Aaron Kollasch, Neuqua Valley High School

High school senior Aaron Kollasch thrives in two worlds, one filled with Chopin and Rachmaninoff and the other with algorithms, robotics and biomedical engineering.<br><br>The accomplished musician and science whiz also makes time for competing in math contests, dabbling in art and playing benefit concerts for various causes.<br><br>"He can do anything he wants to do," said Shawna Stanley, Kollasch's guidance counselor at Neuqua Valley High School.<br><br>Kollasch, 18, aced the ACT college entrance exam with a perfect score of 36, and he has gotten a top score of 5 on every college-level Advanced Placement test he's taken so far.<br><br>He's veering toward majoring in biological sciences at Northwestern University this fall, with perhaps a minor in music. But, "It's kind of hard to choose," Kollasch said.<br><br>In his Naperville home there's his charcoal self-portrait on the wall, done as a freshman; his 1842 French cello; and a piano. He began cello lessons at age 3, and piano at age 6. Kollasch was selected to participate in the prestigious 2013 Chicago Youth in Music Festival.<br><br>Then there's a robot arm, sitting on the floor, which Kollasch and a partner built in connection with Science Olympiad competitions.<br><br>Neuqua Valley science teacher Paula Mueller said Kollasch is tireless and tenacious. "He really has a vision in his head and he sticks with it," she said. "He's always wanted to be recognized for an invention or something that he's created."<br><br>In his All-State nomination, Kollasch wrote about working last summer as a lab intern, and knowing that perhaps someday, his work could help create a new vaccine or therapy "to alleviate human suffering."<br><br>-- Diane Rado

( Terrence Antonio James, Chicago Tribune / April 30, 2013 )

High school senior Aaron Kollasch thrives in two worlds, one filled with Chopin and Rachmaninoff and the other with algorithms, robotics and biomedical engineering.

The accomplished musician and science whiz also makes time for competing in math contests, dabbling in art and playing benefit concerts for various causes.

"He can do anything he wants to do," said Shawna Stanley, Kollasch's guidance counselor at Neuqua Valley High School.

Kollasch, 18, aced the ACT college entrance exam with a perfect score of 36, and he has gotten a top score of 5 on every college-level Advanced Placement test he's taken so far.

He's veering toward majoring in biological sciences at Northwestern University this fall, with perhaps a minor in music. But, "It's kind of hard to choose," Kollasch said.

In his Naperville home there's his charcoal self-portrait on the wall, done as a freshman; his 1842 French cello; and a piano. He began cello lessons at age 3, and piano at age 6. Kollasch was selected to participate in the prestigious 2013 Chicago Youth in Music Festival.

Then there's a robot arm, sitting on the floor, which Kollasch and a partner built in connection with Science Olympiad competitions.

Neuqua Valley science teacher Paula Mueller said Kollasch is tireless and tenacious. "He really has a vision in his head and he sticks with it," she said. "He's always wanted to be recognized for an invention or something that he's created."

In his All-State nomination, Kollasch wrote about working last summer as a lab intern, and knowing that perhaps someday, his work could help create a new vaccine or therapy "to alleviate human suffering."

-- Diane Rado

  • Email E-mail
  • add to Twitter Twitter
  • add to Facebook Facebook