Harvard freshman, Deepika Kurup, turned heads when, at the age of 14, she invented a sustainable way to clean dirty water that could be implemented around the world.
"I began research when I was in the eighth grade. My family and I travel to India every summer, there I witnessed people who didn’t have access to clean drinking water and this sparked within me the need to help," she said.
Her invention won her first place at the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2012 and brought a $25,000 prize that has allowed her to expand her research. It has also garnered her global attention and a visit to the White House.
Her invention uses two chemicals — titanium oxide and zinc oxide — which both undergo a chemical change when in direct sunlight, producing hydroxyl radicals that can attack and destroy certain types of bacteria in dirty water. The super cheap and sustainable method has people excited.
She was recently appointed to Forbes’ 30 under 30 and plans to explore medicine further while at Harvard.