Introducing: Kids Listen University 🎓


The Genius Generation

This podcast is a deep-dive into one incredible invention, entrepreneurial pursuit, or discovery per episode and the young person behind it. Did you know that the trampoline was invented by a 16-year-old? That popsicles, snowmobiles, and even the Braille language were also invented by young people? In this podcast we’re talking to innovative kids, tweens, and teens who run their own businesses, made a new discovery, or invented something new using science. For season two, our host Stephanie Cas...more


  • Tavish Sharma

    Aug 11 2022

    After witnessing a mismatch in food bank donations — massive lines at one, and barely any supply at others — Tavish Sharma created Solve Hunger ( His app aims to address food shortages and rally communities around their local food banks, and it’s already recruited over 60 food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens.

  • Emily Flores

    Aug 04 2022

    Representation matters to Emily Flores. She founded Cripple Media ( to train and uplift young, disabled journalists. She and her staff mythbust misconceptions, call out ableism, and write about the issues they care about most.

  • Neil Deshmukh

    Jul 28 2022

    Neil Deshmukh learned the hard way that building trust with a community is crucial to an invention’s success. He developed PlantumAI ( to help farmers in India connect with researchers at agricultural universities to diagnose and treat plant diseases. His app has now detected disease in over 3,000 plants and saved countless farmers’ crops.

  • Khloe Thompson

    Jul 21 2022

    Khloe Thompson is an expert at giving back. As the founder of Khloe Kares (, she has given out basic resources to people experiencing homelessness since she was 8. She is also the designer of PeachTree Pads, which are sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual pads.

  • Samyak Shrimali

    Jul 14 2022

    Hand-washing is an easy way to prevent the spread of germs, but many people (even doctors!) aren’t doing it correctly. Samyak Shrimali created Sanjeevani, a system to solve this problem in hospitals. Sanjeevani combines sensors and a computer model to track whether health care workers wash their hands according to World Health Organization guidelines.

  • Ela Gokcigdem

    Jul 07 2022

    A concussion left Ela Gokcigdem with time on her hands and plenty of ideas. Drawing from white noise therapy that helped her recover, she designed ePearl Technologies, a wireless, noise-canceling pair of earbuds made from recyclable materials. Since then, she’s become involved in climate activism and documentary filmmaking.

  • Varun Chandrashekhar

    Jun 30 2022

    Inspired by the challenges that paralyzed people like Stephen Hawking face when communicating, Varun Chandrashekhar designed SpeakUp ( His invention is a speech aid that picks up on a person’s brain and translates those impulses into speech. The device relies on a kind of computer analysis called machine learning, which Varun taught himself.

  • Angela Zhan

    Jun 23 2022

    What if there were a way to biodegrade plastic, instead of having it collect in landfills and pollute oceans? Angela Zhan discovered bacteria that can do just that. The microscopic organisms that she found naturally eat up plastic, turning it into much more environmentally friendly products. Next, she’s scaling up her experiments from lab beakers to an entire bioreactor.

  • Lino Marrero

    Jun 16 2022

    At 15, Lino Marrero is already a serial entrepreneur: his inventions include the String Ring and the Sole Solution. Most recently, he designed a prototype for the Kinetic Kickz 2.0, a shoe insert that converts physical activity into an electrical current that can charge a cellphone. One day, he hopes to perfect his invention and hook the world on renewable kinetic energy.

  • Mary Catherine Hanafee LaPlante

    Jun 09 2022

    One day at softball practice, Mary Catherine Hanafee LaPlante noticed that noxious pesticides and herbicides were being sprayed on the field directly next to her. After arming herself with information and scientific research, she founded Speak Up Green Up ( to lobby her district to swap in less harmful alternatives and encourage others to do the same.

  • Jonathan Tamen

    Jun 02 2022

    Jonathan Tamen wants to be an upstander and not a bystander, and so far, he’s succeeding. He and his twin brother founded Helping Hands MB (, a nonprofit whose mission is to change children’s lives through 3D-printed prosthetic limbs. After extensive quality checks, their first shipment of prosthetics is on its way to Haiti.

  • Sarah Park

    May 26 2022

    When 14-year-old Sarah Park moved a close family member to tears by playing the violin for them, she realized the huge potential that music can have on a person’s emotions. She created Spark Care+ ( to harness the healing power of music therapy and create personalized experiences powered by artificial intelligence. 

  • Genius Generation Season 2 Trailer

    May 19 2022

    Get ready for Genius Generation Season 2!

  • Nala Hayden

    Aug 12 2021

    Nala is the creator of the non-profit organization MyHairLove. Her mission is teaching younger black children how to care for their natural hair while breaking stigmas and negative stereotypes at the same time. She plans to do this through YouTube, educational “hair kits,” and live workshops with elementary and middle school aged children.

  • Anugreh Sehtya

    Aug 05 2021

    Anugreh, at just 17 years old founded a technology company called Hybrid Idea to solve some of the problems he saw in his home country of India. But his company isn’t just dedicated to one interest. Everything from visual impairment to autism to clean water, Anugreh has taken them all on.

  • Emily and Kyle Tianshi

    Jul 29 2021

    Emily and Kyle are a brother and sister duo who founded an environmental advocacy organization called Clear Water Innovation ( that’s dedicated to solving the global water crisis. Through their organization, they encourage young people to solve environmental problems. Emily and Kyle are also quite the pair of scientists and conduct experiments out of their own garage science lab.

  • Victoria Ren

    Jul 22 2021

    When Victoria was 13 years old she had an epiphany at a speech and debate summer camp where her peer mentor, Ashna supercharged her learning experience. When Victoria and Ashna realized how powerful peer-to-peer mentorship could be they knew they wanted to spread that power to others. The result is the organization STEM & Buds ( that uses the capacity of mentorship to foster a love of science in young people.

  • Peter Gordon

    Jul 15 2021

    Peter was a freshman in high school when he learned that monarch butterflies are disappearing at an alarming rate, so he decided to act. He formed an organization called Homes4Monarchs ( which has distributed 10s of 10,000s of milkweed seed packets all around his native city of Chicago. If you've never heard of milkweed, that’s okay. The one thing you need to know is that it's essential to the survival of the species.

  • Gia Mar Ramos

    Jul 08 2021

    Ever since she was a little girl, Gia Mar Ramos had an interest in computer science and technology, but as she got older she noticed something: there were very few girls in her technology classes… so Gia decided to do something about that. The summer before high school she started a non-profit organization called Girl Innovation ( dedicated to closing the gender gap in computing and technology. She does this by educating middle school girls about computer science ...more

  • Caleb Anderson

    Jul 01 2021

    Caleb Anderson is a college student studying aerospace engineering at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology. Did we mention Caleb is 12? Yeah, Caleb has always been pretty smart. He was learning fractions at two years old, and had already qualified for Mensa by age three… one of the youngest people to ever do so. Now that he’s pursuing his degree in aerospace engineering, Caleb has big dreams to work at the likes of NASA or SpaceX. We’re confident he’s going to do great things.

  • Anna Du

    Jun 24 2021

    For as long as she can remember, 14-year-old Anna Du has had a deep love for the ocean. One day while collecting sea glass, Anna had an epiphany about how much plastic was polluting it. And she got to work. Since her realization Anna has developed an underwater robot that can detect microplastics deep in the ocean, started developing a model to predict where plastic pollution will occur, and written a book about her journey. Did we mention she’s 14?

  • Max Feldman

    Jun 17 2021

    Max Feldman believes the key to saving our planet is educating the next generation about the problems facing our environment today. And so that’s exactly what he does with his organization The Tomorrow Project ( They put on in-person and virtual workshops for kids all over the country to learn about the importance of being sustainable and how to live green lifestyles. What makes all of this even cooler is that Max and the entire team at The Tomorrow Project ar...more

  • Adithi Raghavan

    Jun 10 2021

    At just 16 years old Adithi Raghavan founded her organization BEEducated ( when she learned just how serious the plight of the honeybee is (their populations are declining sharply). Through BEEducated, Adithi has created “The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge” to empower young people all over the country to create bee-friendly gardens in their very own backyards using kits that Adithi and her team send out.

  • Sophia Kianni

    Jun 03 2021

    When Sophia Kianni was in middle school she took a trip to visit relatives in Iran. She was shocked by the levels of pollution she saw there. The more she looked into it, the more alarmed she became. The effects of climate change are particularly extreme in the Middle East. And yet when Sophia brought up her concerns to her relatives, she discovered they knew almost nothing about climate change. Sophia was determined to educate her relatives, so she started translating scientific information int...more

  • Devin Martin

    May 27 2021

    From a very early age, Devin Martin has been obsessed with space. In the summer of 2020, Devin made his dream come true completing a summer internship at NASA and working directly on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. Watching the rover successfully launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida was a huge triumph for Devin, but his journey hasn’t been easy. He has had to face adversity, including racism, along his journey.

  • Chander Payne

    May 20 2021

    Chander Payne had a life changing moment in his high school cafeteria (how many of us can say that?). He noticed his fellow classmates didn’t have access to healthy foods like fruit and vegetables - so he decided to grow them himself. Chander started an urban farm at his high school, growing fresh fruits and veggies right where they were needed the most. That project soon blossomed into a full-fledged organization called Urban Beet (, creating urban farms in other schools and ...more

  • Kyla Guru

    May 13 2021

    The summer before her freshman year of high school, Kyla Guru discovered a unique passion for cybersecurity at the NSA GenCyber Camp. It was there she discovered that 90% of cyberattacks were due to human error. To combat this problem, Kyla founded Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education ( whose mission is educating and equipping people with the cybersecurity skills they need for the future. In addition to giving speeches and holding workshops, Bits N’ Bytes also des...more

  • Zachary Siegel

    May 06 2021

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools closed, high school junior Zachary Siegel found himself with a lot more time on his hands. He used that free time to explore his passions (like computer programming), but quickly realized this was also an opportunity to share his passions with others. So he founded The Youth Passion Project ( It’s a platform for high school students to teach classes to young learners about the things they are most passionate about. ...more

  • Hannah & Charlie Lucas

    Apr 29 2021

    When Hannah Lucas was 15 years old, she developed POTS, a medical condition that caused her to faint without warning. The anxiety around her condition combined with bullying and harassment from her classmates led Hannah to fall into a deep depression, culminating in an attempt to end her own life. During this incredibly low moment in her life, Hannah had an idea: What if there was a way to immediately alert the people around her that she was not ok? Aided by her tech-savvy brother, Charlie, Hann...more

  • Luna Abadia

    Apr 22 2021

    While studying abroad in Japan, 16-year-old Luna Abadia saw the effects of climate change first-hand. Typhoons were getting stronger, snow becoming rarer, and traditional crops were no longer able to grow. This inspired Luna to act. She entered a speech competition and wrote about the importance of combating climate change. Her speech got a lot of attention and Luna became a national finalist. Realizing the power her voice could have, when Luna returned home to Oregon, she founded the Effective ...more

  • Kiran Sridhar

    Apr 15 2021

    When he was 11 years old, a volunteer trip to a center feeding the homeless and hungry in San Francisco opened Kiran Sridhar’s eyes to the devastating effects of hunger and food insecurity. After a lot of research and even more hard work, Kiran’s drive to eradicate hunger led to the creation of his online platform, Waste No Food ( It's a simple concept: farms, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, and grocery stores post excess food on the site. Aid groups and charities feedi...more

  • Neil Suri

    Apr 08 2021

    When 16-year-old Neil Suri went on a hiking trip to California, he witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by forest fires. The image of the charred mountainside inspired him to look deeper into wildfires - how they start, and how they burn out of control. Through his research, Neil discovered the way we detect forest fires hasn’t changed all that much over the years. And that traditional methods are expensive and out of date. So Neil got to work and invented a completely new, affordable way ...more

  • Avi Schiffmann

    Apr 01 2021

    Very early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, 18-year-old Avi Schiffmann recognized people needed a quick and easy way to get accurate information about the spread of the disease. So Avi put his computer programming skills to use and created - one of the world’s very first coronavirus trackers. The site quickly became an invaluable resource to millions of people all over the world and earned Avi the title of 2020 Webby Person of the Year - presented by Dr. Anthony Fauci himself.

  • Anisha Musti

    Mar 25 2021

    15-year-old Anisha Musti isn’t your average teenager. After she lost her great-uncle to Parkinson’s disease, she was inspired to do something to help others. Using the power of quantum computing, Anisha created a revolutionary technique to detect Parkinson’s disease based solely on the sound of a person’s voice. Now, Anisha runs a non-profit organization whose mission is to teach young people about the power of quantum computing. You can learn all about it at

  • Ananya Sridhar

    Mar 18 2021

    When Ananya Sridhar was 12 years old she heard about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Despite being 2,000 miles away in California, Ananya decided to act. Not only did Ananya invent a new, affordable way to test for lead contamination in water, she figured out how to identify the communities that are most at risk. To learn more about Ananya’s work or to volunteer to test the water in your own community, go to

  • The Genius Generation Trailer

    Mar 11 2021

    Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to change the world? From creating a robot that can sniff out plastic in the ocean to coding an algorithm that detects Parkinson's disease, our host Danni Washington sits down with inventors, entrepreneurs, and explorers to hear the stories behind their amazing discoveries. Oh, and there’s one more thing: they accomplished all of this before they turned 18. You’re never too young to change the world. New episodes every Thursday, wherever you get you...more