Each month during the school year, CBS4, along with its partner PDC Energy, honors a student who excels in science, technology, engineering or math – STEM. The Future Leaders winner will receive $ 1,000 and a profile on CBS4 News.
DENVER (CBS4) – The latest Future Leaders winner is quite successful, including a recent Time Magazine award for First Child of the Year. Gitanjali Rao is her sophomore year at STEM Highlands Ranch, but by the age of 15 she is already making concrete progress solving some real world problems.
“There’s always a mosaic of sticky notes on my walls because I always think of ideas and come up with something,” Rao told CBS4.
Rao has more than just ideas, she creates solutions.
“Tethys is a device that detects lead in drinking water faster and more cheaply than current methods. It uses carbon nanotube sensor technology and sends all the results to your mobile phone in an app I created, ”Rao explained in one of many videos she made to explain her inventions.
Epione is a device she has developed for the early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction. It uses biology and genetics as well as a phone app.
“What makes it even cooler is that there are a number of action items, including a map of the nearest addiction center and doctor’s offices,” Rao told CBS4.
“What is friendly? How did you come up with that? What is it doing? “Asked CBS4 meteorologist Ashton Altieri.
“Kindly is an artificial intelligence-based service to detect and prevent cyberbullying,” Rao replied.
The app flags words and phrases and sends a warning.
“Kindly’s self-developing and self-learning interface can keep up with the latest emojis, memes and slang in use,” she said.
The 15-year-old has refined a five-step process to turn her ideas into innovations:
“I use the mnemonic ‘Old Bananas Regularly Belong in Cake’ and it’s a great baking tip too,” said Rao with a smile.
Ted Talks, Forbes 30 Under 30, Time’s Kid of the Year, and a regular keynote speaker like many conferences, Rao is taking the world by storm. But it’s her workshops with a rural school in Wyoming that excite her the most.
“It’s almost like we’re energizing each other. I mean, the whole class makes me excited to keep teaching and learning, and I’m looking forward to further developing their innovation dreams, ”she said.
The class consists of 5 students who one day will have the power of innovation behind them. Rao doesn’t just want to solve problems, she wants to teach everyone how to solve problems.
“I really see the idea that people want to make positive change and be innovators. They just don’t know where to start and that’s almost an unacceptable answer to me, ”said Rao.
LINK: Future Leaders application
You can nominate a student who excels in STEM for a chance to become the next Future Leaders winner.