You've probably seen them bumbling about your TV screen: Steve Urkel on "Family Matters," or Sheldon on "The Big Bang Theory." They're loveable, a bit socially awkward and completely oblivious when they sound or act like geeks.
Call them nerds, dorks or brainiacs. Though those words may have a positive connotation in some circles, largely the implication is negative, according to Denver author, lecturer and radio host Dom Testa.
The common thread connecting these characters is their uber-intelligence, and that's why they just don't fit in.
Testa has taken note and says its time for grownups to intervene. There are many bright kids who dim their own intelligence, he says, and he blames it on an American educational culture where it is uncool to be too smart.
Kids want to fit in, he says, and to fit in, too many kids are dumbing themselves down.
"And why? Because they don't want the perceived 'cool kids' to make fun of them," he writes in his forthcoming book, "SMART is Cool! Building a Better Student Through Attitude."
Kids, he continues, want to be accepted. "They want to be just as cool. And if they believe that reading, writing, math and science skills are apt to get them labeled a nerd or a dork, all of the money that we're spending on education is trickling -- make that gushing -- down the drain," he writes.
Testa says he aims to change that with his nonprofit, The Big Brain Club.
Audio for this interview will be available after 12 p.m.