TIME Magazine’s First-Ever “Kid Of The Year” Is Already A World-Class Inventor

Meet Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year old scientist and inventor from Denver, Colorado. Not only has the young prodigy created a variety of inventions that are changing the world for the better, she’s also been honored as TIME magazine’s first “Kid of the Year.”

At the age of 11, motivated by the Flint Water Crisis, Rao invented “Tethy’s,” a lead-detection device, which is capable of finding lead in drinking water. This earned the young scientist wide-spread recognition and she gained the top prize at the Discovery Education 3M 2017 Young Scientist Challenge. Not to mention, she’s already been listed on Forbe’s 2019 30 Under 30 list

Her mission? It’s straight-forward and earnest. She simply wants to make the world a better place to live.

“Poor water quality, especially lead contamination, is a growing problem…

Each one of us has the right to know our water quality, and my aim is to provide a device in everyone’s hands so they know what they are drinking. Lead in water is a serious condition and with my invention I hope to detect lead contamination faster and cheaper than today’s techniques.”

Gitanjali Rao

She also invented “Kindly,” an app that detects cyberbullying using artificial intelligence. Rao is also the brains behind “Epione,” a device for early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction using genetic engineering. 

“Our generation is growing up in a world with problems such as cyberbullying, climate change and contamination of resources that have never existed before,” she said. “I don’t think we have an option but to look at problems and take action now.”

She was recently interviewed by actress and activist Angelina Joile for TIME, where Roa offered this inspiring message to others her age, “If I can do it,” she said, “anybody can do it.”

Continue to expect great things from this brilliant, inspiring young mind! 


Written by Abigale Racine