Ashita (13) and Arnav Sharma (12), a sister-brother duo from Jaipur are the youngest participants at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) Techfest 2016. The siblings participated in various events like the Boeing National Aeromodelling Championship, Full Throttle and Skylark.
While Ashita is in class 8, Arnav is in class 7, and the two have been participating in IIT-B’s Techfest, and IIT Kanpur’s Techkriti since the last four years. When PaGaLGuY asked the siblings about their interest in engineering and technology, they said, “Since childhood we are fascinated by science, and technology. We are even moving to Kota in March 2017, to prepare for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), and various other Olympiads.” For both of them aerospace is a hobby. “We wish to secure admission in IIT-B’s Computer Science and Engineering branch. We are learning flying because our father is interested, and he wants to learn it from us,” they added.
Their father, Ashish Dutt Sharma, is an alumnus of Malviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur. Accompanied by his wife and a friend, he visited Mumbai to cheer the duo at the Tech Fest. He was seen taking a video of them perform, while encouraging them along the way. Given their age, organisers often ask them if they are sure about participating and urge them to cross check before enrolling their names for the competition. When asked if they got nervous during competitions Arnav said, “We do get nervous. In fact we enjoy participating. Even though we haven’t won any prizes yet, we always try to make it to round 2, and most of the times, we have been able to do so.”
Other than participating in tech festivals, Ashita is working on her own project. Currently, she is making a gigantic speaking periodic table, and in January 2017, will display it for the Guinness World Record. The duo is also thorough with the syllabus of Class 9 and 10, way ahead of time due to their parents who home-school them.