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The Genius Generation
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The Genius Generation

Author: Group Nine Media and TRAX from PRX

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This podcast is a deep-dive into one incredible invention, entrepreneurial pursuit, or discovery per episode and the young person behind it.

Did you know that the trampoline was invented by a 16-year-old? That popsicles, snowmobiles, and even the Braille language were also invented by young people? In this podcast we’re talking to innovative kids, tweens, and teens who run their own businesses, made a new discovery, or invented something new using science. Our host  Danni Washington, a science communicator who is dedicated to inspiring and educating youth about all things science, is just as excited to interview these innovators and be inspired by them as the interviewees.
10 Episodes
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Kyla Guru

Kyla Guru

2021-05-1314:25

The summer before her freshman year of high school, Kyla Guru discovered a unique passion for cybersecurity at the NSA GenCyber Camp. It was there she discovered that 90% of cyberattacks were due to human error. To combat this problem, Kyla founded Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education (https://www.bitsnbytes.us.com/) whose mission is educating and equipping people with the cybersecurity skills they need for the future. In addition to giving speeches and holding workshops, Bits N’ Bytes also designs downloadable lessons for teachers, so they can spread the word about cybersecurity to their own students.
Zachary Siegel

Zachary Siegel

2021-05-0612:38

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools closed, high school junior Zachary Siegel found himself with a lot more time on his hands. He used that free time to explore his passions (like computer programming), but quickly realized this was also an opportunity to share his passions with others. So he founded The Youth Passion Project (https://www.youthpassionproject.org/). It’s a platform for high school students to teach classes to young learners about the things they are most passionate about. The classes are completely free and cover a huge variety of topics from video game design to philosophy to Bollywood dance. Since its founding in March of 2020, Zach’s organization has grown exponentially, with thousands of students enrolled and chapters across the US, Canada, and South Korea!
Hannah & Charlie Lucas

Hannah & Charlie Lucas

2021-04-2912:25

When Hannah Lucas was 15 years old, she developed POTS, a medical condition that caused her to faint without warning. The anxiety around her condition combined with bullying and harassment from her classmates led Hannah to fall into a deep depression, culminating in an attempt to end her own life. During this incredibly low moment in her life, Hannah had an idea: What if there was a way to immediately alert the people around her that she was not ok? Aided by her tech-savvy brother, Charlie, Hannah’s idea came to life. The result is the notOK App™, a digital panic button which has now helped tens of thousands of others struggling with mental illness.
Luna Abadia

Luna Abadia

2021-04-2214:241

While studying abroad in Japan, 16-year-old Luna Abadia saw the effects of climate change first-hand. Typhoons were getting stronger, snow becoming rarer, and traditional crops were no longer able to grow. This inspired Luna to act. She entered a speech competition and wrote about the importance of combating climate change. Her speech got a lot of attention and Luna became a national finalist. Realizing the power her voice could have, when Luna returned home to Oregon, she founded the Effective Climate Action Project (https://www.effectiveclimateaction.org/) or ECAP for short - a youth-led organization working to increase awareness of effective solutions to climate change.
Kiran Sridhar

Kiran Sridhar

2021-04-1514:361

When he was 11 years old, a volunteer trip to a center feeding the homeless and hungry in San Francisco opened Kiran Sridhar’s eyes to the devastating effects of hunger and food insecurity. After a lot of research and even more hard work, Kiran’s drive to eradicate hunger led to the creation of his online platform, Waste No Food (http://wastenofood.org/). It's a simple concept: farms, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, and grocery stores post excess food on the site. Aid groups and charities feeding the hungry can see what’s available locally, pick it up, and feed their clients. Kiran, now in college, has seen his platform spread across the country from California to Illinois to Florida, and has served over 6,000,000 meals and counting.
Neil Suri

Neil Suri

2021-04-0812:051

When 16-year-old Neil Suri went on a hiking trip to California, he witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by forest fires. The image of the charred mountainside inspired him to look deeper into wildfires - how they start, and how they burn out of control. Through his research, Neil discovered the way we detect forest fires hasn’t changed all that much over the years. And that traditional methods are expensive and out of date. So Neil got to work and invented a completely new, affordable way to detect forest fires - before they get out of control. It’s called FireWatch and it’s amazing.
Avi Schiffmann

Avi Schiffmann

2021-04-0110:34

Very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, 18-year-old Avi Schiffmann recognized people needed a quick and easy way to get accurate information about the spread of the disease. So Avi put his computer programming skills to use and created nCoV2019.live - one of the world’s very first coronavirus trackers. The site quickly became an invaluable resource to millions of people all over the world and earned Avi the title of 2020 Webby Person of the Year - presented by Dr. Anthony Fauci himself.
Anisha Musti

Anisha Musti

2021-03-2509:47

15-year-old Anisha Musti isn’t your average teenager. After she lost her great-uncle to Parkinson’s disease, she was inspired to do something to help others. Using the power of quantum computing, Anisha created a revolutionary technique to detect Parkinson’s disease based solely on the sound of a person’s voice. Now, Anisha runs a non-profit organization whose mission is to teach young people about the power of quantum computing. You can learn all about it at qmunity.tech.
Ananya Sridhar

Ananya Sridhar

2021-03-1812:55

When Ananya Sridhar was 12 years old she heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Despite being 2,000 miles away in California, Ananya decided to act. Not only did Ananya invent a new, affordable way to test for lead contamination in water, she figured out how to identify the communities that are most at risk. To learn more about Ananya’s work or to volunteer to test the water in your own community, go to www.waterbyneptune.com.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to change the world? From creating a robot that can sniff out plastic in the ocean to coding an algorithm that detects Parkinson's disease, our host Danni Washington sits down with inventors, entrepreneurs, and explorers to hear the stories behind their amazing discoveries. Oh, and there’s one more thing: they accomplished all of this before they turned 18. You’re never too young to change the world. New episodes every Thursday, wherever you get your podcasts.
Comments (1)

Happy⚛️Heritic

I'm absolutely blown away by these amazing & talented young people!

Apr 19th
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