15-year-old scientist named as TIME's first Kid Of The Year 1 year ago

15-year-old scientist named as TIME's first Kid Of The Year

An incredible achievement.

It's not easy to make the cover of TIME magazine - and Gitanjali Rao has managed to do it at the age of only 15.

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The teenager was recently named TIME's first Kid Of The Year for her contributions to the field of science.

 

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Rao was selected from 5,000 nominees because of her research into issues such as contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction.

Rao, who is of Indian-American descent and hails from Denver in Colorado, was interviewed by actor and philanthropist Angelina Jolie and photographed by Sharif Hamza for the historical cover.

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During her interview with Angelina Jolie, when speaking about her process Rao said she must always: "Observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate."

Rao and Jolie held their interview over Zoom due to Covid restrictions.

As well as her achievements in science Rao is also an accomplished dancer and fencer and really loves to bake.

She was previously voted America’s Top Young Scientist after inventing a low-cost test to determine lead content in drinking water.

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"I don’t look like your typical scientist," she said. "Everything I see on TV is that it’s an older, usually white man as a scientist. It’s weird to me that it was almost like people had assigned roles, regarding like their gender, their age, the color of their skin.

"My goal has really shifted not only from creating my own devices to solve the world’s problems, but inspiring others to do the same as well. Because, from personal experience, it’s not easy when you don’t see anyone else like you. So I really want to put out that message:

"If I can do it, you can do it, and anyone can do it."

It's so fantastic to see a young girl being recognised for achievements in science, and we can't wait to hear more from Rao in the future.