Meet 6 American child geniuses who are competing for $100k

Child genius

Lifetime’s competition series “Child Genius” highlights 2o of America’s most extraordinary children as they test their skills in a gruelling 8-week long national intelligence competition.

In cooperation with IQ society American Mensa, these gifted children, who have scored within the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized intelligence exam, are quizzed in maths, spelling, world geography, memory, current events, astronomy, inventions, logic, and culture.

The winner of the competition earns the title of “Child Genius” and receives a college fund of $US100,000. Let’s meet a few of them:

Izzy, 8, Midlothian, VA

Child genius izzy

IQ 146 (Over 140 is considered genius or near-genius)

Child genius show
Izzy plays a game with her Chinese tutor. Child Genis/Lifetime

Izzy joined the IQ society Mensa when she was just 3 years old.

She is trilingual in English, French, and Chinese, and has a yellow belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

In order to cover more challenging topics at a much more rapid pace, Izzy was removed from public school and is now tutored by her father.

According to her parents, Izzy doesn’t have very many friends that are children.

“Isabel wants to have friends that are her own age but it’s really hard with her unique situation,” her dad said.

Izzy offers up an explanation, “my child friends can talk about some things but not other things and my adult friends can talk about everything.”

Ryan, 11, Charlotte, NC

Child genius

IQ 156

Child genius

A self-described perfectionist, academics come naturally to Ryan, especially maths.

“I finished Algebra in sixth grade and normal people usually finish that in ninth grade,” Ryan said.

Throughout the competition it becomes apparent that his parents want him to win the title of “child genius” more than he does.

“If you really perform and beat your opponents your life could change forever,” his dad said to him.

Appearing hardly satisfied with his achievements his mum added, “If you reach one level, you always can improve yourself to reach another level.”

Ryan’s parents temporarily relocated the family across the country in order to help Ryan focus on the competition.

Vanya, 12, Olathe, KS

Child genius

Child Genius/Lifetime

IQ 144

One of the oldest contestants, Vanya is no stranger to academic competitions, she is a veteran speller at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“My first year I competed I was the youngest speller and I tied for 49th. The second year I competed I got a perfect score on the written test and I placed 10th. Last year, I tied for 5th place,” Vanya said.

Vanya’s main strategy is to use her mastery of etymology to conquer all the topics covered in the competition.

Graham, 10, Verdigris, OK

Graham child genius

IQ top .01% (Approximately IQ 146)

Child genius show
Meterologist Mike Grogan quizzes Graham on his hurricane knowledge. Child Genius/Lifetime

When Graham was 5 years old he tested into the top .01 percentile on an intelligence exam.

He excels at science and geography and has memorized the US atlas.

“He can tell you every road or highway to take to get from point A to point B in the US,” his mum said.

For fun, Graham was invited by a local television meteorologist to test his knowledge of hurricanes by simply viewing satellite imagery.

“Oh that’s hurricane Camille,” Graham says instantly.

“Do you know what year that was?”

“1969 and it had sustaining wind speeds of 190 mph and a minimum pressure of 900 millibars,” Graham responded.

Tanishq, 10, Sacramento, CA

Child genius

IQ top .01% (Approximately IQ 146)

Tanishq joined the elite IQ society Mensa when he was only 4 years old and began taking college courses three years later. “My goal is to get a Phd by the time I get my driver’s licence,” Tanishq said. According to his parents, when he was about four months old he could read and answer questions about books.

According to his Twitter account, he hopes to one day become the President of the United States or a famous scientist.

Thus far, he has given several TEDx talks about his discoveries on exoplanets, supernovas, and climate change.

Yeji, 11, Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Child genius

Child Genius/Lifetime

IQ top .01% (Approximately IQ 146)

The most well-rounded of the contestants, Yeji has a wide range of interests and typically finds school to be unchallenging. She tested in the 99.9th percentile of the KADC Korean Intelligence Test but refers to herself as the “black horse candidate” in the competition.

She moved to the US at the age of three and within a year she spoke English so well that no one even knew it was her second language. Her dream job is to be a veterinarian.

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