11-year-old Gitanjali Rao has won America’s Top Young Scientist award for her water-contamination testing invention.
She plans to spend the $25,000 prize money on improving her device to make it available in the market for more people to use to test for lead-contaminated water. She was inspired to develop her device by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Her simple device uses carbon nanotubes that attract lead molecules in the contaminated water. The data from this device, using a computer-Coding process, is then sent to her mobile phone App for analysis and the colour-coded results denote the quality of water.
Geetanjali’s project, named Tethys after the Greek goddess of water, was developed after she saw her parents running a lab test on water from their new home. She thought there had to be a better way to test the water and came up with her device. The device is portable and easy to use.
Gitanjali says she wants to be an epidemiologist or a geneticist. She advocates not being afraid of Science, and “not to be afraid to try and experiment”.
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