Tag Archives: school

9-Year-Old Boy Graduates High School and Starts College, Wants to Become Astrophysicist: ‘I Want to Prove That God Does Exist’

At 9 years old, William Maillis is like a lot of other boys his age, enjoying video games, knock-knock jokes, sports and hanging out with friends. But William is no ordinary kid when it comes to academics.

In May, he graduated from high school and is now a college student already working on his own theories of how the universe was created. Most other 9-year-olds are in fourth grade.

William, who lives in Penn Township, Pennsylvania, is among the youngest people ever to attend college. He’s currently taking a full slate of classes at Community College of Allegheny County as a way to ease into life as a college student and plans to enroll next fall at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, according to his father, Peter Maillis, a Greek Orthodox priest.

“It doesn’t bother me” being the youngest student in class by far, William tells PEOPLE. “I’m used to it by now.”

William, who wants to study the physics and chemistry of space, earn a doctorate degree and work as an astrophysicist, is at ease tossing around concepts like “displacement of space-time” “singularity” and “pure gravity” as he patiently attempts to explain why black holes aren’t “super massive” as theorized by such other brilliant minds as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Bottom line, according to William: “I want to prove to everybody that God does exist,” he says, by showing that only an outside force could be capable of forming the cosmos.

Maillis said he and his wife, Nancy, who also are parents to a daughter, 29, and son, 26, – “[William] was our 17-year-surprise,” Maillis says with a laugh – realized their young son was advanced when he started accurately identifying numbers at 6 months old and speaking in complete sentences at just 7 months old, he said.

“William was just very sharp,” Maillis says. “William remembers everything he sees.”

He followed with a range of impressive academic feats, including doing addition at 21 months; multiplication, reading and writing at 2 years old; algebra, sign language and reading Greek at age 4; geometry at 5 and trigonometry at 7.

READ THIS ARTICLE: 6-Year-Old Boy Asks To Pray With St. Petersburg Police Officers

After finishing third grade last year, William then simultaneously attended fourth grade and high school while also taking some college classes and this year enrolled in college full-time, his dad says.

Despite his obvious prowess, William was originally turned down when he tried to enroll in kindergarten at age 4 after failing an entrance readiness test when he couldn’t, for example, identify gray as a color (“gray is a shade, not a color,” his father explains) or recognize a thermometer (“we don’t use that kind, we use the kind that goes in your ear,” he says).

Maillis then consulted with a college psychologist who studies whiz kids and she declared him a “pure genius” after administering IQ tests, he says. The elementary school reconsidered and allowed him in.

Maillis says he and his wife allow William to take the lead in deciding what areas of interest to pursue. “Whatever classes he wants to take, that’s okay with me,” Maillis says. “I don’t want to push him.”

William’s history professor, Aaron Hoffman, says the boy fits right in with his other college students. “We haven’t steered away from any topics: Hitler, Mussolini, the Holocaust, wars,” Hoffman says. “If he’s here for college, he’s going to get college-level material.”

The only difference he’s noticed, Hoffman says, is that William doesn’t take notes like the other students, but simply listens, reads and absorbs the material.

Through it all, Maillis says his son remains grounded. “I just want him to appreciate the gift he has, which I think he does,” Maillis said. “I tell him, ‘God gave you a gift. The worst thing would be to reject that gift and not use it for the betterment of the world.’ “

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The School Of The Future

Modern schools in developed countries look not the same they used to 50 years ago. The first most significant difference is much less paper. Instead of looking for information in bulky encyclopedias and catalogues, teachers and children use electronic databases and Wikipedia. But it is only the beginning. Leading Google experts tried to imagine how it would look like in 50 years.

Total Cooperation

Jonathan Rochelle, a director of Google department Apps for Education, supposes that by 2066, due to the spread of virtual technologies and additional reality, the cooperation between pupils will increase. Nowadays, if pupils need to work at one shared project they have to meet in one place, commonly in school, but in the future they will not have to do it as technologies will provide more opportunities for remote work.

In 2006 Rochelle was one of the developers of Google Docs package. Since then he has been working at many similar products, in particular at Google Classroom cloud platform that allows to improve and simplify the work of a teacher. Rochelle supposes that in the future schools will use such services on permanent basis, because even today we can see how the Internet is changing all spheres of our life. “We shouldn’t ignore the importance of social interaction and cooperation”, says Rochelle.

In the future children will be assessed and directed with the help of intellectual algorithms. It stands without saying, that we will not have fixed classes of children of the same age. Since the beginning of educational courses, the groups will be formed for each separate subject or aspect considering the abilities of pupils.

Such a system will allow to use the whole educational process more efficiently. Moreover, it will help to develop the abilities and skills that are predominant for each child that will result in early and successful career orientation.

Educational programs will also be formed individually, accordingly with pupils desires. Of course, there will be some general curriculum compulsory for all children. But then the technology, taking into consideration capacities and desires of each person, will decide what course will be optimal for the person. This will create the conditions to educate professionals and experts in some specific fields.

 

Robots and Teachers
The School Of The Future

 

The artificial intelligence has been improved a lot for 50 years and now devices can teach sometimes even better then live teachers. Even today in some Japanese banks human like robots are working as cashiers and porters near the door. By 2066 such robots can work as teachers. However, may be we will see such robots even earlier.We are likely to experience such changes really soon.

However, nobody can replace live teachers and the feedback they can provide. Besides, they will have to help engineers and scientist to introduce this school reform. Experts will not be able to cope with such a difficult task without the help of teachers knowing many peculiarities of work with children.   

The School Of The Future

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