Meet the 11-year-old who developed a new method of testing for lead in water

Gitanjali Rao opens up about her passion for science live on "GMA."
5:06 | 10/23/17

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Transcript for Meet the 11-year-old who developed a new method of testing for lead in water
We'll move on to a remarkable young woman who is definitely going to motivate us this Monday. It's gitanjali Rao is an 11-year-old who saw her parents testing the water in their new home for lead and thought there must be a better way. Did I mention she is 11. So she invented a way and that won her the title of America's top young scientist at this year's 2017 discovery education 3M young scientist challenge so let's bring out gitanjali. Come on out. Hi. Nice to meet you. What a pretty smile you have. Nice to meet you. Did I say your name right? Gitanjale. That's great. So tell us about your award -- first of all, congratulations. Thank you. That's so awesome. Thank you. How did it feel when they called your name? Did you know they were going to call your name? I did not know they were going to call my name. When I won the discovery education 3M young scientist challenge it was one of the best case of my life. It was amazing to see that three months of hard work and just those two days leading up to the final event all paid off and I actually won the challenge though. You did great. George has a question. Tell us about how this happened. Where your experiment came from. Yeah, so I have always been interested about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. I was originally inspired by it and I knew that Flint wasn't the only place with lead contaminated water and there were over 5,000 water systems in the U.S. So I created a device on this one I saw my parents testing for lead in their water and then I realized it wasn't a reliable process and wanted to do something to not only help my parents, but also the residents of Flint and other places like Flint. How did you realize it wasn't reliable? Well, it was taking a long time and like it -- like most of them were just test strips through background knowledge I know they're not very accurate so -- Through background knowledge. George. Tell us how your invention works. So my invention is called tepys and it is a Greek goddess of fresh water and that's why I named my device that and includes the core device a big blue box and several disposable cartridges so how it work, first you dip your cartridge into water so, for instance, if we were doing a test with lead contaminated water, the lead molecules in the water would instantly bind to the chloride elements introduced into the nano tubes so I measured the amount -- We have no notes by the way. This is all in her head. You can keep going. So I measured the amount of resistance using my arduino processor and sent all the data to your mobile phone and developed an app to -- in order to find out the lead amounts in your water so if it's green it means that your water is safe. Wow. If it's yellow or red it means it's slightly contaminated or critical. You're saving lives. Yeah. You are. So here's my question to you -- I mean -- what next for you? What do you want to do when you grow up? I want to be an epidemiologist or geneticist. That's good for the word. That's good for all of us. Thank you. What do you say to kids who are afraid of science? I would tell them to not be afraid to try. Through experimentation I found out not everything can be finished and completely done in one shot and with the help of my mentor, Dr. Shaffer, I really got through my ex-peer men take and took all the safety and things into consideration. You had $25,000 for this prize. What are you going to do with the money? I can't wait to hear. With most of my money I plan to continue evolving my device so that it can be put out into the market and can be in everyone's hands. With the remaining I would like to give back to the organizations I volunteer for such as children's kindness network. And -- Oh, my gosh. Wow! And the remaining for like college fund, some things like that. I hear you want to go to mit. Yes, I do want to go to mit. When it goes to market, you can pay for it thank you. You're a delight. Thanks for coming in.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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