Is Six Year Old Child Prodigy, Ainan Celeste Cawley, The World's Youngest Science Teacher?

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Six year old child prodigy Ainan Celeste Cawley gave a science lecture, at a Singaporean School, on Wednesday, 15th November, 2006, making him the world's youngest known science teacher.

The one-hour chemistry talk entitled: "Acids And Alkalis In Everyday Life." was the brain-child of the young scientific child prodigy. Ainan Celeste Cawley, in making his first public lecture, was fulfilling an ambition he has nursed this past year: to teach children everywhere the beauty of science, by taking the role of the Professor, himself. The chemistry class was a great success - and Ainan's first contribution to science education.

Ainan Celeste Cawley, who is half-Irish and half-Malay, has been reasoning scientifically since his first year, when he unequivocally disproved his mother's contention that he was superman. When scientific child prodigy, Ainan, was one year old, his mother, ambidextrous artist, Syahidah Osman Cawley, placed a red cape about his shoulders and said: "There, Ainan, you are Superman!"

Ainan looked at his mother with one of his infinitely deep gazes and sighed, as if trying to explain something to a little child. "No mummy, I am not Superman, I cannot fly."

He then jumped up into the air and came down again, to Earth. "See!", he said, in perhaps the most direct proof possible. His arms were out to his sides, palms up, as if to say: "Nothing could be more obvious." It was Ainan's first explicit experiment, that we noted.

The science lecture at Bukit Timah Primary School, in Singapore is the first of many such classes and work in education to come. Ainan Celeste Cawley intends to bring science classes, in particular chemistry, to children everywhere. His lectures will encompass the most diverse range of subjects and he will teach all ages of children: there are no limits to his efforts at science education. Dates and venues of science lectures will be announced as and when we have confirmed class bookings.

His chemistry lecture, "Acids And Alkalis In Everyday Life", included practical demonstrations of the way acids and alkalis behave and interact. He discussed the nature of acids and alkalis, protons, hydroxyl ions and pH. The children laughed at his demonstrations and applauded, rapt throughout at his presentation of what, to all of them, was a new subject. The class was an interactive one, with many questions to the floor.

The audience consisted of about 30 primary school children and allowed Ainan to taste his first experience of public science lecturing. Although a little nervous and excited at first, at teaching, he soon relaxed and warmed up, becoming animated as he discussed chemical ideas and performed practical demonstrations of them for the children of Singapore. He walked among the children to show them the results of various chemical reactions, and they gathered about him excitedly, as he did so. It was as if he were a rock star, not a little science professor, so attentive were they to his words and deeds. Few science teachers receive such a warm welcome.

At the end of his one hour presentation, several of the children were heard to cry: "Ah, so short!" There was a general, "Ahh!" all round, for they clearly wanted more. Ainan Celeste Cawley, however, didn't expect the need for an encore, so his lecture came to an end, with everyone wanting more. It was a good start to what promises to be a long career in science - and education.

The Cawley Family, of Singapore.

Ainan Celeste Cawley.

He is a scientific child prodigy and former baby genius. He is six years old. He spoke his first words after a couple of weeks of life, began crawling at four months, walking at six months, running at eight months. This makes him probably the world's earliest crawler, earliest walker, earliest talker - and earliest runner. He was also an exceptionally early reader: at eight months, he showed letter recognition. Also at eight months he was able to climb into and out of his wooden cot, of a traditional design. This is a feat fit for an acrobat.

He showed an investigative approach to the world from very early on, always checking the full properties and nature of things, in a bewilderingly fast cataloguing of possibilities. At one year of age, he held a very remarkable conversation in which he gave us an account of his own birth, as witnessed by someone whose perspective was from inside the womb. This was undoubtedly a genuine memory since we had never told him how he had come into the world: he was answering from his own memory of the birth experience. His memory remains uncannily retentive. Remarkably, Ainan had a basic understanding of time, at two months of age. He was clearly aware of the meaning and significance of a clock at two months, having taken to staring at it, and preparing himself for the return of his mother, at the right time, each evening. He has shown gifts in science, art and music at various ages of his life, including composing some pieces of music last year, on the piano, which he learned to play a year ago. His main interest now is chemistry and the physical sciences in general. Incidentally, science is not taught in Singapore schools until Primary Three and Ainan has just completed Primary One. All his scientific knowledge comes from his own private studies, therefore: he is a largely self-taught young scientist.

For daily updates about Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, go to:

For an account of Ainan's first words go to:

For a record of Ainan's precocious motor development, go to:

For a tale about Ainan's ability to foresee developments of present science and technology, go to:

For a story about his scientific ambition go to:

For an story of Ainan's almost supernatural memory:

For a telling of Ainan's liking for asking questions to which he knows the answers - and no-one else does:

For a write-up of Ainan's in-depth knowledge of matters so obscure most people couldn't name the topic:

Valentine Cawley, 38, Irish. Father of Ainan Celeste. A man who has lived many lives: actor, writer, performance artist (appearing on CNN and Reuters, among others, as "Lord Valentine the Misplaced" ), government physicist (at 17), Arts magazine founder and editor (at 22), Cambridge University graduate (a place hostile to the creatively gifted) - and teacher. He is readying two books for publication. He is ambidextrous, which allows him to write in two colours, at once, on the board, with both hands - to the amusement of his students.

He showed childhood gifts for science, music, art, acting, writing and academia.

As a child, he had the uncanny gift of being able to sing or whistle any piece of music he had heard only once. Pieces performed, at 11, included Mozart's Requiem and Bach's St. John's Passion. He sang them not knowing how to read music - and still doesn't know.

Syahidah Osman Cawley, 28, Malay. Mother of Ainan Celeste. Apart from being eternally youthful, she has a gift for Art - in particular as a portrait artist - being able to draw the lines of a face, with clarity and perception, rendering each with a personal style that has no comparison. Incidentally, she is an ambidextrous artist and can draw with both hands simultaneously.

Fintan Nadym Cawley, 3. Highly imaginative, can see the world he creates in his mind. Gifted child actor. Leadership qualities. Whimsical sense of humour. Original thinker. Asks peculiar questions. Physically strong, robust. Brave. Very sweet natured. Unnaturally good memory. Able to read, to a degree. A happy child.

For an account of Fintan's heroic nature and his tendency to take on challenges that would bring fear to another child:

For an anecdote of Fintan as a natural leader among his fellow toddlers, in which he succeeded in getting an entire classroom full of kids to follow his lead:

Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley, 9 months. Baby genius. Musically and poetically sensitive. Very quick to understand the cause of things. One of the world's earliest talkers and crawlers. Courageous. Highly emotional. Uses three word sentences occasionally, beginning at eight months and three days (when first noticed). (The mean age for this is 23 months.). Has already shown some counting skills, while awake and while asleep.


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Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, gives a chemistry lecture, in SingaporeAinan Celeste Cawley, six, gives a chemistry lecture, in SingaporeAinan Celeste Cawley is only six years old. Here he is giving a chemistry lecture on November 15th 2006, in Singapore. This makes him the world's youngest known science teacher.Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, holds court at his chemistry lectureAinan Celeste Cawley, six, holds court at his chemistry lectureHere, Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, shows his audience the result of his experiment, at his chemistry lecture, in Singapore. He is the world's youngest known science teacher.Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, poses a question, at his chemistry lectureAinan Celeste Cawley, six, poses a question, at his chemistry lectureAinan Celeste Cawley, is giving his first chemistry lecture, on November 15th 2006, in Singapore. Here he asks a question of his audience. They clamour to be the first to answer. He is the world's youngest known science teacher.Ainan Celeste Cawley's keen audience at his chemistry lectureAinan Celeste Cawley's keen audience at his chemistry lectureAinan Celeste Cawley is six years old. He also gives chemistry lectures. Here we see him interacting with his keen audience. He is the world's youngest known science teacher.Ainan Celeste Cawley, six, demonstrates a chemical reactionAinan Celeste Cawley, six, demonstrates a chemical reactionAinan Celeste Cawley is six years old. Here he gives a demonstration of a chemical reaction, to his audience, at a Singapore School, on November 15th 2006. This makes him the world's youngest known science teacher.The Cawley Family of SingaporeThe Cawley Family of SingaporeValentine Cawley and his wife Syahidah Osman Cawley and their three kids, Ainan Celeste Cawley, 6, Fintan Nadym Cawley, 3, and Tiarnan Hasyl Cawley, 8 months. Photo taken October 1st 2006, by Hanisah Osman.