The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stanford University, EPGY, in Singapore

Yesterday, Raymond Ravaglia, the Deputy Director of the Education Program for Gifted Youth, at Stanford University, gave a talk in Singapore.

He spoke on the EPGY program - what it was and what it offered to students who took part. The audience was a small gathering of parents of children in the Gifted Education Programme, directed to the talk by the Ministry of Education.

EPGY started to give summer programmes in Singapore in 2004. The coming programme (I prefer this spelling!) in June will be the seventh such programme in Singapore. There will be six subject areas covered: English Expository Writing (ages 14 to 16); English Creative Writing (ages 14 to 16); Mathematical Logic and Problem Solving (ages 13 to 15); Physics: Quantum Mechanics (ages 16 to 18) and two courses for the Elementary Level: Elementary English Creative Writing (ages 10 to 12); and an Introduction to Mathematical Logic and Problem Solving (ages 10 to 12).

Unlike the EPGY courses at Stanford itself, these courses would be non-residential - which saves on costs. Courses are to take place, as I understand it, at the Hwa Chong Institution - a Singaporean Junior College (ages 16 to 18 years).

Raymond Ravaglia was passionate about the need for gifted children to be stretched, and not under-challenged in the classroom - and he saw EPGY as meeting this need.

Singapore is the only country outside of the US, which holds EPGY. The reason? According to Raymond Ravaglia, "Singapore is a good supplier of Stanford..." by which, of course, he means that many Singaporeans go to Stanford University.

I pointed out to him that EPGY have no Chemistry option, in Singapore. He said that one would be introduced - and a Biology programme too, in the near future, but that they were concentrating on options that had the broadest appeal, at present.

To administer the EPGY in Singapore, Stanford University have established an Administrative Office here, called V-Campus. The local representative here, is Lim Yian Poh. (His title is CEO).

A funny moment arose when Mr. Lim Yian Poh, saw Ainan reading a copy of Scientific American on Black Holes: "A seven year old reading Scientific American..." he mused, bemused!

I asked Raymond Ravaglia about the admission of youngsters to Stanford - say seven, eight or nine years old - and he said: "I would discourage it. Stanford isn't set up for students under seventeen, on the legal, social and emotional front..."

So, Stanford wouldn't be appropriate for Ainan, then...except perhaps later on, at a higher level. We will see.

It was interesting to get the opportunity to meet a representative of an American University and gather an impression about what that was all about. By the time, EPGY gets around to Chemistry, it will probably be too late for Ainan - he will have passed that point already (I think he has by now, anyway) but by posting here, other parents and children might be helped.

Good luck all.

(If you would like to read more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and three months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, three and Tiarnan, thirteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:16 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps math and physics would help Ainan in his pursuit of chemistry.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

You have a point. Quantum Chemistry is an important subject in modern chemistry - and what is that but an application of Quantum Mechanics?

Ainan has an interest in Physics, too - but it is not yet as developed as his interest in Chemistry.

In the long term I see him as more general physical scientist (I should post about that). It is just that Chemistry is in the lead of his interests, at this age.

Maths, too, would be of use - and that will be addressed in time.

Thanks, as ever, for your helpful and often insightful comments.

10:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape