MILAN - It all started out of curiosity, when at the age of 11 she was asking herself why was water coming out with an uninviting brown colour in her house. Then, after detailed analyses and tests, she found not only the answer but also the remedy to this problem. This is the story of 17-year old Maria Elena Grimmett, young student from Florida, whose innovation, as told by the Washington Post, gave her a study grant for 100,000 dollars.
During her research, which lasted a full 6 years, the teenager discovered that in the Everglades, the famous swampy area that spans the south of Florida, waters were contaminated by an antibiotic (sulfometazine) that is commonly used for livestock. Having identified the cause, she continued with the development of a remedy that saw the light in the creation of a special resin called MN250. It is made of small plastic pearls that are chemically sticky and that, because of their property, can attract bacteria in the water and remove them.
In 2015, the enterprising nature and talent of this American teenage girl won her the first prize in the Siemens Competition in Math Science and Technology, a prestigious celebration that is devoted to young inventors. Incidentally, Grimmett's capabilities had already emerged a couple of years ago, when she became the youngest author on the Journal of Environmental Quality, a publication that has been going for 43 years.
by editorial staff