Gitanjali Rao, an 11-year-old from Lone Tree, Colorado, is the winner of this year’s Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her sensor that can detect lead levels in water better than traditional methods.
Rao, whose victory was announced late in the evening of Tuesday, October 17, will take home $25,000 for the idea, which she said she developed approximately five months ago in response to learning about the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan .
“The idea just came to me when I saw my parents testing for lead in our water,” Rao, a seventh-grader, told Business Insider. “I went, ‘Well, this is not a reliable process and I’ve got to do something to change this.'”
Issue: 11 Volume: 2