- TIME’s Kid Of The Year: The magazine announced the award Thursday, citing Rao’s ability to apply scientific ideas to real-world problems — and her desire to motivate other kids to take up their own causes.
Gitanjali Rao, a Colorado teenager who invented a mobile device to test for lead in drinking water, is Time’s Kid of the Year for 2020. The magazine announced the award Thursday, citing Rao’s ability to apply scientific ideas to real-world problems — and her desire to motivate other kids to take up their own causes.
It’s just the latest recognition for Rao, 15, who was named last year to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. She won praise in 2017 after she responded to the Flint, Mich., water crisis by creating a device named Tehys, using carbon nanotube sensors to detect lead in water. The Lone Tree, Colo., native was named America’s Top Young Scientist when she was in the seventh grade. She went on to collaborate with scientists in the water industry to try to get the device on the market.
ome of Rao’s impressive accomplishments include using technology to tackle a wide-range of issues from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying. She also has run innovation workshops around the world and has mentored 30,000 students.
Kindly, her anti-cyberbullying invention, is an app and Google Chrome extension that uses artificial-intelligence technology to be able to detect cyberbullying at an early stage.
One of the things that the Denver teen is working on now is finding an easy way to use technology to help detect contaminants, like parasites, in water. She also is working on a product that could help diagnose opioid addiction at an early stage.
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