Photo Credit: Courtesy of Society for Science

Heroes USA2. September 2020

Teenager Invents a Hunger-Fighting Tool – and Gets 250,000 Bucks

Seventeen-year-old Lillian Kay Petersen was awarded $250,000 for developing a tool that helps prevent children from dealing with food insecurity around the world so “they don’t face malnutrition and lifelong consequences.”

“Eighteen million people were at risk of starvation during the Ethiopian crisis,” Lillan recalls after reading about the 2015 devastating drought. She wondered if computer modeling could help predict crop yields as conditions changed. “I became motivated to help aid organizations respond to droughts in real time.” 

Using daily satellite data, the young American inventor created a model to predict crop yield in every African country. Turns out that her predictions were highly accurate. “Used in conjunction, these tools could better inform policymakers on recipes and supply chains that reach more children with life-saving treatment… while supporting sustainable development and future food security in developing countries.”

A Mighty Girl

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