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Kiara Nirghin


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South African Kiara is an 20-year-old scientist, innovator and speaker.

At 16, Kiara won the grand prize at the Google Science Fair and the Community Impact Award with her solution to the worldwide drought.

Kiara has developed a unique superabsorbent polymer that holds hundreds of times its weight in water when stored in soil. It is biodegradable, inexpensive and free of harmful chemicals, unlike the manmade materials currently used. The polymer made entirely from waste products, improves the environment, increases the chance for plants to sustain growth by 84% during a drought and can increase food security by 73% in disaster-struck areas.

Kiara has been featured by both The Times and the Guardian on their top 30 most influential teens lists, and invited by Forbes and TED to speak about her work. Kiara was recently named one of the United Nations Young Champions of the Earth and one of the fifty most inspiring women in technology.

She has published her first book with Penguin Random House in 2019. Using these platforms, Kiara actively promotes the importance of protecting our environment through innovation and getting young girls involved in this process.

She is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University.

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