Geetanjali Rao is named by TIME as first-ever ‘Kid of the Year’

Meet the 15-year-old Indian-American, Geetanjali Rao, a scientist and inventor who is TIME magazine first-ever ‘Kid of the year’.


Geetanjali is a young scientist with vision and ideas and an unrelenting will to bring a smile on every face she meets. She has used technology in past to tackle issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying.


At a very young age, Geetanjali decided to pursue her passion for science and technology for a greater good. She wanted to invent and innovate, but for a cause that can help others. No wonder, the young lad chose to solve problems grappling society.

Geetanjali invented ‘Tethys’, a portable device that detects lead in drinking water when she was in 7th grade. She went on to win the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge’s America’s Top Young Scientist award of 2017 for her discovery.

The gadget Tethys named after the Greek Goddess of freshwater is capable of indicating the presence of lead in 15 seconds. It has a testing probe on the side that needs to be dipped in water for a few seconds, after which it should be connected to a cellphone through Bluetooth to get the readings.


Geetanjali in her interview with TIME Magazine revealed about her recent invention Kindly which helps detect cyberbullying. The platform was created with the help of Artificial Intelligence to address the increasing cases of cyberbullying especially among teenagers. Geetanjali said, “I started to hard-code Kindly with some words that could be considered bullying, and then my engine took those words and identified words that are similar. You type in a word or phrase, and it’s able to pick it up if it’s bullying, and it gives you the option to edit it or send it the way it is.” She further added, “The goal is not to punish. As a teenager, I know teenagers tend to lash out sometimes. Instead, it gives you the chance to rethink what you’re saying so that you know what to do next time around.

Rao’s interview with TIME reeks of maturity and tenderness of her age. The scientist loves to bake in free time and think about her mission to create a global community of young innovators to solve problems the world over.


Featured image: TIME Magazine

By Prakriti S

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