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Gitanjali  Rao

Gitanjali Rao

Inventor, Aspiring Scientist, Author & Active Promoter of STEM

Gitanjali Rao

Inventor, Aspiring Scientist, Author & Active Promoter of STEM


When 7th grader Gitanjali Rao heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, she was inspired to help and dove right into research. She designed a compact device called “Tethys” to detect lead in drinking water with the aid of a mobile app. In 2017, she was named “America’s Top Young Scientist” and was awarded the $25,000 top prize from Discovery at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She received the TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Top “Health” Pillar Prize for a solution to diagnose prescription opioid addiction at an early stage, and was awarded a grant by the National Science Teaching Association to implement an anti-cyberbullying solution. In addition, she is a subject of the Marvel Hero Series on Disney+ that highlights young leaders who make a difference in our communities. She was also a Delegate to the 2019 Congress of Future Medical Leaders. Gitanjali Rao is an inventor, an aspiring scientist, author, speaker and an active promoter of STEM around the world.

In connection to the COVD-19, Rao stated, "With the pandemic, we’ve changed the future of health care with these vaccines. Not only that, we’ve changed the future of social interaction, as well as an education system that’s stayed the same for 50 years. Even though it’s so incredibly unfortunate that there have been a lot of losses due to this pandemic, if we have to look at the optimism, the silver lining, we’re making strides in the world of technology and human support and human growth. I can’t see a world filled with positivity and hope without some sort of science involved.”

She was honored as Forbes “30 Under 30 in Science” in 2019 and TIME’s “Top Young Innovator” and "TIME Kid of the Year" for her innovations and STEM workshops she conducts globally, which has inspired over 76,500 students in the last three years across six continents and 46 countries.

Gitanjali is the author of the book Young Innovator's Guide to STEM, which guides students, educators, or teachers through a self-developed prescriptive 5 step innovation process. She was appointed as a UNICEF Youth Advocate 2021 for using science for solving social problems such as cyber-bullying and developing solutions for environmental protection and recently received the Muhammed Ali Humanitarian award for her selfless service for the refugee camp students.

She currently attends Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Future of Healthcare

Youth & Readiness for AI