Teen Awarded For Solar Powered Water Purifier

I just love stories like this – environmentally aware teens striving for the betterment of humanity through real action and receiving well-deserved recognition for their efforts. 
Last week 14-year-old Deepika Kurup from Nashua, New Hampshire, was named the winner of the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Deepika has developed a cost effective and sustainable solar powered water-purification system. 
While many of us flush good, potable water down the toilet by the millions of gallons a day; 1.1 billion people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. 
Water borne diseases kill millions a year. For example, diarrhea kills around 2 million people annually and is the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide.
The very tragic aspect is that these deaths are so easy to prevent in many instances. Even when afflicted, the cure is often simple – through rehydration and replacement of salts – but not so simple when the only water you have is the water that caused the problem in the first place.
Deepika’s invention uses titanium oxide and zinc oxide. When exposed to sunlight these substances undergo a chemical change that produces hydroxyl radicals capable of killing bacteria. You can learn more about her solar water purifier in a video posted here. I’m sure there will be applications for a commercial version of her invention even within our own countries.
Deepika was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” $25,000 and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures.
14 years old. Wow.
At Deepika’s age, I was busy becoming addicted to various substances and generally turning everything I touched into poop. They say youth is often wasted on the young and in my situation that was particularly the case. 
It’s young ‘uns like Deepika that do prove that saying isn’t always correct and remind me that maybe there is hope for our species and the planet as we know it.
Simple water saving tips