Sophia Tabors: 10-year-old Science Fair Hero

Sophia TaborsWhen smart kids speak, pay attention. Sophia Tabors’ mother did.

Ten-year-old Sophia Tabors saw her grandpa drop a bag of apples and asked him if he was OK. He said something, but she couldn’t understand it. Then she noticed one side of his face was sagging, and she knew. Her grandpa was having a stroke!

How did this fourth-grade girl know what was happening to her grandpa?

“My other grandpa had a stroke and during that stroke I’m like, ‘Well it’d be interesting to find out why strokes happen and what causes them,’” she said. So she did. Sophia learned all she could about strokes and turned what she learned into a prize-winning science fair project. Even though one teacher told her this wasn’t a good subject for a science fair, she took a second-place ribbon anyway.

It was only two months later that she was at the grocery store with her mother and her other grandpa, and she realized this grandfather was also having a stroke. “He dropped a bag of apples,” she said. “He was staring at it and I was trying to ask him if he was okay. He was saying something, but I didn’t get it and his face was droopy on one side…I told my mom what was happening and she called 911.”

Her grandfather’s doctor credits her with saving his life, as well as physical abilities. “I have no doubt she saved a lot of his functions and probably his life too,” Dr. Alshekhlee said.

Sophia’s grandpa is recovering well now, largely because she was prepared and alert.

Well done, Sophia. Very well done indeed. We are all proud of you. The report says you love reading and learning and science. I hope you’ll keep on reading and learning all you can. People say “curiosity killed the cat,” but that’s nonsense. Curiosity is good. Very few things are as satisfying as learning, and you never know when something you’ve learned will save somebody’s life again. Or be useful in some other way.

You referred to yourself as a bookworm. This is great! Be sure to finish your education, but also learn all you can on your own. Good books, science magazines, and the internet make this easier than it has ever been before.

Since you’re interested, think about studying some branch of science.  You’d make a great scientist!

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