Relive the exhilarating journey from adolescence into adulthood in the inspiring coming-of-age documentary WHIZ KIDS from filmmaker Tom Shepard, director of the award-winning SCOUT’S HONOR.
WHIZ KIDS follows three amazing teens in separate cities as they undertake the challenge of applying for and preparing to compete in the country’s most prestigious science competition, the Intel Science Talent Search.
Though all unique personalities, they share one common characteristic – an insatiable curiosity that fuels a desire to better the world.
"An unabashed celebration of geekitude, idealism and the will to win."
– New York Times
Shepard skillfully takes viewers through the joys and frustrations these aspiring young researchers experience as they battle the pressures of cutting-edge science and navigate the bittersweet process of self-discovery.
In doing so he enables his audience to reexamine the world through the hope and wonder of youthful innocence. Profiling remarkable young scientists at the brink of brilliant academic and lifelong careers, Shepard reawakens the sense of endless possibility that drives the young spirit.
“A welcome breath of fresh air... guaranteed to restore your faith in America's future while bringing tears to your eyes.”
The director’s intimate connection to his subject matter is apparent in his thoughtful and delicate presentation – Shepard himself was an Intel Science Talent Search finalist in 1987. He fully understands the personal growth and transformation that result from this level of scientific competition and makes that the focus of this successful and engaging film.
Though Shepard himself chose to pursue a career outside the scientific community, the importance of scientific study remains with him.
“…Scientific curiosity is innate. It should not only be encouraged early on but celebrated, honored, and modeled…Although not a professional scientist, my background in science informs my life every day as an average citizen trying to make good choices. Making our society more technically literate, generally, might be as laudable a goal as producing ten thousand new doctorates in science and engineering.”
This message is communicated clearly in the very essence of WHIZ KIDS. After spending a year with these inspirational teens, viewers walk away with a deep appreciation and admiration for the spirit and ingenuity of America’s emerging scientific heroes.