At 8 years old, Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz López is making history in Mexico. The third-grader has become the first child to win the Reconocimiento ICN a la Mujer from the Instituto de Ciencia Nuclear de Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), an award usually given to adults. The budding scientist from the Altos de Chiapas first demonstrated interest in the field about four years ago. Since then, she has participated in different science fairs and won with a solar water heater, a project that has the ability to make change in her community, according to El Universal.
With the help of her father, Xóchitl installed the solar water heater on the roof of her house. It’s made of entirely recyclable items. She hopes to build a bigger water heater, and is looking for support from universities. It already appears that she has her community in mind when creating these items. “There are low-income people who do not have the possibility of buying those heaters, so they cut the trees to get firewood and that affects global warming,” she said.
Check out a short video profile of her below: