Eleven-year-old scientist wins award for device inspired by the Flint water crisis

Eleven-year-old scientist Gitanjali Rao recently won the Discovery Education 3m Young Scientist Challenge for a sensor she invented that detects lead levels in water. Rao appeared on the FOX Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” to discuss her invention, telling Stuart Varney, “My device is a lead-detecting tool which detects lead in water specifically, faster than the current techniques out there today. I developed my device in my school, STEM school Highlands Ranch. It uses a disposable cartridge, which can easily be attached and removed, and a core device.”

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Rao added that she was inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

“I hadn’t really thought about creating a device for this until I found my parents testing for lead in our water and then I realized that I needed to create a device not only to help my parents make the process faster, but for the residents of Flint and other places like Flint around the world.”

When asked where she would like to go to college one day, Rao responded, “I would like to go to MIT, I think it really matches my interest in technology.”