BY Abu Mubarik, 5:00pm April 25, 2023,

Nine-year-old high school graduate stuns NASA scientists

David Balogun. Photo: WGAL-TV

David Balogun continues to make headlines after graduating from high school at the age of nine (9) years old.  While many of his peers were not fully attached to studies and were watching cartoons, playing video games, or doing sports, he was focused on his books, paying more attention to science and computer programming.

Not too long ago, Balogun received a diploma from Reach Cyber Charter School in his state’s capital of Harrisburg after taking classes remotely from his family home in Bensalem, WGAL reported.

His education with Reach Cyber Charter School began in the third grade in 2020. “One thing that digital schools can do, that brick and mortar schools cannot catch up to, is that if you miss a lesson, you can still do it tomorrow. You can also go ahead of the plan, and that’s how I went faster,” said Balogun. “I finished 8th grade in two-and-a-half months. Then I started high school.”

He is now one of the youngest children known to ever graduate high school, per a list compiled by the history and culture website, oldest.org. Michael Kearney still holds the Guinness World Record for the youngest high school graduate since 1990 when he was only six years old. He went on to earn master’s degrees at 14 and 18 before winning over $1m on gameshows.

Balogun is now a student at Bucks County Community College and is accumulating credits toward his college degree. 

He was recently invited by NASA and the Maryland-based Space Telescope Science Institute to visit the James Webb Space Telescope Mission Operations Center in Baltimore. 

Balogum, who visited the institute in the company of his mother, left the scientists very impressed with his intellect.

“I had actually seen David’s story all over social media and thought, ‘Wow, I’d bet he’d find a trip to Webb’s Mission Operations Center exciting!’” Hannah Braun, the institute’s spokesperson told Atlanta Black Star.

Balogun’s mother, Ronya, noted that everyone at the institute was “thrilled” to meet her son. She shared that before his arrival, staffers were “buzzing with excitement” to meet the history-maker and MENSA member.

Balogun was taken to the Flight Control Room, described as “the heart of the Webb telescope.” He watched them do a “mock-up for the soundcheck,” a process done with astronauts before they take off.  

He then started talking about something they had never heard of before, Super Saturn, according to Atlanta Black Star. 

“We were all discussing the different types of exoplanets (planets that orbit stars other than our sun) that Webb studies, and will study in the future. David then mentioned how cool Super Saturn is, and we said, ‘What’s that?’ So then we got to Googling,” Braun recalled.

“Everyone was quite impressed with David and all of his knowledge,” he added.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 25, 2023

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