Age: 15 Years
Profession: Inventor And Scientist
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Some Lesser Known Facts About Gitanjali Rao
- Gitanjali Rao is a young Indian American scientist, author, and inventor who was selected as the first-ever ‘Kid of the Year’ by TIME Magazine on 4 December 2020 for her work in the field of science. Using her knowledge and technology, Gitanjali took the initiative to combat issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to cyberbullying.
— TIME (@TIME) December 3, 2020
- Gitanjali attended the Highlands Ranch High School, Colorado where she studied STEM curriculum, and she is an active STEM promoter. Apart from being a student, she published a self-illustrated book titled “Baby Brother Wonders” in the year 2015. Gitanjali wishes to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. She wants to study genetics and epidemiology.
- Gitanjali was selected among the five finalists out of 5,000 Americans from the range of age between 8 and 16. Eventually, Gitanjali went on to win the competition and was selected as the first-ever ‘Kid of the Year,’ and made it to the cover of TIME Magazine. She was interviewed by the Hollywood actress and activist Angelina Jolie for a TIME magazine feature. TIME
- In 2017, Gitanjali collaborated with a research scientist at 3M to develop a device that would help in detecting the amount of lead content in water. She developed a device with the help of a 9-volt battery, a lead sensing unit, a Bluetooth extension, and a processor. She named this device Tethys, and she won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and was awarded $25,000 for the invention. Gitanjali has collaborated with the Denver Water Facility and prepared a prototype for her invention.
- The prototype of the contamination detector ‘Tethys’ won her the title of ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ in 2017 and helped her in earning a spot for Forbes “30 under 30” list.
- Gitanjali Rao is a 3-time TEDx Speaker, and in September 2018, she was awarded the United States Environmental Protection Agency President’s Environmental Youth Award.
- Gitanjali also received an award for the Top “Health” Pillar Prize for the TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge in May 2019. She received this award for developing a tool that helped with the early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction.
- Gitanjali also developed an app and Google Chrome extension, which uses artificial intelligence to detect any activity or content viewed online for cyberbullying. She was in second grade when she first started thinking about using technology to bring a social change.
- At the age of 10, Gitanjali told her parents that she wanted to conduct research on carbon nanotube sensor technology at the Denver Water Quality Research Lab. She even featured on ‘The Tonight Show’ where she demonstrated ‘Tethys’ on national television.
- During her interview with Angelina Jolie for TIME magazine, Gitanjali believed that the world had set up gender roles for particular professions and since childhood, she had been witnessing an older, usually a white man, as a scientist in TV commercials and shows. During her Zoom interview, she told Angelina Jolie that she wanted to spread the message that if she could do that and achieve the heights at such a young age, then anyone would do that.