14 Year Old New Hampshire Girl Engineers Solar Powered Water Purifier
When Discovery Education challenged young scientists to conceive a solution that could make a difference in the world, 14-year-old Deepika Kurup of Nashua, N.H. was excited to communicate her ideas to the world.
“There is so much science can tell us, yet there is so much more to be discovered,” she said. “Science is very complex and there is never any limit to the amount that can be learned. I really enjoy the fact that with science, every new theory, innovation, or idea comes with more and more questions to be answered.”
The eighth-grade science whiz invented a solar-powered water purification system and won the $25,000 grand prize for her low-cost system. After exposing titanium oxide and zinc oxide to the sun, the device creates a chemical reaction that generates hydroxyl radicals capable for killing harmful bacteria in water, purifying it by reducing the coliform units in colonies of E. coli.
Before entering the contest, Kurup—who hopes to pursue medicine someday—tested the purification system in her backyard with contaminated water from a wastewater treatment facility, according to Co.Exist. Her invention can create fresh-tasting water in areas where electricity is inaccessible
Kurup hopes to patent her system and start a not-for-profit organization to distribute her invention.
“My proudest accomplishment is finding an innovative solution to harness solar energy for water purification,” Karup said. “I truly believe that this technology has the power to save millions of lives across the world.”