10 things Kid Of The Year Gitanjali Rao told Shah Rukh Khan on TED Talks in 2019


Gitanjali Rao occupied the top spot on the trends list on Friday after TIME Magazine named her as its first-ever Kid of the Year 2020. The 15-year-old Indian-American is an aspiring scientist and inventor, and she was among 5,000 nominees, pitted against each other for the distinction.

We will tell you more about Gitanjali. But, before that, do you know Gitanjali appeared as a guest speaker on the second season of TED Talks India: Nayi Baat with Shah Rukh Khan in 2019? On the show, Gitanjali discussed her passion for science and also demonstrated experiments in front of Shah Rukh Khan.

The superstar was absolutely impressed with the “simply incredible” Gitanjali and applauded her after she said that she intends to make the world a better place.

Here are 10 things that Gitanjali Rao told Shah Rukh Khan on TED Talks India: Nayi Baat in November last year:

HOW ARE SCIENTISTS DIFFERENT FROM SUPERHEROES?

“In our minds, superheroes can jump tall buildings, have technology gadgets. Have superpowers such as flying and robotic hands. But what do they all have in common? The ability to save lives and the magical thing is that they show up exactly at the right time to save lives. If superheroes were real, we would give them all of the support in the world. Wouldn’t we? Well, how are real, breathing, living scientists different from the superheroes in movies and comics? No matter where they are, scientists come up with solutions to help people.”

I WANT TO BE A SCIENTIST SUPERHERO

“I love science and I want to be a scientist superhero, solving real world problems and saving lives.”

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START MAKING A DIFFERENCE

“I like to think of solutions every time I see a problem in the society. It’s never too early to start making a difference and I can prove of that by sharing some of my journey towards innovation.”

WHAT IS TETHYS?

“The health effects of lead in water ranges from anywhere. From just headaches and nausea to possible seizures and even death. I invented my device Tethys to detect lead levels in water. By dipping it into the water sample, it can speedily detect the lead content, how people take preventive measures such as switching to a filtered-water source, and maybe even save lives.”

PROTOTYPE BASED ON HUMAN GENETICS

“I am currently working on another prototype that is based on human genetics and can detect the growing problem of prescription drug addiction. I have chosen to develop an easy to use portable and efficient device that physicians can use to tell if their patients are at the onset of addiction.”

FORTUNATE TO HAVE INCREDIBLE MENTORS

“I am fortunate to have some incredible mentors who believe in me, inspire me and mentors whom I have learn from, and will continue to learn from.”

I AM LEARNING EVERY SINGLE DAY

“I am learning every single day. Learning about the problems around us. Learning about new technology options. Learning about ways to solve them, and how me, and other young innovators like me, can come up with solutions.”

I AM JUST 13 BUT THAT’S GOOD NEWS

“I may only be 13, but that’s good news because hopefully, I have many years ahead of me to be a scientist, to solve problems, to save lives, and to make the world a better place for me, and for children who haven’t been born yet.”

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SCIENCE?

“I believe that the purpose of science is to make a difference. We can all do our part in society by mentoring, volunteering and raising funds.”

WE CAN ALL BE SUPERHEROES

“I don’t think there should be an age barrier to solving problems. I hope that with the right focus and approach to continuous learning, we can all be superheroes, saving lives.”

WHO IS GITANJALI RAO?

Based in Colorado, US, Gitanjali Rao is a scientist, who aspires to study genetics and epidemiology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2017 and was also recognised as Forbes 30 U 30 for her innovations. In September 2018, Gitanjali Rao was awarded the United States Environmental Protection Agency President’s Environmental Youth Award.

ALSO READ: Indian American Gitanjali Rao, 15, named first ever TIME ‘Kid of the Year’ 2020

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