At the age of 10, Miguel Castillo loved Transformers and Lego. He built new models at lightning speed. He worked out how the toys changed from cars to robots and back again. He left pieces lying on the carpet, which hurt his parents’ feet when they trod on them. This was just collateral damage in a personal war between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
Around the same time Miguel was figuring out plastic automatons, Zipporiah Bush, known as Zippy, was figuring out her Rubik’s cube. When she wasn’t unscrambling the colours, she could be found measuring earthworms. She didn’t like touching the worms, but she had a science fair to win. She was determined to prove that they would grow bigger in compost than in soil. She was right.
And at the same time that was happening, Richard Marshall was learning to write code, or otherwise beating his dad in countless hours of computer games.
Eight years on and the trio are still passionate about engineering, science and technology. In fact, they are blazing a trail.
In May 2016, they were in the first class to graduate from a small school in Raleigh, the oak-lined capital of North Carolina, called Wake High School.
The neat exterior and high-tech facilities might lead you to think it is an elite private institute. In fact, the state-funded school teaches children from all sorts of backgrounds, all with something in common: they love science, and want to make a difference in the world.