Who is TIME’s First Kid of the Year? Get to Know Gitanjali Rao

Who is TIME's First Kid of the Year? Find out in this inspiring interview! 

Who says you have to be an adult to be a scientist? Definitely not this 15-year-old who is taking the world by storm! Orlando Science Center got the chance to chat with Gitanjali Rao.

Gitanjali Rao is a 15-year-old Indian American inventor, author, scientist, S.T.E.M. promoter, and engineer. She is working to solve some of the world’s messiest problems by inventing solutions - like a device that detects lead in drinking water, an app to help prevent cyberbullying, and more!

You've probably heard of TIME's Person of the Year, but for the first time ever, a kid was also chosen. Who is TIME's first Kid of the year? You guessed it, Gitanjali Rao! She was TIME Magazine’s first Kid of the Year, as pictured on the cover of the magazine. She was interviewed by Angelina Jolie and was chosen from more than 5,000 US nominees for the prestigious title of TIME’s Kid of the Year. "If I can do it, you can do it, and anyone can do it," she said.

While she is working to shape and save the future of our world, she has also written a new book entitled A Young Innovators Guide to S.T.E.M. Grab a copy and share it with your favorite aspiring scientist to help unlock their innovator within.

The Orlando Science Center had the pleasure of discussing some topics with Gitanjali. During our conversation, she explains that no matter your age or where you live, anyone can be a S.T.E.M. professional if they are passionate enough. We also had Gitanjali help us celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, by telling us what heritage means to her.

...heritage is a unique and inherited sense of one's identity, passed down from generations. This is what makes us who we are.

Gitanjali Rao

Gitanjali also highlights “values, traditions, culture, art, and cooking styles” which help us stay in touch with our heritage. She ends by telling us that she is proud of who she is, and her heritage. She believes everyone should be, too, because that is what makes us... us

Thanks Gitanjali Rao for helping OSC inspire science learning for life, no matter who we are, where we come from, and no matter our age. And a huge thanks for helping us celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. How will you be celebrating this heritage month? Try taking some time to find out what you can do for the community.