A 16-year-old, homeschooled California boy won a premier high school science competition Monday for his innovative approach to an old math problem that could help in the design of airplane wings.
Michael Viscardi, a senior from San Diego, won a $100,000 college scholarship, the top individual prize in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology.
Viscardi tackled a 19th century math problem and his new method of solving it has potential applications in the fields of engineering and physics.
â€œHe is a super-duper mathematics student,â€ said lead judge Constance Atwell, a consultant and former research director at the National Institutes of Health. â€œIt was almost impossible for our judges to figure out the limits of his understanding during our questioning. And heâ€™s only 16 years old,â€ she said.
It has been my observation, and I am of the opinion that while brick-and-mortar schools can foster certain types of intellectual development, they are not ideally suited to such, despite being educational institutions. While it is certainly possible that the young man in question could have made the same kind of discoveries if he had attended a public, private or charter school, I believe he was in a better environment to further his studies in his own home.
Yeah. It also helps if your stay-at-home mom has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Something tells me that they share a good laugh when someone asks if they study Intelligent Design.
By the way, every year we have kids from this area, whose parents work or do research at Scripps Institute and UCSD, who post perfect SAT’s while attending La Jolla High School. They seem to do okay too when colleges come a-recruitin’…
Good for Michael, though.
But about that hair…