My name is ... Gintanjali Rao

STEM School student, inventor

Posted 8/30/18

Gintanjali Rao is well ahead of most kids her age. At age 12, she invented a device that detects lead in drinking water faster and cheaper than current methods. She developed her own app to go with …

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My name is ... Gintanjali Rao

STEM School student, inventor

Posted

Gintanjali Rao is well ahead of most kids her age. At age 12, she invented a device that detects lead in drinking water faster and cheaper than current methods. She developed her own app to go with the device, called Tethys, and recently appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" in New York City.

Among other things, Rao was named America's Top Young Scientist of 2017, published a book at the age of 9, reports for Time for Kids and takes part in STEM Scouts and 4-H.

About me

I am a 12-year-old student at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch and live in Lone Tree. I have been an active volunteer for the Children's Kindness Network, an organization that spreads an anti-bullying message, since I was 9. I conduct workshops in elementary schools and hope to educate children about kindness. I also run essay contests, create comic books, conduct workshops and partner with other local organizations to spread the message of kindness.

My invention

I created a device, Tethys, that detects lead in drinking water faster and cheaper than current methods out there. I came up with it after I heard about the Flint water crisis about three years ago. It was a shocking issue for me and I felt like I wanted to do something about it.

I think it was the idea that so many people were being affected, especially my-aged children were being affected by a poison they're drinking every day, and I really thought it was a right that everyone should be drinking clean water and these people in Flint aren't able to do that.

My original idea was really just cardboard and a couple pieces paper. I didn't have too many resources, but as I started to get into it, I started reaching out to manufacturers and a lot of different technology companies to acquire the pieces I need.

Being on the Fallon show was like ...

It's stuff that you never dream of happening, then one day they call you up and say "We want you on the show." He has exactly the personality he does on TV. It's the one thing I've said to everyone.

It was a different experience, but it was also a lot of fun. It's a bit nerve-wracking always when you go on sets for the stuff you see on TV and you're in front of a bunch of people who are watching every move and what you're doing. But the excited-ness overpowers everything. For all of these different media things, I've always had so much fun with them, even if I'm scared in the beginning.

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