10 of the World's Most Startling Whiz Kids

Every once in a while there comes a child who defies all odds and wows his parents, teachers, and the world with his brilliance. From a very young age it was apparent to all who came in contact with him or her that this child was somehow different. Maybe there were some things this particular child wasn't so good at but there were others at which he performed unbelievably well — probably even better than his parents. When most kids are learning to tie their shoes or ride their bicycles without training wheels these whiz kids are solving seemingly unsolvable mathematical equations, performing artistic feats that rival history’s masters, or working to cure cancer.

These brilliant child prodigies may have some of the same interests as other kids but they also have appetites to learn and create that the majority of kids won’t develop until at least their teens. Don’t underestimate them due to their height or generally small size. Despite their compact sizes, these whiz kids of today's world will be the inventors, scientists, and problem-solvers of the future.

10 Aelita Andre

Impressed by the gorgeous and complex paintings you see in art galleries around the world? Well, before she was even two years of age, the Australian-born Aelita Andre demonstrated extraordinary skill at abstract painting. Without any formal or informal training, the girl began creating wonderful works of art that Monash University Professor of Art Robert Nelson described as the “antidote to the oppressive qualities of expectation in western painting.” She hosted her first solo exhibit in June of 2011 in New York City at the tender age of four. But don’t take her age as a sign that she is not being taken seriously; this artist known for her Surrealist work has sold paintings for as much as $30,000.

9 Akrit Pran Jaswal

There may be over 1 billion people in India, but at age 13, with an IQ of 146, Akrit Jaswal was considered to be the most intelligent person of his age in the country. Rewind back a few years to Akrit, age 7, performing his very first surgical procedure on an 8 year old girl whose fingers had been so badly burned they had curled into a knotted ball. The young boy successfully carried out the surgery to separate her fingers. Having always been advanced for his age — walking and talking, reading and writing at an abnormally young age — Akrit later became the youngest person in all of India to be accepted into university. This medical genius’ future aspiration? To cure cancer.

8 Alexander Prior

This musical virtuoso was only 8 when he began composing with a portfolio of works that included various high-profile commissions from clients like the Moscow State Ballet. A world-class conductor, Alexander has traveled all over the world to work with international orchestras like The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican, London; Moscow’s “New Opera”; and the Las Vegas Philharmonic - among many others. When most teenagers are merely thinking about high school graduation, at age 17 Alexander was graduating from the St. Petersburg Conservatory with two distinguished master’s degrees.

7 Eesha Khare

If your cell phone has ever died and you didn't have a place or the time to conveniently charge it, then you will really appreciate the brainpower of Eesha Khare. While her genius invention may not be widely available as of yet, you will certainly be thanking her in years to come. Eesha who is now 19, created a device that can be inserted into a cell phone battery to charge it super-fast. How fast exactly? Eesha’s supercapacitor can deliver a full charge in just 20 to 30 seconds and the charge will remain for much longer than standard batteries. Her invention brought Eesha recognition from tech firms around the globe as well as landing her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000.

6 Elise Tan Roberts

Maintaining the title as the world’s smartest little kid and the youngest ever Mensa member, Elise Tan Roberts has an intelligence that rivals even Einstein’s (her IQ equals 156, his was 160). Mensa typically only accepts members aged 10 and older who have scored a 132 or higher on an approved IQ test. Well, can you blame them for making an exception for this super bright little girl? Elise spoke her first words at the startlingly young age of 5 months! At age two, she could name an array of world capitals, count to ten in Spanish, and distinguish between a variety of shapes. Can you imagine what this little lady will know in another ten years? Watch out world!

5 Gregory Smith

Gregory Smith takes his lessons seriously. While this may be hard to believe for many toddlers, Gregory was solving math problems at 14 months and reading at age 2. He entered college at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia at age 10 and registered for classes at the University of Virginia to pursue his doctoral degree in mathematics at the fresh-faced age of 14. Gregory has been nominated for a Nobel prize on four separate occasions. As a humanitarian, Gregory has met with presidents and come under the attention of the United Nations Security Council.  While he is now in his twenties, who knows what the future has in store for this genius trailblazer?

4 Heidi Hankins

This is another Mensa member who defies convention for her membership at such a young age. Heidi Hankins was inducted into the elite society in 2012 with an IQ of about 159. It is reported that the bright little girl who was born Winchester, England could read at the level of an 8-year old and count to 40 by age 2. Heidi also demonstrates her genius with a paintbrush. She enjoys using watercolor paints to create landscapes and her parents are considering putting her works on display in an exhibition. However, Heidi is still just like any other kid in the sense that she reportedly enjoys playing much more than learning and doing schoolwork.

3 Jack Andraka

At age fifteen, when most high school sophomores are busy trying to kiss girls or asking them to homecoming, Jack Andraka was making scientific history. Jack created a prototype cancer diagnostic test that earned him the grand prize of $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Jack’s invention, an inexpensive and sensitive dipstick-like sensor that allows for more rapid cancer detection, was hailed as potentially saving thousands of lives among those who are at risk of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer. It seems brilliance runs in this family as Jack’s older brother Luke was a previous finalist of the Intel competition as well.

2 Joey Hudy

Joey Hudy gained national attention when he was invited to the White House in 2012 at age 14 for a scientific demonstration in which he shot marshmallows 176 feet in the air from a canon he'd designed. Through Hudy, President Obama wanted to emphasize the importance in investing in mathematics and science. Nowadays, Joey is touring globe with his invention when he's not fulfilling his obligations as the youngest person Intel has ever hired into their corporate internship program. This teenager even makes a small profit from LED Arduino Shields that he created, through which he hopes to inspire an interest in engineering among other youngsters. We agree with the President on this one when he said to Joey, “You’re going to invent all kinds of impressive things.”

1 Mabou Loiseau

At the age of 5, Mabou Loiseau - of Haitian descent and a literal jack-of-all-trades - was a wunderkind. This little girl can speak 7 languages — French, Creole, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, and English — plays 6 different musical instruments, performs 2 types of dance, and is active in 2 sports. We wonder how she has the time! Well, apparently her parents were spending around $1500 a week to have her tutored on various subjects for six days a week. Today, according to her Twitter account, Mabou who is now 8 years old has added two more languages and two more instruments to her growing repertoire.

More in National Money