Nationally recognized young scientist joins
MCC sustainability panel

While many 12-year-olds are participating in their school’s science fair, Gitanjali Rao has already participated in, and won, national science contests.

Rao, a 12-year-old from Lone Tree, Colorado, was named a top 10 finalist, and eventually the winner of the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and was named America’s Top Young Scientist in 2017. Rao invented a low-cost, effective test that detects lead in water. 

Rao’s invention, Tethys, is named after the Greek goddess for fresh water and was inspired by the 2015 Flint, Michigan water crisis. It allows water to be tested immediately with a sensor that links via Bluetooth to a mobile app. Before her invention, water samples had to be sent away for testing and were costly. 

Since winning, Rao has given TED talks about her scientific findings and promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs in schools across the country.

Next month, Rao will be a guest speaker for Metropolitan Community College’s Hubbard Sustainability Speaker Series at MCC at Do Space. The series brings experts at the local, regional and national level together to discuss important environmental issues. Rao, along with Eric Williams of Natural Resources District and Shannon Bartlet-Hunt of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will discuss the importance of water conservation.

The speaker series is Sunday, Nov. 4, 4-6 p.m. at MCC at Do Space on the second floor, 72ndand Dodge streets. It is free and open to the public with light refreshments provided by No More Empty Pots.

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