Does the world change (mostly for the better) because of the work of relatively few prodigies? Look back into history: Leonardo da Vinci, Alan Turing, Albert Einstein (gravitational waves), more recently Mark Zuckerberg. (I could give a whole long list in music, starting with Mozart.) And then the Andraka brothers, as well as Taylor Wilson and Param Jaggi.
And now there is a Washington Post story by Nick Anderson, about a 15 year old student (Landon Labuskes) at a Catholic high school in northern Virginia being one of twelve in the world to get a perfect score on the Calculus AB Advance Placement Exam. I have to say, I don’t quite follow the calculus problem on the board.
I do recall a student, when I was subbing, who as a sophomore got 100% on every single SOL in Fairfax County, VA (other than one physics question). I believe he would be in medical school now.
Vox has an article saying "The kids are all right" and are better than we were. They don't smoke, use drugs, or even watch television as much as we did. (I remember the Seventh Grade general education teacher in 1955: "Read, don't watch television". )