14-year-old's prizewinning solar water purifier

Gmoke sez, "14-year-old New York student Deepika Kurup was named 'America's Top Young Scientist' for inventing a solar-powered water purification system that changes dirty water into safe drinking water. She is one smart and determined young scientist."

14-Year-old is America's Top Young Scientist: Her Solar-Powered Jug Purifies Water


  1. Not only did a child invent this, and outsmart us all regarding clean drinking water throughout the world, but she’s a girl with east-indian lineage. How fitting! I hereby declare that everyone except the Taliban is allowed to use this. Those guys can drink their own urine when they get thirsty.

    1. I’m not so sure a child invented this by herself.  Her father is “Pradeep Kurup, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Nanomanufacturing Center of Excellence, Geotechnical Research Lab.”

      I worked as a judge for our science fair many years ago. One girl, whose father was a scientist or engineer at Oak Ridge National Lab, did an unbelievably sophisticated project involving some special metal samples.  I don’t remember the details, but when other judges were arguing that she should win, one other judge referred to the project as  “Daddy’s metals.”  This is not to say these girls are not brilliant and deserving of praise; just that they had an unfair advantage when competing with children whose father’s are not scientists/engineers.

      More importantly, though: there is the germ of a great idea in this story. Here’s a way to motivate successful scientists and engineers to work on humanitarian problems that are not profitable and won’t advance their careers: Get their children entered into science competitions! 

  2. Score one for science, and another one for 14 year old girls. Between Deepika Kurup and Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old girls are winning the year.

    1. This has been a great year for young, socially-engaged scientists and inventors. Or maybe it’s just a great year for my awareness of young, socially-engaged scientists and inventors. Either way, it gives me a lot of hope for the future!

  3. That was lots of fun to watch. I wonder why nobody else thought of such a simple design. The use of titanium and zinc oxides for purification has been known for a long time.

  4. I teared up a little, this is Awesome.

    “If you’ve got a problem yo I’ll solve it, check out this powerpoint while my MC revolves it”

  5. “Mentor will suggest some 3M tools or technologies that could benefit the finalist’s innovation. Finalists must use at least one 3M technology (suggested by the mentor or otherwise) in their final presentation, and communicate its relevance in their final presentation.”
    Attention bought, audience sold. 

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