At the International School of Minnesota, 30 to 40 percent of the high school is involved with its robotics team. “It’s really cool to put to use what we do in physics class,” senior Aparaajita Balaji says. She would know: Two of the three years Balaji has participated (this is her fourth year), the team has advanced to the national robotics competition. She loves that the team brings together such a diverse group of students and ideas to accomplish great feats.
The International School is a close-knit community to which Balaji credits much of her academic and personal success, which doesn’t even scratch the surface of her volunteering and basketball acumen. “I’ve been going there since kindergarten, so everyone’s basically like family. We’ve known each other so long,” she says, praising the one-on-one attention and close relationships between students and teachers.
Her passion for academics is evident in her accomplishments: Perhaps predictably given her choice of robotics club, Balaji loves physics and biology (“It’s really nice to see a different perspective on how to solve the problem at hand,” she says), and plans to take between four and six Advanced Placement tests for college credit in the spring, including two exams for which she’d be studying on her own, without classroom instruction.
A varied list of extracurricular activities allows Balaji to take advantage of classroom principles and have plenty of fun. She is president of the National Honor Society at her school and also volunteers with kids at the Science Museum of Minnesota, helping them learn about electricity and circuit-building.
International School of Minnesota, 6385 Beach Road, Eden Prairie; 952.918.1800.