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Six-year-old impresses TAMS students during tutoring

Six-year-old impresses TAMS students during tutoring

November 26
12:14 2013

Mollie Jamison / Staff Writer

It’s Wednesday night and 6-year-old Malachi Lewis sits in the backseat of his mother’s car, telling her to hurry. At 6:45 p.m. most children his age are heading to bed, but Lewis and his mother are on their way to UNT.

Lewis meets once a week with three Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science students to expand his knowledge on the subjects of science, math and computer science.

“Malachi will definitely be well-read, and I expect him to make some sort of impact on the scientific world,” said TAMS freshman Brandon Truong, Lewis’ computer science tutor. “He’ll probably be one of the visionaries of his generation.”

Lewis’ mother, Melanie, observes the one-hour tutoring sessions each week.

Lewis lives in Denton, but is enrolled at E.A. Young Academy, a private school in North Richland Hills for gifted students. She said he tests several grades above his level for every subject.

“We didn’t know any more chemistry to teach him,” Melanie Lewis said. “We were like, ‘now what?’ So I called a friend of mine who works for UNT and asked if there was anything anywhere for Malachi.”

She was then put in contact with Kevin Roden, assistant director for student life in TAMS.

TAMS freshman Kavya Arvind said Roden emailed everyone in her class and offered them the opportunity to tutor Lewis.

“The TAMS program is filled with students who have had similar experiences as Malachi’s – smart beyond their years and looking for opportunities to foster their curiosity,” Roden said. “The students love meeting with Malachi each week.”

Truong said the lessons with Lewis vary from session to session and usually depend on what he wants to learn that day.

Arvind focuses on teaching him science.

“He seemed to show an interest in genetics so we went over the process of DNA and Punnett squares and probability of phenotype,” Arvind said. “It’s really basic high-school-level biology.”

TAMS sophomore Tiffany Oh, Lewis’ math tutor, said she thinks he will grow up and work in a research lab.

“I can see him winning a Nobel Prize, and he won’t really care about winning the prize but about it helping people everywhere,” Oh said. “I love working with Malachi. He is literally the one highlight of my week.”

Truong said teaching Lewis is a good review for his classes, and the 6-year-old also brings new things to the table.

“He definitely teaches me new ways of thinking and approaching problems,” Truong said. “He even brings new ideas and facts whenever he comes to share with us. He always gets off topic and shows his inner child. It’s nice to remember that although he is incredibly intelligent, he is still a kid at heart.”

When Lewis isn’t learning equations and algorithms, he said he likes to play Minecraft on his computer. For Halloween, he even dressed up as “Steve,” the character the player controls.

Feature photo: 6-year-old Malachi Lewis works out a math problem that he created on a white board at McConnell Hall on Wednesday evening. Lewis attends tutoring at UNT where TAMS students are able to help Lewis in areas like science, math and computer science. Photo by Mollie Jamison / Staff Writer 

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