Whiz Kid

Michi Synn, a Carmel Valley resident and fifth grade student at Solana Pacific Elementary School, along with her team Geeks on Fleek, were named the champions of the first season of NBC’s Genius Junior. The game show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, teams up the brightest children ages 8 to 12 from across the country to compete in complex challenges involving math, memory, logic, spelling, and more. Over four rounds, with each round tougher than the last, teams of three work together to beat the competition. Each episode’s winning team then takes on The Cortex, the final round that gives them the opportunity to build up their prize fund. Geeks on Fleek beat out the other 11 teams to take home the Genius Junior grant that will help them prepare for their future.

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Michi was selected as a contestant for the show last year. She prepared by working on her memory skills, practicing mental calculations, and spelling words out loud. “Genius Junior was the single most inspiring and empowering experience I have had so far in my life,” she said. “I met wonderful, brilliant, nice new friends. And, in challenging myself, I accomplished mental feats that I did not know I could do.”

Michi’s favorite subject in school is math, and last year she won first place in the national competition, Math Kangaroo. “I love the logic and beauty of math,” she shared. Michi is also the youngest intern at a cancer immunotherapy research company. She is “fanatic” about her 11 American Girl dolls and loves reading, writing, and music. She also enjoys playing with her friends, her brother Sammy, and her family’s two dogs, Yoko and Ming.