What was I doing when I was 14-years old? Sure, it was a couple of years after puberty hit, and all sorts of physical changes were happening, and I spent my Saturday mornings watching cartoons and sitcoms, with a steady diet of computer games following that in the afternoon. Good thing the world is full of 14-year-olds like Deepika Kurup who decided to eschew such pleasures and settle for saving the world, having invented a solar-powered water purification system in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Having done so, she also picked up $25,000 as a reward for her low-cost system picking up the top gong, where this system will expose titanium oxide and zinc oxide to the sun, resulting in a chemical reaction which generates hydroxyl radicals. These will be able to make short work of harmful bacteria in the water, and not only that, it will also purify it by significantly reducing the number of coliform units and E.Coli colonies. Deepika hopes to apply for a patent and kick off a non-profit organization to roll out her system worldwide. The world needs more Deepikas, that’s for sure.