“Into the Stars”: View from the Organizing Committee

Into the stars

In a time where we have been pushed into solitude inside our ever-so-familiar walls, have you followed the glimmer of moonlight oozing its way through the window back into the sky? Did you find some comfort as you found yourself gazing into the stars? Did you connect with something that isn’t supposed to be alive and wanted to know more about this curious presence? That was the aim of “INTO THE STARS”, the global knowledge program organized by SEDSUOC, under SEDS Sri Lanka.

We wanted to share knowledge and also enhance personal abilities and skills in solving real-life scenarios related to space sciences. Alongside that, connecting different people from different countries and building team spirit while sharpening creativity and broadening the boundaries of space exploration was an exciting idea we were eager to put into the world. That’s how we came up with “INTO THE STARS”, a six-week global knowledge exchange program crafted to do just that.

To add more flavor to the mix, we came up with the story of Blu and Midi. They are two aliens who have crash-landed on earth. Through the following six weeks, they had to learn and come up with creative ways to fly their way back into the stars. The participants around the world were put into 17 groups and they had to take the role of these two aliens and carry out the weekly tasks needed to climb their way back into the stars step by step.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Handling this event seemed like a daunting task at the beginning. But, as the organizing committee led by Ms. Dilhani Gamhatha, the support from SEDSUOC and SEDSSL was invaluable in making this event the success that it was. We started working on this about a month and a half earlier before everyone finally gathered for the opening ceremony on the 4th of July 2021. We were reaching out to delegates around the world and building the connections needed to make this event a reality. Alongside that, we were building tasks with the story and reaching out to the judges about these tasks.

We also had to raise awareness about this program as well as reach out to potential sponsors which was challenging in these times. On uncharted territory as an event like this has not been done before, we still managed to find our way through every hurdle. We also could not forget the immense help the moderators gave us in managing all of the participants throughout the event.

To make this not get stale or repetitive we decided to hold a cultural night where people can express their culture through their aurora of talent to make this event more colorful. All of that color was concentrated to the 24th of July where we saw the dense talent as well as the culture of many of our participants which warmed everyone in the cold night and shined as they were reflections of the stars above.

The End of a Story

But as George Harrison said, All Things Must Pass. Good or bad. It was bittersweet as the tumultuous feelings we got when we passed a hurdle and when we solved an unexpected crisis as well as finally going to sleep after a hard days night, got replaced with a sense of relief and achievement as the event finally came to a close on the 21st of August. A night of knowledge and entertainment which reflected the whole event as we celebrated the night it really was! It was a unique and unexpected experience for all of us. We as the organizing committee certainly felt a peculiar feeling as we finally saw Blu and Midi fly back into the stars.

Written By: Dilhara Savinda (Editor: “Into the Stars”)

Featured Image Courtesy: Anjalee Sandathara and Kalana Piyadigama (Marketing and Graphics: “Into the Stars”)

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