Teen Scientist

Teen Scientist

Rachel is more than just an innovative creator, she’s a leader
 looking to make change for the better by using every-day items.

No ordinary girl, Rachel Brouwer is heading to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair all because of her ninth grade water purification project.

Devising a water purification system made from every-day items, Rachel was determined to make a difference. After winning a gold medal at the national science fair, she was invited to join the Canadian team at the international fair and will have her system tested in Pakistan.

“When I was in Grade 7, I went hiking in New Hampshire and my brother and I saw the lakes and the rivers and then we saw the ‘Contaminated. Do Not Drink,’ signs. At the same time I was reading the I am Malala book. In this book, many women and children were dying from cholera, so I kind of put the two ideas together and I wanted to make a difference.”
– Rachel Brouwer

The purification system uses a charcoal and cotton filter to remove contaminants. The filtered water is then put into two-liter bottles and set onto a hot tin roof to be warmed by the sun. The sun’s UV radiation kills the bacteria. To clarify when the water is safe to drink, Rachel designed an indicator strip using soy bean wax that changes color as the water gets safer.

Innovative ideas are the building blocks to global change and ending extreme poverty. The world needs critical thinkers willing to challenge norms and solve the planet’s biggest problems.

4GGL thanks Global Citizen for this story. 


Approximately 1,700 high school students from more 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for approximately $4 million in prizes.

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