Young Boy Genius Hopes to Explore Mars

Category: Education/Family

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. prodigy / ˈprɒd ɪ dʒi / (n) – a young person who is unusually good at something
    Example:

    Ben is a musical prodigy and had his first piano concert when he was 5.


  2. prestigious / prɛˈstɪdʒ əs / (adj) – very much respected and admired
    Example:

    My brother studied hard so he could be accepted in a prestigious university.


  3. grasp / græsp / (v) – to understand something complicated and difficult
    Example:

    She has difficulty when it comes to grasping technical concepts.


  4. proficient / prəˈfɪʃ ənt / (adj) – able to do something well
    Example:

    My cousin was accepted in an art school because she was proficient in painting.


  5. profound / prəˈfaʊnd / (adj) – requiring deep study, thought, or wisdom
    Example:

    John is a serious person who likes to talk about profound topics.


Article

Read the text below.

Caleb Anderson, a 12-year-old prodigy from Atlanta, USA, has shared his dream of becoming the first man to explore Mars in the future.


Caleb has just been accepted at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he plans to study aerospace engineering in 2021. He is one of the youngest applicants to be accepted into the prestigious university.


Caleb is now concurrently attending high school and taking classes at Chattahoochee Technical College. American comedian and host Steve Harvey noticed Caleb and promised to sponsor the tuition of his remaining semesters at Chattahoochee Tech.


After graduating from both high school and Chattahoochee Tech in the first half of 2021, Caleb plans to get his master’s from Georgia Tech, then his doctorate from MIT. He also wants to apply for an internship under Elon Musk. Afterward, he hopes to work at either NASA or SpaceX, where his dream of becoming the first human on Mars could come true.


According to Caleb, he does not think of himself as smart. Instead, he said he is a quick learner who easily grasps information.


Caleb’s parents knew early on that he was special. His mother said Caleb had imitated her words a few weeks after birth and had become proficient in sign language at nine months. His father said that Caleb had asked a lot of profound questions when he was only three years old. The family is glad to be a voice for child prodigies and an inspiration to others.


In an interview, Caleb gave advice to those who want to succeed. He said that success comes with failing and trying. He added that anything is possible even when somebody says that it cannot be done.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Caleb’s story is inspirational? Why or why not?

• What do you think Caleb means when he said that nothing is impossible? Explain.


Discussion B

• Do you think the government should support families with extremely smart or talented children? Why or why not?

• Have you ever met someone who was extremely smart or talented? What were they like?