12-29-17 / 6:25 AM / A KID INVENTOR FIGHTS LEAD.

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There is a young inventor in Colorado who saw a problem and created a solution that could prevent a lot of kids from getting sick.

You’ll meet her after this…

((( BREAK )))

As Adriana Diaz of CBS News tells us…

VO – Adriana Diaz, CBS News Correspondent
“(NAT / Piano) Outside Denver, a talented twelve-year-old is getting national attention. (NAT / Piano) It’s not for her music. It’s for Gitanjali Rao’s contribution to science.”

SOT – Gitanjali Rao
“If my Mom asked me, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ – I’d be like: ‘Lead.’ (laughs)”

VO – Adriana Diaz
“That’s right, lead – which Rao needed for an invention.”

NAT – Gitanjali Rao
“Imagine living day in and day out, drinking contaminated water with dangerous substances like lead. Introducing Tethys, the easy-to-use, fast, accurate, portable and inexpensive device to detect lead in water…”

She won a national competition for her invention, which was inspired by a real-world problem…

NAT – Gitanjali Rao
“I’ve been following the Flint water crisis for about two years.”

VO – Adriana Diaz
“In Flint, Michigan, nearly 100,000 people drank lead-contaminated water for more than a year.”

SOT – Gitanjali Rao, with Adriana Diaz
“(Rao:) Lead is mostly harmful to younger children about my age, giving them the growth defects and potentially damaging their brain. (Diaz:) You live in Colorado – why do you care so much about what’s going on in Flint? (Rao:) That’s not something that I want to go through, what the Flint residents went through. Our water quality’s just as important as doctor appointments or dentist appointments.”

How does the device work?

VO – Adriana Diaz
“With Rao’s device, instead of taking days to send water samples to a lab, lead is detected in seconds using carbon molecules – and a mobile app.”

SOT – Gitanjali Rao, with Adriana Diaz
“(Diaz:) What’s your next project? (Rao:) I want to create a happiness meter – I still have to figure out how this works.”

VO – Adriana Diaz
“Until then, the science world will be waiting.”

The Osgood File. This is Charles Osgood.