Summer held no break in mental stimuli for Andrew Karas.
An enviromental policy internship left him inspired, an engineering camp excited him, and news he had achieved a perfect ACT score on his first try triggered a long sigh.
"It was a relief that I didn't have to keep taking it," said the upbeat Karas.
Karas, a 17-year-old incoming senior at Lyons Township High School, is one of eight students at the school this year to score a flawless mark, an uncommon feat.
Last year, approximately 1,400 out of the 1.4 million students who took the 215-question college entrance exam, received 36, according to the ACT official Website.
The president of the math team at LTHS, who lives in Western Springs with his parents and the family dog, said he plans to study math and science "to improve the world' at a college either on the East Coast or in the Midwest.
He fed his passions this summer, interning at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Chicago-based institution that works to protect nature, where he worked in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and contributed to a water database project.
"It was really cool to be around people making such an impact," he said.
Then, in early August, he attended a five-day engineering program at Santa Clara University in California, after applying, being accepted, and receiving a full ride. He said the camp included short introductions to varying aspects of the field, including nanotechnology.
At LTHS, Karas maintains a 4.0 grade point average. He runs cross country, participates in several music programs—he has played piano for 12 years—and hosts The News Program on WLTL radio, the nonprofit channel out of the high school.
"I keep up with the blogs, keep up with current events," he said.
Seven other Lyons Township High School students produced perfect ACT scores in spring 2010—five have contacted La Grange Patch and have appeared in articles. Three have not contacted La Grange Patch, and the school has not released their names.