8 Year-Old Mexican Girl Invents A Solar Water Heater & Wins Nuclear Science Prize


Over the past decades, hot water became used more than ever. People use it from washing dishes, showering, to other needs in which hot water is a necessity. It became a regular thing in our lives that we cannot imagine a day without it.

The water heater in the bathroom or the kitchen has become one of the most necessary equipment in our homes. Even some households have one special room in with a large water heater is placed.

On the other hand, some households have solar panels or different water heating equipment. No matter what equipment people use to heat water, every house needs one to provide hot water each day.

However, not every household is able or is lucky enough to have this equipment. In some places in the world, people can get ahold of hot water only if they warm it up with lighting a fire.

Finding a solution for these types of households (especially in third-world countries) is essential.

8-Year-Old Girl Genius Invented Solar Panels

UNIAM’s Institute of Nuclear Sciences awarded Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz, an 8-year-old girl from Chiapas, Mexico, for her newest invention. She created a device that heats water that is powered by solar energy. Additionally, her invention only uses recycled materials.

Resources in Chiapas are scarce which leaves natives to heat water using felling trees. Xóchitl didn’t want her home-town residents to struggle so much so she wanted to find a better solution for families with lower income.

As a child genius, Xóchitl competed in science fairs since she was four years old. Using wood, empty bottles, and plastic, she was able to build her new invention.

Buying a solar panel can be very expensive, especially for poorer areas. This is why Xóchitl’s invention is so crucial. She created a low-cost option that can change the lives of many people in her hometown.

Solar Heaters are Expensive

Even though solar water heaters aren’t anything new, they can be very expensive. Xóchitl’s invention and the design of it make it more efficient and less expensive for people across the world.

This goes especially for developing areas where heated water for cooking or sanitation can be a very expensive and time-consuming activity.

One such example is Bangladesh where people collect wood for heating water. This consumes lots of time from the people that live there and also contributes to deforestation.

Solar Heaters and their Benefits

Using a solar-powered water heater has great benefits such as:

  • – Low maintenance for the heaters
  • – Can last for many years
  • – 50% less expensive compared to other heating (in time, it pays for itself)
  • – Saves carbon emissions (more than 220kg of carbon dioxide per year)
  • – The sun’s fuel can be used free and it’s renewable and sustainable
  • – Reduces risk of facing disruption in resource availability (outages, gas line issues, etc.)

These benefits, along with an effective way of producing the heaters from recycled materials will not only benefit the developing areas but help with the ecosystem as well. It will decrease waste and pollution in great amounts. Xóchitl’s invention uses unwanted and unusable resources to be made which also adds to the reduction in pollution.

The invention that Xóchitl created is now being used by her family. It’s placed on her house and her family is happily using it to heat water. Additionally, poorer households across the world can have an option to build or purchase one of Xóchitl’s inventions for cheap.



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