Arjan Kochar was admitted to Columbus Magnet School in kindergarten but had to leave for New Delhi as his father got a work assignment in India. He completed kindergarten, first grade, and second grade at Kunskapsskolan School in India. Arjan returned to Norwalk, CT in 2016 and rejoined CMS where he has done 3rd and 4th grade and is currently in 5th grade.
At CMS he has been part of student council since third grade. As part of student council he has helped the Open Door Shelter team on several occasions. He is passionate about music and plays three instruments, Viola (as part of school orchestra), Piano, and Tabla (an Indian classical instrument). He has also been part of two school plays Annie and Lion king in CMS. In fourth grade, as part of Academically Talented programs one of projects was to submit an invention for the ‘Invention Convention’ contest. His invention is an art accessory to help artists. This year Arjan is part of the Literary Board at CMS. The Literary Board is a group of students who edit other students writing to share with the entire school. Lastly, in academics he has achieved strong results in both SBAC and MAP testing for the past three years.
Some of his out of school accomplishments are: He is part of the Junior Mad Dogs Cricket Club in Greenwich and has been playing cricket since the last three years a game he picked in India. He also plays Squash at Sportsplex in Stamford. He also participated in the Sikh symposium, a competition in which you have to prepare a speech about Sikh religion based on the books provided to you, for two years in a row.
He has also participated in a Sikh quiz competition in which his team won for two years in row.
In addition to the above, Arjan’s hobbies include singing, dancing, baking, learning math, reading books, and watching BBC news. He likes to be aware of what is happening in the world through BBC news.
After completing this year’s Young Astronaut program, he would like to continue to read about science and space missions. For example, this week there was a report about a snow man shaped object called Ultima Thule on the edge of the solar system. While he will continue with reading about space, he doesn’t know what he wants to have as a career yet and is still debating between his passion for music, technology, or finance.
His heroes in the field of music are Beethoven, Katy Perry and Ustad Zakir Hussain and some of his heroes in the field of technology are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos.
This year’s Young Astronaut mission is special as this is the 50th anniversary of moon landing. Arjan has learned about personalities of aviation enthusiasts viz. Wright Brothers, Sir George Cayley, and Otto Lilienthal. He learned about astronauts, some examples being Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Pete Conrad and their missions. Other skills taught during the YA program are teamwork, initiative, history of aviation, and most importantly about fitness and exercise. He also came to know about the history of Apollo patches and the different missions. His goal is to accomplish learning more about STEAM through the YA mission.
Arjan would prefer his job in the mission to be the Commander. His second choice is to be the Flight Director. The reason Arjan thinks he is fit to be the Commander is because he has leadership and teamwork skills. He uses his analytical skills to problem solve in any situation. The reason he thinks he is fit to be a Flight Director is because he has the ability to apply his STEAM knowledge, responsible behaviour, and communication skills to overcome any challenges in mission and help his team.
His parents are supportive of all his interests and aspirations. He has a sports enthusiast elder brother Nihaal who was part of the mission two years ago and is very supportive of Arjan’s goals. He is extremely thankful to C in C and Ms. Cathy for all the knowledge and fitness training in Young Astronaut program.