8-year-old Mexican 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.

In Xóchitl’s community in Chiapas, Mexico, resources are scarce. “People don’t have the money to buy heaters, so they chop down trees to get firewood [to heat the water],” she says.

The 3rd grader took it upon herself to do something about it. 

A veteran of science projects – she’s been competing in science fairs since she was four – Xochitl set about putting her knowledge and ingenuity to work. Using only discarded materials like bottles, wood, and plastics, she crafted a heating device that runs on a free and readily available energy source: the sun.

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 up the device 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.”

The young inventor was recently recognized by the Nuclear Sciences Institute at Mexico’s Autonomous University for her solar-powered water-heating device, which has the potential to improve lives and the environment not only in rural Mexican communities, but in countries around the world.

If this is what Xóchitl is doing at eight, we can only imagine what the future holds.