“America’s top young scientist. Gitanjali Rao, a seventh grader from Colorado.
She designed a 3D Printed compact device to detect lead in drinking water, she mentioned it can be faster and cheaper than other current methods.
According to Gitanjali Rao, “I continued to research and follow it for the next couple years. Then, I saw my parents testing for lead in our water and that is pretty much what sparked the idea. I realized that using test strips would take quite a few tries to get accurate results and I wanted to do something to change this, not only for my parents but for the residents of Flint and places like Flint around the world.”
“I think the judges recognized the significant progress Gitanjali made over the summer, advancing her project from a cardboard box prototype to building out Tethys’ software and 3D-printed hardware. She also initiated some fundamental lab studies to investigate how aspects of her proposed sensor could work in the future,” said Shafer.
She remains cautious about the commercial future of the device: “For commercial products, it’s important to establish technical feasibility, manufacturing feasibility, and a strong business case. As mentors, we really focus on supporting the finalists in the early research phase of technical feasibility.”:)