Time Magazine recently published a list of the 30 most influential teens of 2015. Among them are social media stars (Bethany Mota and Lele Pons), actresses (Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones and Ariel Winter of Modern Family), and Jenner sisters (Kylie and Kendall, who sort of fit into both of the aforementioned categories).
Then there’s 17-year-old Connecticut high school student Olivia Hallisey, who invented a new way to test for the Ebola virus without refrigeration or electricity.
Hallisey’s invention, which has huge ramifications for rural areas in other countries most profoundly infected by the virus, won the grand prize at the Google Science Fair in September, an honor that includes $50,000 in scholarship funds.
According to Scientific American, Hallisey credits several adults for helping her invention become a reality: Her Greenwich High School science teacher, Andrew Bramante, who encouraged her to pursue the idea and read up on existing diagnostic tests; two Tufts University scientists, Fiorenzo Omenetto and Benedetto Marelli, who helped her develop the test after she emailed them asking questions about their work and seeking their advice; and her father, who drove her to and from Boston around 10 times so she could use a laser cutter Tufts made available.
“We would get up early some mornings, get to Boston about 10, use the laser cutter, and then run home so I could get to swim practice on time,” Hallisey told Scientific American.
“It was a crazy experience, but you can’t turn down an opportunity like that.”
[images via Kiran Foster / Flickr; CNBC]