Shimla: Aakash Gautam has been shortlisted by The Mars Generation, one-of-a-kind US based nonprofit organization, for its third class of 24 Under 24 Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space Award winners (Class of 2020).

The Mars Generation list comprises a group of young people from around the globe, who are breaking barriers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) fields and bringing the sciences to the public through multidisciplinary interests. The youngest winners of this international recognition are 13 years old.

An HPU alumnus, 22-year-old Aakash Gautam, is a space advocate. Gautam is an IT professional and has been chosen for the title that receives thousands of nominations every year.

Aakash, born and raised in Shimla, while talking to TheNewsHimachal, stated that he aims to educate and motivate young learners to explore career spectrum in space and astronomy. Aakash, who studied computer science from Himachal Pradesh University, recalls the time when his knowledge on space science was undermined just because of the fact he never studied natural science academically. With this win, Aakash also aims to beat this stigma about STEAM education in Indian society. He said

“On a large scale, Indian society sees astronomy field as vague career prospect, one with not having much options to pursue. I wish to change this presumption, and want to show them the real beauty and EXOTICISM of outer space.”

Aakash has been active in space education since 2015. Since 2016, he started devoting much of his time on YouTube, and created a channel Planet Aakash. In 2017, Aakash also proposed and detailed on a whole new branch of astronomy, which he named Metaphysical Astronomy. Later Aakash confounded CosmosNow magazine with fellow science educators in mid-2019.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.