the NASA Community College Scholars program, conducted by the University of Oklahoma, in which he took on online course for six weeks. He scored a 96 percent in the class and was then offered the opportunity to go to the NASA Research Center in Langley, VA for a four-day workshop. The visit will reinforce what the students learned in the class, plus discuss scholarship and internship opportunities. He will also build a robot.

“When I get to NASA, I have to program and build a robot that will work on Mars,” he said. “This is a dream come true.”

He is now at Rutgers and hopes to go into automobile aerodynamics.

While at MCC, Mr. Shah was vice president of the STEM club and a peer tutor in the Learning Science Center and in the Veterans Center.
“He is a very sincere student,” said Professor Meenu Jain. “He was in two of my classes and is a terrific student. I am very proud of him and predict he will be very successful.”