oju

Oju Ramani. (photo provided)

A nine-year-old Indian American girl in Virginia has won a spot to a prestigious Space Camp in Alabama.

Oju Ramani, a fourth grade student in the Virginia public school system, has received a full scholarship to attend the Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The total monetary value of the scholarship this year is around $1,700 which includes the $1,099 camp fees, $500 travel stipend and about $105 flight suit, according to an email sent to India-West by Oju’s parents.

The Space Camp Space Camp scholarship applicants had to choose one of three categories – Spirit, Financial Need or Special Needs. Oju received the scholarship in the Spirit category.

Spirit applicants must have excelled academically or demonstrated exceptional leadership during the pandemic.  Applicants must emphasize leadership or community service, particularly in the essay and the mission patch drawing and description, the camp says in its website.

All applicants had to answer the questions: When the COVID-19 virus caused schools and businesses to close, how did that change your mission as a student and as a member of your family; What did you do to keep learning; and what did you do to help your family through the difficult times?

Oju answered cooking, exercise, DIY, online classes, reading and volunteering to the questions.

Additionally, applicants had to design and describe a mission patch, which Oju did of healthy cooking.

Applicants also had to describe a science project using the scientific method or engineering design process, for which Oju tested water's freezing point. 

At the age of 7, the email noted, she won first place at the state level in the 2018-19 Power Plates Virginia State contest. Last summer she has made scores of dishes, including fancy breads, soups and sauces, the parents said.

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