Boy, 13, gets highest score in rocket science

A couple of hours each evening mastering the laws of physics has paid off for Connall Cairns, 13, who has just achieved one of the highest scores in an astrophysics course run by one of the world’s top universities.

The British teenager enrolled online with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the undergraduate-level aerospace engineering course – despite not having taken his GCSEs yet.

Connall, a day pupil at Gosfield School in Essex, wants to be a nuclear physicist when he grows up. He said: “Rocket science has fascinated me since I was about seven…The course was very mathematical so I had to teach myself how to understand the equations.”

He signed up for the seven-week Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics and Human Spaceflight after teachers at school told his artist mother Christy, 44, that he was at risk of becoming bored if he was not given an extra challenge.

Topics he had to master included Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, which calculates various factors for a launch into space, and Newton’s law of universal gravitation.

Connall is taking another online course at the Australian National University, on black holes and quantum physics.

Source: Daily Mail