Many students at Kennedy High School are enrolled in advanced classes that are from a year ahead of a student’s grade level to years ahead in the case of many AP classes offered in the social studies department. Students also are often enrolled in math and science classes that are up to two years ahead of a student’s grade level. Weston Edwards, so., goes above and beyond this in mathematics and science.
In eighth grade, Edwards decided to home-school. During this period, Edwards was able to learn at his own pace. This allowed him to complete multiple years of math and science classes in one school year. “I was able to learn at my own speed and get ahead in math and science,” Edwards said.
This year, Edwards is has completed AP Calculus, AP Physics C, and AP Chemistry. All of these classes are usually taken by seniors and sometimes by juniors. Edwards admits that these classes were a challenge, however, Edwards still succeeded in the classes. Edwards was limited to sophomore level language arts classes. He often found it odd adjusting between the culture of seniors and sophomores. “Sometimes it’s a bit weird going from a class of sophomores to a class of seniors,” Edwards said. Despite this, Edwards believes that taking higher level classes is still the right thing to do. He believes that they can give you a different perspective on school and get you ahead in school as well as life.
Next year, Edwards will be taking his math and science classes at local colleges, including Mount Mercy University and Coe College. Edwards also considered attending classes at Kirkwood College, but his parents advised against it. Edwards intends to take higher levels of calculus and physics classes at these colleges.
While Edwards does attribute some of his success to his intelligence, he also believes other factors influence one’s success when taking higher level classes. Some of these factors are only controllable by the student and a student’s work ethic. “Pay attention in class and do your homework, even if at first the class seems easy. The practice is what makes you good at the subject matter,” Edwards said. Other factors are dependent on the teacher. “Sometimes a good or bad teacher can make or break a class. Make sure you get good teachers,” Edwards said.
Edwards also is involved in many extracurricular activities at Kennedy. He is a member of Chemistry Club and the math team. Edwards is also involved in activities that are not academically focused. He is both a member of Ping Pong Club and Dungeons & Dragons Club. Edwards hopes to be high in the ranks of Ping Pong Club next year, maybe even president. Edwards strongly believes that one should be involved in activities other than just academics. “Academics can be stressful and playing games with friends really helps ease the stress,” Edwards said.
As of now, Edwards hopes to be an astrophysicist. He believes that his higher level physics classes he will be taking at these colleges will give him a head start on the road to doing this. Edwards hopes to attend Iowa State University. Although Edwards will be able to graduate early, he intends on completing all four years of high school.