Gitanjali Rao is a 15-year-old scientist and inventor that has been selected Kid of the Year by TIME magazine.
Rao fell in love with science at the age of 10, when she discovered carbon nanotube sensor technology. It enables molecules to detect chemicals in water, and that’s how her passion for science was born.
The 15-year-old girl was listed in the Forbes 30 Under 30 List prior to being named TIME Kid of the Year for developing a mobile device back in 2017 that allows scientists to test for lead in drinking water.
Her innovation was used to address the Flint, Michigan water crisis, and her most recent project is Kindly. It’s an app that uses artificial intelligence to detect cyberharassment online at an early age.
The judges were astonished how Roa manages to use technology to battle some of the biggest social issues in the world, and she was selected for the Kid of the Year award from a group of more than 5,000 nominees.
Rao saw down with star actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie for an interview, and the first thing she said was that she doesn’t look like your typical scientist.
“Everything I see on TV is that it’s an older, usually white man as a scientist.’
It’s weird to me that it was almost like people had assigned roles, regarding like their gender, their age, the color of their skin.
My goal has really shifted not only from creating my own devices to solve the world’s problems, but inspiring others to do the same as well.” – she added.
Angelina Jolie interviews @TIME‘s first ever kid of the year, Gitanjali Rao.
— best of angelina jolie (@bestofajolie) December 3, 2020
Rao is a three-time TEDx speaker, and she was awarded the US Environmental Protection Agency President’s Environmental Youth Award in 2018. She noted that it’s not easy when you don’t see anyone else like you, so she has a message for everyone:
“If I can do it, you can do it, and anyone can do it.”
Rao currently attends STEM School Highlands Ranch, and she hopes to study epidemiology and genetics at MIT.
Source: Bored Panda