Deepika Kurup: Inventor, Scientist & Clean Water Advocate

Deepika Kurup-2

The young guns of India residing abroad continue to make headlines achieving remarkable feats with their acumen and brilliance. Deepika Kurup, a ninth grader of Nashua High School South is the latest recipient of the top prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, winning a cash-prize of $25,000. The honor follows as recognition for her invention of the device that purifies contaminated water with the help of solar energy.

A Game-Changer

The science acumen used by Kurup for her innovative device is simple. The two chemicals utilized are titanium oxide and zinc oxide, both of which show chemical reaction after coming in contact with sunlight.  The byproduct of this influence is hydroxyl which is deemed to attack and perish certain kinds of bacteria, hence purifying infected water. Kurup’s invention is very economical and is touted to become a “game changer, especially in developing nations.” This very reason drove the judges to name Kurup as the competition’s winner.

Deepika Kurup-1

Tripping on the Idea

If you’re wondering where the germ of this gem of an idea came from, the answer is India. While holidaying here, Kurup apparently came across children drinking water from a polluted pool. The sight remained with her and inspired her to take it upon herself to do her bit for the world water crisis.

Plan of Action

If scenes of children consuming contaminated water drove Kurup to design an invention to beat the problem, then trust her to put her plans in action as well. After winning the top honors and cash-prize, Kurup has decided to set up her prototype in India, which will provide people access to clean drinking water.

Going for the Gold

Winning the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge was not a one-shot endeavor. Kurup and nine other finalists had to contest in two additional rounds. For those challengers, the contenders had to unite multiple 3M technologies and come up with innovative solutions. They had to also devise new ways, using principles of engineering and science, to turn on a light bulb. Over the course of last three months, Kurup and other finalists worked with a 3M scientist, under whose mentorship they devised each of their innovations.

Chasing Dreams

Born to Keralite parents, Kurup has her career-aspirations fixed in the field of medicine. The human brain and its functions fascinate her most, and so she is hopeful of making a career in the field of neurology.

Deepika Kurup-3

Another Indian-American Ranks High

Interestingly, while Kurup is the winner of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, yet another fellow Indian made it amongst the final crop. Naren Gaurav, who studies in the Meadow Park Summa Middle School, Beaverton, Oregon, won sixth rank and walked away with a $1000 cash-award.

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

The organizers of this unique competition reckon that bright students such as Kurup and the other finalists will lend a great hand in improving the world economy. The organizers also strongly advocate students to pursue careers in subjects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


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