Fri, Jul 24, 2009
Boy genius, 9, has passed two 'O' levels

Singaporean child prodigy Ainan Celeste Cawley is the record holder for the youngest person to obtain an 'O' level certificate when he passed the chemistry examination at age seven.

Now nine, he has added the physics 'O' level certificate to his achievements.

Lianhe Wanbao reported that Ainan, son of British writer Valentine Cawley and Singaporean mother, Syahadah Cawley has had a passion and talent for chemistry since young.

After passing the chemistry 'O' level, his parents enrolled him in chemistry practical classes at Singapore Polytechnic where he could explore his interest further.

His fascination with chemistry led to an interest in physics and his father started teaching him physics at home last September.

His father, Mr Valentine Cawley told Wanbao that he was not surprised at Ainan's interest as there were often areas of overlap between the different sciences.

Ainan also attends a regular primary school, but he spends one or two days each week at Singapore Polytechnic. Three days a week, he will also have physics classes at home with his father for two hours at a time, after school.

After four months of home schooling, he took and passed the GCE 'O' level in physics in January this year.

"Grasping scientific theories is literally child's play to Ainan, there's really no pressure at all. Two years ago, he took only six months to prepare for his chemistry exam. The exam is not a test of his abilities, just an additional challenge to prove himself," said Mr Cawley of his son's achievements.

Mr Cawley also hopes that Ainan can start university in a year's time, as his course at Singapore Polytechnic will be ending in one or two weeks' time.

"Finding a suitable course for Ainan so that he can continue to develop his potential in chemistry and physics has become an urgent concern," says Mr Cawley, who has been contacting American universities in the hope of arranging distance learning classes for Ainan. Alternatively, he plans to send him to study in Australia.

Despite being a child prodigy, Ainan has no problems getting along with his classmates in primary school.

"He can both discuss scientific theories with adults, and blend in with children of his own age," said Mr Cawley.

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Boy genius, 9, has passed two 'O' levels