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The Genius Generation
16 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
When Victoria was 13 years old she had an epiphany at a speech and debate summer camp where her peer mentor, Ashna supercharged her learning experience. When Victoria and Ashna realized how powerful peer-to-peer mentorship could be they knew they wanted to spread that power to others. The result is the organization STEM & Buds (https://www.stemandbuds.org/) that uses the capacity of mentorship to foster a love of science in young people.
16 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Peter was a freshman in high school when he learned that monarch butterflies are disappearing at an alarming rate, so he decided to act. He formed an organization called Homes4Monarchs (https://homes4monarchs.wixsite.com/milkweed) which has distributed 10s of 10,000s of milkweed seed packets all around his native city of Chicago. If you've never heard of milkweed, that’s okay. The one thing you need to know is that it's essential to the survival of the species.
13 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Gia Mar Ramos
Ever since she was a little girl, Gia Mar Ramos had an interest in computer science and technology, but as she got older she noticed something: there were very few girls in her technology classes… so Gia decided to do something about that. The summer before high school she started a non-profit organization called Girl Innovation (https://www.girlinnovation.net/) dedicated to closing the gender gap in computing and technology. She does this by educating middle school girls about computer science on her home island of Puerto Rico.
11 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Caleb Anderson is a college student studying aerospace engineering at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology. Did we mention Caleb is 12? Yeah, Caleb has always been pretty smart. He was learning fractions at two years old, and had already qualified for Mensa by age three… one of the youngest people to ever do so. Now that he’s pursuing his degree in aerospace engineering, Caleb has big dreams to work at the likes of NASA or SpaceX. We’re confident he’s going to do great things.
13 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
For as long as she can remember, 14-year-old Anna Du has had a deep love for the ocean. One day while collecting sea glass, Anna had an epiphany about how much plastic was polluting it. And she got to work. Since her realization Anna has developed an underwater robot that can detect microplastics deep in the ocean, started developing a model to predict where plastic pollution will occur, and written a book about her journey. Did we mention she’s 14?
14 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Max Feldman believes the key to saving our planet is educating the next generation about the problems facing our environment today. And so that’s exactly what he does with his organization The Tomorrow Project (https://www.tomorrowprojectus.org/). They put on in-person and virtual workshops for kids all over the country to learn about the importance of being sustainable and how to live green lifestyles. What makes all of this even cooler is that Max and the entire team at The Tomorrow Project are all high school or college students.
13 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
At just 16 years old Adithi Raghavan founded her organization BEEducated (https://www.thebeeducated.org/) when she learned just how serious the plight of the honeybee is (their populations are declining sharply). Through BEEducated, Adithi has created “The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge” to empower young people all over the country to create bee-friendly gardens in their very own backyards using kits that Adithi and her team send out.
15 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
When Sophia Kianni was in middle school she took a trip to visit relatives in Iran. She was shocked by the levels of pollution she saw there. The more she looked into it, the more alarmed she became. The effects of climate change are particularly extreme in the Middle East. And yet when Sophia brought up her concerns to her relatives, she discovered they knew almost nothing about climate change. Sophia was determined to educate her relatives, so she started translating scientific information into Farsi to help her relatives understand. This experience led to the founding of Sophia’s organization, Climate Cardinals (https://www.climatecardinals.org/) which now has over 6,000 youth volunteers translating and sourcing climate information into over 100 languages.
14 minutes | May 27, 2021
From a very early age, Davin Martin has been obsessed with space. In the summer of 2020, Devin made his dream come true completing a summer internship at NASA and working directly on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. Watching the rover successfully launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida was a huge triumph for Devin, but his journey hasn’t been easy. He has had to face adversity, including racism, along his journey.
13 minutes | May 20, 2021
Chander Payne had a life changing moment in his high school cafeteria (how many of us can say that?). He noticed his fellow classmates didn’t have access to healthy foods like fruit and vegetables - so he decided to grow them himself. Chander started an urban farm at his high school, growing fresh fruits and veggies right where they were needed the most. That project soon blossomed into a full-fledged organization called Urban Beet (www.urbanbeet.org/), creating urban farms in other schools and homeless shelters in the Washington D.C. area.
15 minutes | May 13, 2021
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.
13 minutes | May 6, 2021
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!
14 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Hannah & Charlie Lucas
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.
16 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
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.
16 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
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.
12 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
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.
12 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
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.
10 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
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.
13 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
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.
1 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
The Genius Generation Trailer
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.
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