The Big Bang Theory turned nerd humor into one of America’s most watched TV shows.
For some of Indiana’s very own, Sheldon Cooper’s life feels more like a biography.
David Bonner grew up as what he likes to call “gifted.”
“I think The Big Bang Theory gets a lot right about us,” says David Bonner.
“When The Big Bang Theory first aired, I watched an episode or two and I thought, ‘This is boring. It’s about real life. Why would you want to watch this?'” he said.
“My wife a couple years later said, ‘This is the greatest show ever.’ I’m like ‘Why?’ ‘Well, it’s about you. And it’s funny.’”
Now Bonner runs The Apogee School for gifted students in Indianapolis.
“When I wake up in the morning, I don’t think, ‘Hmm, I’m a genius.’ I just wake up and I’m me,” he said.
“When I was in grad school I was told that the man with the highest IQ in the world is working as a bouncer. But he loves it. So our goal is to remove barriers from them being their best.”
Thirteen-year-old Josh Ramirez is one of the Apogee School’s five students.
His IQ is so high his mom, Jessie Ramirez, felt she had no choice but to pull him out of public school.
“If the work doesn’t challenge his brain, he’s not going to do it,” she said.
“I think with the normal teenage boys it’s all about YouTube videos or I don’t know… the latest thing is dabbing. Some football player did it,” Josh said. “I’m just not interested in it. I’d rather be building something with LEGOs”
The Apogee School appeals to young brilliant minds that aren’t ready for an adult-structured classroom. You’ll find just as many stuffed animals here as robots, 3D printers and computer language programs.
“At our school we have 10-year-olds taking algebra. We have students learning how to 3D print. We have a class even for independent study. So they can learn about whatever they want as long as it’s challenging to them,” Bonner said.
The perfect place for a Young Sheldon.
“He found people in his apartment that get him and he has a great life there,” Bonner said.
“One of the things I wanted for our school is for our kids, our students to have community in our own little apartment.”