We face a lot of threats which put our life and health in danger and, most of the time, we are not even aware of them. Therefore, it’s comforting to know some people dedicate their time to find ways to save us. Among these people, there is an 11-year-old girl who found the lead levels present in water worryingly high. Therefore, she decided to develop a device which can detect the traces of this substance.
Gitanjali Rao won the first prize in America’s Top Young Scientist competition, from the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge which takes place every year. She received $25,000, and the title of possible future savior of our planet.
Rao got the idea for this amazing experiment after studying the water sources in Flint, Michigan. She kept doing this for about two years, during which she found the lead levels in water disturbingly high, also leading to many people who suffered contamination with the substance.
The girl wanted less people to suffer lead contamination
Therefore, the girl got the idea of developing Tethys. This is a simple sensor which can detect lead levels in water after a short scan, being the quickest device of the type available on the market. Her parents are both scientists, and told her testing lead levels was one of the most complicated things.
However, one day, she was taking a look on MIT’s website, and stumbled upon an interesting article. This article presented carbon nanotubes as a good solution to detect dangerous chemicals in water or other environments. Therefore, she thought she might adapt such a mechanism for lead detection.
Thanks to the help of her parents, who designed her own science room, she went pretty far with the experiment. Tethys is still undergoing testing but, so far, the results have been promising. This way, she hopes she can avoid the contamination of more people, by detecting lead levels in drinking water before it’s too late.
Image Source: Pixabay