Check Out These Kid Geniuses!
Pop culture has a history of having fun with the idea of kid geniuses, whether it was Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius the movie, or The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius the spin-off TV show. And a lot more examples. What you might not realize, is that reality is filled with actual young smarty-pantses. Here are some youths who have made truly amazing breakthroughs.
Apparently Harry Potter isn't the only British boy wizard anymore. English thirteen year-old Jamie Edwards recently became the youngest person to ever perform atomic fusion. During his school science fair, Edwards used a small nuclear reactor he had built to smash two hydrogen atoms together, creating helium. He performed the feat a few days before turning fourteen, unseating the previous "youngest atom smasher" record holder, so everyone forgot about that guy (just kidding, his name is Taylor Wilson and he's doing quite well for himself).
It's difficult to create a technological innovation when you have access to everything you need. It's even tougher to create something out of parts you found in the dump. You know how sometimes in sci-fi, the hero will be forced to jerry-rig an incredible contraption out of garbage (*cough* The Doctor's Wife *cough*)? Well Kelvin Doe does that every day. He lives in Sierra Leone where the infrastructure tends to be unreliable. Because they would so often have to go without electricity, he built a battery from parts he scavenged from the junkyard. He then went on to create an FM radio system that his whole community listens to. He also got to study in residence at MIT for a month, which from what we've heard is quite the upper tier establishment.
Marco Calasan is just your average Macedonian child computer super genius. At the age of nine, he became a certified Microsoft system administrator and now handles IT problems from all over the world. The Macedonian government even purchased computers for him to use to teach other students computer science. He was taught by his father who now says his son has comppletely surpassed him. So be sure you're nice to every nine year old you meet from now on. You never know which one will end up being your new cyber overlord.
Like a lot of teenagers, Kathryn DiMaria wants a car for her sixteenth birthday. Unlike a lot of teenagers, she's building it herself. She was able to buy all the parts she needed to rebuild a 1986 Pontiac Fiero from selling her welding art and babysitting money. When others on car building forum started hearing about her project, they began doing whatever they could by sending spare parts and their support. In 2012, a German auto-building magazine named her "Woman of the Year," and personally we think she should join forces with some of the other people on this list and build a real-life Transformer.
Eesha Khare sent a lot of requests to laboratories and received a lot of rejections before she finally found one willing to work with a high school student. Those labs are probably kicking themselves ever since she built a new super-capacitor that could allow a phone to fully charge in under a minute, an accomplishment that won her the top award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Obviously all of the accomplishments on this list are spectacular, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't excited for the "sitting around and waiting for your phone to charge before you can leave the house" era to end. As far as we can tell from listening to her explain it, the super-capacitor works on a mix of static materials, chemical materials, and science magic.
Tanishq Abraham started attending college... at AGE EIGHT?! Although that last sentence sounds like the first line of a zany movie trailer, it's actually a thing that really happened. One of his favorite subjects is astrophysics including dark matter and the origins of the universe, as well as other mysteries of the universe most adults barely know the first thing about. He got the highest grade in his Astronomy 301 class which would probably lead to a really elaborate revenge prank if life were like the zany movie we mentioned earlier. Don't worry though, everyone would learn a lesson about tolerance by the end of it. Of course life isn't a movie, so more likely, Abraham will grow up to design a faster-than-light rocket and establish an intergalactic colony with the other kids on this list. Maybe if we're all nice to them, we can come visit!