That's the case for this year's valedictorian at
And during the
For the past two years, the trio has commuted to the private Catholic university from their home in
"He chose his own way, and we followed," said
Mom owns a consulting firm and has a background in education and linguistics. Dad is a
Alexander is an only child who was home-schooled. His early education included a wide range of languages, including French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Russian and Italian.
"He knew almost all Shakespeare plays by heart by the time he was 7," his mother said.
"I did physics with him," his father added.
At age 12, Alexander asked his parents if he could enroll in classes at
College officials told them he was too young to attend classes on his own.
"And that's how we started going to school with him,"
The family spent four years at
"I've really enjoyed it," Alexander said. "I was able to take my time and take any class I wanted."
"That way he can build on it," the father said.
The family's days are long. They're usually out the door by
They've always sat by each other in classes, and they try to work on projects together whenever possible.
"You always have a study group,"
"Engineering is harder than education," added
For their international service engineering project, which was presented this week, the Andersons designed a rainwater distribution and sanitation project will help bring clean water to people in
The system, which is affiliated with
He added that the project wouldn't have been possible without their mentors, engineer
"He is extremely intelligent and passionate about the work he is doing," Kahn-Jetter said. "He knows that with his education he can make a huge difference in the world. He is driven in his desire to help people."
During their spare time, Andersons designed a wind turbine that involves blimp technology with a grant from
"It's been a garage project,"
Alexander already secured a patent on the technology and they plan to launch their system in May near
"We're still in the experimental stage,"
And soon they will need to decide which graduate school they'll attend -- that's right, they are all planning to pursue master's degrees in engineering together,
Their top two choices are
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