Inspired by the Flint water crisis, 11-year old Gitanjali Rao created a cheap device to test drinking water for lead, and won a $25,000 science prize for it.
A proptotype of Rao's lead-sensing device, called "Tethys" after the Greek Titan goddess of fresh water.
Rao knows exactly how to use her $25,000 prize money: "I plan to use most of it in developing my device further, so that it can be commercially available soon. Some of it will go to organizations that I volunteer for, and the remaining will go into my college fund," she told CNN.
"I have always loved science," she said, "I believe that science allows me to look at different approaches to solve real-world problems no matter if it is biology, chemistry, physics, or even aerospace! My favorite science-related activity is to try to assemble things together and perform experiments to prove a hypothesis."
Rao with the other nine finalists of the Young Scientist Challenge.
When asked about what worries her about the environment, Rao said: "I think, the misuse of natural resources such as clean water and air is alarming. Due to irresponsible waste management, air pollution and water contamination are quickly becoming leading causes of death and disease around the world. I hope we all commit to and show a sense of urgency to address these issues."
The other finalists in the challenge received $1,000 each.