8-year-old Chiapas girl wins Nuclear Sciences Prize for her invention

8-year-old Chiapas girl wins Nuclear Sciences Prize for her invention

At just 8 years old, Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz has invented a device to help low-income families. The little girl from Chiapas was recognized by UNAM's Institute of Nuclear Sciences for her outstanding scientific achievement.

At just 8 years old, Xóchitl has designed and constructed a solar-powered device to heat water, using only recycled materials, Cultura Colectiva reports. 

For many, this device may seem totally unnecessary. But, in Xóchitl's community, where resources are scarce, "people don't have the money to buy heaters, so they chop down trees to get firewood [to heat the water]," says Xóchitl. Her device not only functions to provide hot water to low-income families in her community, it also saves trees! Xóchitl's family helped her set the device up on their roof and have been using it to heat water to bathe. 

Xóchitl says she always bathes quickly though, "so [the hot water] will last for my little brother." If this is what Xóchitl is doing at 8-years-old, we can only imagine what the future holds.
Chiapas is home to the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Chinkultic and Toniná. It is also home to one of the largest indigenous populations in the country with twelve federally recognized ethnicities. 

Much of the state's history is centered on the subjugation of these peoples with occasional rebellions. The last of these rebellions was the 1994 Zapatista uprising, which succeeded in obtaining new rights for indigenous people.


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