Two years after her better-than-Elon-Musk’s train transportation design, Caroline Crouchley keeps inspiring young girls to participate in science
Finding inspiration in Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, at the age of 13, Caroline Crouchley created a new concept for a cheaper and more sustainable train and became a finalist at the Discovery Education and 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Two years have passed since her invention made the headlines and Caroline keeps proving she deserves to be on the radar for young talents in science. She has shared with us her aspirations and latest projects that could change the world for future generations.
As part of the International Women’s Day 2021 celebration of women, we look closely at Caroline’s scientific successes and endeavors that inspire girls to pursue science.
My generation needs to be the one that takes control of the future
Now 15, Caroline’s goal is to become an engineer and a scientist one day. Aspiring to study STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at MIT and Harvard, she wants to be “known for solving large problems facing our world, leaving the planet a better place and improve the lives of all people.”
With the dream of answering “some of the greatest mysteries of our time”, Caroline hasn’t ceased pushing forward in science. When she isn’t at school, she is working on engineering better irrigation systems for watering plants. Her research includes plant growth, root caps, stages of mitosis, and root development with the hopes to lower the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
She is also working on a filter to limit the amount of salt, nitrates, and other chemicals found in water.
“I feel a sense of responsibility to undo the damage that has been created for the next generation. Ideas to design our world are limitless so why don’t we design a world that is sustainable for 100% of the world’s population,” said Caroline.
Girls have their own unique qualities and attributes that can greatly contribute to science
When Caroline introduced her train concept, she was the only girl in her entire school to sign up for a science fair. With science still being highly male-dominated today, it was refreshing to meet other girls there that also enjoyed science.
“In order to solve the global challenges we face today we have to use the talent and creativity of all people. Girls have their own unique qualities and attributes that can greatly contribute to science. Most girls are very curious about the world but they are put into stereotypes at a young age,” said Caroline.
The passion with which Caroline describes the necessity to have more young women in science proves that it’s an important topic for her and her family. Her mom introduced her to Marie Curie whose determination and resilience have served as an inspiration to her ever since. In turn, Caroline is becoming a role model for many young girls, and with her efforts, she is creating a domino effect for the next generations of women to encourage others to think big.
Despite her young age, Caroline sparks motivation in young girls and minorities
Her recent recognition as a Children’s Climate Prize Finalist in Sweden and mentions in the American Girl Book called Love the Earth and Diversity in Action Magazine have been encouraging girls to get involved in STEM fields.
Besides her scientific projects, Caroline is working on Girl Scout Gold Award that’s creating STEM awareness for girls in elementary and middle schools. She talks with them about her journey and participation in 12 science fairs over the last three years and strives to educate them with real project examples, such as the one that explores the use of dome house designs in hurricane-prone areas to limit possible devastation to infrastructure.
But above all, Caroline is setting an example for all girls and minorities not only in her school district but globally and she does it by staying true to her scientific pursuit. In spite of her young age, she has a clear vision of the world she wants to leave behind and won’t let her gender dictate her future.
This article was written as part of a series of Kiwi.com Stories articles celebrating female inventors, industry game-changers, and adventurers.