Inspired by her adopted younger siblings, 17-year-old Lillian Kay Peterson in New Mexico became curious about crop harvests in African countries -- and the food insecurity that comes from inconsistent crop yields. With everyday technology available at her fingertips, she began analyzing US crop data from daily satellite imagery and applied that data to countries in Africa to predict their crop yields. Inspired by her adoptive siblings, who've long dealt with the effects of malnutrition, she wanted to learn how droughts affect crop conditions, and how those conditions lead to food crises and food insecurity. Moved by the 2015 drought in Ethiopia, she used her computer science skills to devise a model that could help aid organizations monitor and predict crop conditions and then help respond effectively during food crises. She received first place and a prize of $250,000 in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search for high school seniors. She's been published in peer-reviewed journals, and is now headed to Harvard University, where she will continue to develop this work.

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