Naperville girl, 14, among finalists for Google Science Fair


A Naperville girl is getting national attention for her brilliant efforts to stop bullying.

Trisha Prabhu, 14, is no stranger to winning academic awards, and now she’s one of Googles 15 Global Science Fair finalists.

Her project was making teens think twice before posting hurtful comments online. ‘Rethink’ picks up on words like stupid, loser and ugly.

I’ve been cyber bullied before about my wardrobe. Things that I choose to wear,” said Prabhu.

After she saw the news about Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old Florida girl who committed suicide after alleged cyber bullying, this Naperville teen wanted to use her brainpower for good.

If a teen decides they want to post something offensive on social media, what ‘Rethink’ would do is alert them and tell them this could be hurtful to somebody and ask them to reconsider.

“It tells the cyber bully when they’re about to post something offensive it goes, ‘whoa are you sure you want to post that on a social media site? That could be offensive.’ It has them rethink what they’re about to do,” Prabhu said.

And in her experiment, 93 percent of adolescents changed their minds and decided not to post.

Cyber-bullying has become an epidemic, and the Cyber-Bullying Research Center said that half of young people have experienced it and up to 20 percent experience it regularly.

Prabhu hopes to put an end to that.

“My ‘Rethink’ technology will pick up on that (hurtful) word and it’ll say it’s not the right context and that’s not a right message. We need to practice digital citizenship that shouldn’t be on Facebook and Twitter. Are you sure you want to post it? And we saw that kids changed their mind and it was amazing,” she added.

Prabhu will find out if she wins the Google Science Fair in late September.