By Katie Engelhart - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 0 Comments
Britain is talking about a girl. She is 16-year-old Lauren Marbe, who scored 161…
Britain is talking about a girl. She is 16-year-old Lauren Marbe, who scored 161 on a school IQ test—one point higher than Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and even Albert Einstein and enough to qualify her (by a very safe margin) for membership in Mensa: the global “high IQ society” whose members have an IQ score in the top two per cent.
British media outlets, however, have reported the story with something less than editorial grace—the Daily Mail declared she’s both “ditzy” and “officially smarter than Einstein!” and most of the headlines drew attention to the fact that Marbe is an “Essex girl.” Essex is the southeast British region from whence Marbe hails. It is also something of a pejorative: a stereotype used to describe British women who are vulgar, promiscuous and somewhat dim-witted.
Even Marbe embraces the traits commonly associated with the Essex region: “I am blond, I do wear makeup and I do go out. I love my fake tan and fake nails as well so I guess I am a bit of an Essex girl,” she told British reporters. “[My teachers] had always thought I was blond and a bit ditzy.”
Marbe—who aspires to study architecture at Cambridge University, or perhaps become a West End stage actress—hopes her Mensa membership will persuade critics that great minds can reside in the blondest of heads. One imagines a boy with comparable mental agility would not be asked to account for the colour of his locks.
By Kate Lunau - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
Younger and younger children are getting IQ tests. Kate Lunau follows one family’s journey into the land of the supersmart
When Anthony Popa-Urria was born, his family noticed he was an especially alert, curious child. By six months, he could recognize colours. When he was eight months old, “I showed him flash cards, like ‘1,2,3,’ or ‘A,B,C,’ and he picked up what I requested,” his grandmother Felicia Popa proudly says, and at 10 months, he could recite the alphabet. Around his first birthday, Anthony surprised his family by reading numbers off the calendar in their family doctor’s office, shouting them out as he went. A pediatrician in Calgary, where his family lives, later concluded he was gifted.
Curious to find out more about this precocious toddler’s intellect, Felicia and Anthony’s mom, Laura Popa, took him to London, England, to see psychologist Joan Freeman, who specializes in kids with high intellect. She gave Anthony—then two years and eight months old—a full examination including an IQ test, and pinned his score at an incredible 154.
Anthony, who turned three in June, can speak English and Spanish, and understands Romanian (his father, Juan Carlos Urria, is Cuban; Laura and her parents are from Romania). He knows 60 countries and their capitals, Felicia says, “and what he doesn’t know, he looks up himself.” He’s been able to read “almost any word” since he was 18 months old, and can count to 1,000. Anthony can boot up the family computer and do Internet searches on his own. What’s a family to do with such a bright child, who isn’t even old enough for kindergarten? “There are limited resources for kids this young,” Laura says. “We thought, ‘Mensa caters to a high IQ.’ ” Continue…