19    Oct 20100 comments

4 Extraordinary Teenage Achievements

The teenage years are when our kids really start to garner some achievements. Exam results, sports trophies, musical performances: all of these and more give good reason to be proud of our youngsters.

For some teens, though, this just isn’t enough. They have to go and achieve that bit more than the rest. A lot more, in some cases.

In the spirit of sharing some of this, we’ve put together our top 4 teen achievements here for you to see. These kids manage to simultaneously impress and depress, as you realize your high school exam grades weren’t quite the pinnacle of youth success you thought they were. Take a look and see what you think.

1. 17-Year-Old Constructs a Fusion Reactor in his Basement

Tucked away in Oakland Township, Michigan, 17-year-old Thiago Olson had been exhausting his love of physics in a rather unusual way: by creating a nuclear reactor in his basement.

Nicknamed the ‘mad scientist’ by his friends, Thiago spent two years and thousands of hours researching and constructing his device. The machine uses a 40,000 volt charge and deuterium gas to create a small nuclear reaction, which, Thiago says, looks like “a small intense ball of energy.”

And you thought coming back from vacation to find a house party was scary…


2. 13-Year-Old Climbs Everest

Jordan Romero reached the summit of Everest earlier this year, making himself the youngest person to have climbed the mountain. But he’s done a lot more than that. In the four years running up to this achievement, he climbed Kilimanjaro, Australia’s Kosciuszko, the Elbrus in Russia, Aconcagua in South America, Mount McKinley in Alaska, and Puncak Jaya in West Papua. Not bad for someone who’s only just entered his teens.

Jordan’s now just one summit away from having completed the Seven Summits Challenge – reaching the highest peak on every continent in the world. His last and perhaps hardest challenge is the Vinson Massif in Antarctica, which he intends to climb this December.


3. Jam Business Started at 14 Makes Teen a Millionaire

Most teenage entrepreneurs make their money online, but Fraser Doherty took a more traditional approach to building his empire. After being shown how to make his grandmother’s recipes, the Scottish teen went to work in the family kitchen. By 16, he’d left school to work on the jam empire full time.

"My gran thought it would be fun if she showed me how to make jam. I loved it and went out to see if I could sell the few jars I had made,” said Fraser. "I sold them all to the neighbours down the street and it grew and grew. Pretty soon I was producing a thousand jams of jar a week from my mum and dad's kitchen.”

"It was then I realised I would need to get a bigger premises."

Today, Fraser sells around 500,000 jars a year, and has cornered about 10% of the UK jam market. Presumably Christmas presents to his gran are now going to be much better than a few years ago.


4. 16-Year-Old Cracks 300-Year Maths Puzzle

Mohamed Altoumaimi emigrated from Iraq as conflict began there in 2003. He reached Sweden, but despite being in a new environment never failed to keep focus on his studies.

Mohamed was so good at Maths, in fact, that he ended up solving the so-called Bernoulli numbers problem, a formula that had vexed great mathematical minds for over three centuries. His findings were verified and praised by professors at Uppsala University in the country.

Mohamed’s high school now plans to take advantage of the teenager’s skills by having him serve as a mathematics instructor.

“It’s really exciting, now all the teachers have come and congratulated me,” Mohamed told the newspaper. He eventually hopes to become a researcher in Physics or Mathematics.


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