There is Project Work that is such a drag for everyone when it is a compulsory subject, then there is the real deal in which 16-17 year old students spend their holidays working on treating diseases like tuberculosis and bone disorders. The prize is a US$100k college scholarship, so there's something of an incentive, but I believe the money is more a bonus to these kids than the prime factor.
Yes, these are especially outstanding kids to be working at such a mature level, but I'm just amazed that there can be such a gap between them and our regular teenager, since they are the exact same age, after all.
What's it going to take to close the gap even just a little? From what I can see, these kids aren't just textbook smart. They are audacious enough to attempt working on things most adults have no grasp of. There's confidence in their own abilities, yet humility as well in learning from every opportunity. They believe in what they're doing, and know that it's worthwhile as people who are suffering may in time benefit from their study.
Now, that's studying with a purpose. Fox News interviews the grand prize winners of the Seimens Science Competition. Click here.