There’s a renewed fervor among education advocates to encourage more students to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Entire economies depend largely on industries that increasingly are in dire need of talent in these very areas.
One major hurdle is that many youngsters also tend to see these fields of study as the most intimidating. Besides their inherent reputation as “hard subjects,” there’s the widely-held assumption that it takes several years of incubation, involving dedicated learning and training, before talent and ingenuity translates into making an actual impact.
Even wunderkind inventor and science advocate Taylor Wilson, who at 14, momentarily became the youngest person to fuse the atom, told told National Geographic magazine that he had previously thought such achievements were “out of reach” since they’re generally considered “the domain of only the big labs and researchers with big budgets and advanced degrees.”
While Wilson has certainly gone above and beyond to show why that isn’t necessarily the case, a number of young upstarts are also quickly proving that, sometimes, all it takes is diving right in. Here’s a list to name a few:
1. The brilliant whiz kid that Uncle Sam really, really wants
Taylor Wilson’s budding career as a nuclear scientist serves as an exemplary argument for why prodigious minds can be a nation’s most precious resource. Besides becoming the youngest person, at the time, to fashion a working nuclear fusion reactor, the Arkansas native is field testing a low-cost counterterrorism system that detects radioactive material while also working on a portable device that produces radioactive isotopes for the treatment and detection of cancer. Along the way, he’s given two TED talks, inspiring more precocious youth to follow suit.
The Latest on: Precocious youth
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The Latest on: Precocious youth
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