12-year-old child prodigy is making their way to college with the goal of joining NASA by the age of 16

In recent years, the world has witnessed the incredible achievements of several child prodigies. In October of 2020, news broke about Caleb Anderson, a 12-year-old studying aerospace engineering at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia.

And, in July of the same year, Laurent Simons made headlines after earning a bachelor’s degree in physics from Belgium’s University of Antwerp at just 11 years old.

Now, we have another impressive child prodigy to add to the list. Alena Wicker, a 12-year-old from Arizona, has been accepted into Arizona State University (ASU) with plans to become a NASA engineer by the age of 16.

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Speaking to Phoenix TV station KPNX, Alena shared her passion for engineering, saying, “I always dreamed of being an engineer because, throughout my life, I liked building.”

Alena’s talent for designing and engineering things was first showcased when she was a child, building impressive LEGO structures including the Taj Mahal, the Disney castle, a NASA rocket, the Apollo 11, and the Millennium Falcon.

Her dedication to her craft is evident in her favorite creation, the Millennium Falcon, which took her 14 to 15 hours over two days to complete. She barely slept during that time, so determined was she to finish the lofty project.

Alena’s mother, Daphne McQuarter, recognized her daughter’s gift for numbers, LEGOs, and science from a young age and felt compelled to nurture her talents. “At 4 years old she said, ‘I’m going to work at NASA and I’m going to go up there.’ She would point to the stars,” said McQuarter.

Alena will soon be double-majoring in astronomical and planetary science and chemistry at ASU, and it seems she is well on her way to achieving her dreams of going up there to the stars.

As we continue to witness the achievements of child prodigies like Alena, Caleb, and Laurent, we are reminded of the incredible potential of the human mind and the importance of nurturing and supporting young talent.