Just last month, the Baltimore-area whiz kid took top honors at a key contest hosted by Silicon Valley legend Intel Corp. (NasdaqGS: INTC). He invented a low-cost, cutting-edge cancer screen that could save thousands of lives every year.
Andraka now ranks as a rising star and radical change agent who could have a huge impact on high tech and medicine. He also pocketed a cool $100,000 in prize money.
And all at the ripe old age of 15...
He's one of the reasons why I say it pays to remain upbeat about America's future. He and these six other youngsters I'm about to tell you about demonstrate how much innate talent we have in this country, and I believe that's one reason why we can't help but succeed in the long run.
Don't get me wrong. America faces big challenges - rising debt, chronic job losses, and political gridlock, to name but a few.
Yet we're also the one country that steadily produces bright young entrepreneurs who change the world around them. Where others see obstacles, these teens see opportunities.
They go on to launch the Googles, Apples, and Microsofts of the world, and they leave a trail of wealth behind them.
As investors, we want to spot this talent before others do. That's how we maintain the inside edge that vaults us ahead of the pack when new investment opportunities come along.
Fact is, kids today may not be any smarter than the Edisons and Fords of their day. But in the Era of Radical Change, they have the tools - sensors, computers, software and more - that scientists of old could only dream about.
Today, I want to introduce you to the seven young geniuses who are pushing the limits of science and high tech.
If you drive a car, one of them might just be you.
Car crashes kill about 1.2 million people worldwide each year. And let's face it, drivers are getting worse -- not better.
Between texting, mobile e-mail and glitzy in-dash graphics, today's drivers are more distracted than ever.
In fact, more than 90 percent of all auto accidents are caused by driver error.
That's one of the reasons why Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is taking the lead in producing robotic cars.
In other words, it won't be long before you can put your car on "auto pilot."
A Radical Change for Drivers
Technically speaking, though, the robot wouldn't actually drive the car for you.
Instead, the vehicle will be cram-packed with advanced sensors, computer chips, radar and software.
Together, all these gadgets are designed to take over driving at critical times, such as when a driver wanders out of his lane.
These autonomous features could also help combat the boredom many of today's drivers suffer in urban centers when they are stuck in traffic nearly an hour each day.
That's not to say that today's cars are unsafe.
Compared to vehicles from 20 years ago, today's feature-rich cars and trucks are practically like space capsules. A series of breakthroughs in design and materials have made cars safer and more sophisticated than ever before.
And yet the roads really aren't that much safer.