You might have called them "brains" or "teacher's pets" when you were a teen. They're the first kids with their hands up, and they always have the right answer. They might not have the fashion sense of other groups, and they usually prefer chess to hoops.
At one time, anyone who understood the mysteries of computers was considered a nerd. Now, a whole generation is computer savvy, so modern nerds might be the ones who understand the science behind the techno glitz.
Nerds are smart, but they sometimes have a hard time socially. Many teens still think being academically gifted just isn't cool. It's important for parents to counter this idea, emphasizing the real advantages to learning.