11-Year Old Invents Device for Detecting Lead in Water


Gitanjali Rao, an 11-year old girl, has managed to successfully invent a device that can easily detect the levels of lead in the water. She got the idea for this invention after she saw the alarming situation that is happening right now in Flint, Michigan.

This week, the girl was awarded for her amazing effort with the award for America’s Top Young Scientist. Rao managed to beat all of her competitors during the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge that takes place every year. The first place brought her a $25.000 prize and a reason to be proud for becoming one of this planet’s last hopes.

A device that can detect lead in the water

Recently, during an interview for ABC News, Rao said that she was inspired to create this device after becoming interested in the situation in Flint, Michigan. Many people are affected by this dangerous lead contamination of the water there. The crisis began back in 2014 and since then, 12 people are believed to have died because of the contamination. So, Rao wanted to lend a helping hand and started working on this device.

Its name is Tethys and it’s basically a portable sensor that can discover lead in the water much faster than any other device on the market. Her parents, who are engineers, have been trying for a long time to detect lead in the water and the girl knew how difficult this process was. So, when she saw on the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s website that nanotube sensors made out of carbon might detect dangerous substances more easily, she got an idea.

She thought that she could modify those sensors to also detect lead. And she succeeded. After entire months of trying to shape up this device, she finally got it ready for use. Apart from inventing, Gitanjali also plays the piano, swims, dances and fences, all in her spare time.

Image source: blogspot

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