Time Magazine picked Gitanjali Rao (15), known as “Child Inventor,” as the “Best Child 2020.” Time has been naming “The Person of the Year” every year since 1927, but it is the first time that the magazine has singled out a “Best Child” among children and teenagers. Gitanjali Rao beat over 5,000 rivals among children and teenagers aged 8 to 16 to win the honor.
For its December 14 issue that features Rao’s photo on the cover, Time published on Thursday her interview with actress Angelina Jolly, a well-known human rights activist. “I hope that the devices and programs that I create will not only resolve problems in the world but also inspire other people,” Rao said. “Older White males are often described as scientists on TV, but I wanted to show that if I can, anyone can,” expressing her confidence.
The Colorado teenager developed the app “Kindly” that preemptively detects cyber bullying messages, after recognizing that bullying and harassing through social media is rampant and serious at school. In 2017, she became famous after developing a device that conveniently detects lead from tap water using carbon nanotubes.
With the invention, she received the grand prize and 25,000 U.S. dollars from the “Young Scientist Challenge” hosted by 3M, and earned the title of the best American young scientist.