When you think of geniuses, names like Einstein, da Vinci and Stephen Hawking come to mind. Now, you can add Oklahoma's Graham Curtsinger to that list. This local boy genius has knowledge of hurricanes that is astounding.
Curtsinger is like a lot of ten year olds; he likes to play outdoors with his three siblings, he enjoys computer games and plays the piano. But he also has an incredible gift, an IQ of 160, same as Einstein.
Graham talked at 6 months old and by age four, he taught himself to read. His mother, Tracy, calls it amazing.
"When he was five, he could name all of the countries and capitals of the world," Tracy Curtsinger said. "And that was at five, so we were thinking, 'how in the world is he doing this? What do we do for our son? How can we help him?'"
So Tracy and her husband, Brian, had Graham tested. Not only did he achieve genius status, he found himself among an elite group of students known as Davidson Scholars. Only 1,600 kids in the U.S. have this distinction.
Graham is technically a 4th grader at Verdigris Upper Elementary School, but takes mostly 6th grade classes and courses for gifted students on the computer from a program at Stanford University.
Keeping up with his abilities isn't easy.
"As soon as we think we're doing good, he meets that, and we need to do something else harder or more challenging for him," Tracy said.
He even creates his own projects at school.
"I have this little book that I'm writing called 'Almost Broke.' It's about a family that experiences Hurricane Sandy," Graham said.
Hurricanes are what make Graham tick. After Hurricane Sandy, Graham became fascinated with these tempests of the sea.
"Every morning, there's two things I do, play Minecraft and look up hurricanes on Wikipedia," Graham said.
His insatiable curiosity and dedication allowed him to learn nearly every hurricane path of the 20th and 21st centuries.
"He can look at something and then he can either draw what he saw or read, just like with those hurricane paths," Tracy said. "I mean he could see it and know what it was, it's crazy."
So naturally, I had to test this out. He can not only identify the hurricane path, but tell you the year it happened and how strong the winds and the impacts were. He even explained what factors lead to hurricane formation.
It's no surprise that Graham is right at home in the WARN Weather Center. This passion for weather and gift in communication is how he'd like to help others in the future.
"That's why I want to be a storm tracker and chaser, because I want to be able to warn people that there's a hurricane coming, it's really strong, you need to take shelter, and help reduce the deaths and damage," Graham said.
And we have no doubt this future hurricane hunter will make big contributions to the science in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, Graham will continue to track Oklahoma's wild weather with his family at home and finish up 4th grade.
"Every night I'd say, 'can you turn on the News? I want to see what's going on with the weather,'" Graham said.
Graham hopes to fly into hurricanes someday to gather data for research. If that isn't enough excitement, he said he'll stick around to chase tornadoes in Oklahoma through May.