“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
— Astronaut Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969 after being the first human to step foot on the moon.
By Caitlyn Kirby
Edward (Ed) Krzemienski and Neil Armstrong have two things in common: their love for rocket science and their willingness to take a courageous step toward their dreams.
Krzemienski, a senior, plans to attend Purdue University, like Neil Armstrong, to study rocket science.
“(Ed) may not know just how big of a leap it will be, but I think he will rise to the challenge,” said his physics teacher Mr. Robert Summer.
Krzemienski wants to be a part of building the devices that go to other planets. The Mars Rovers would be an example. Costing about $2.5 billion each, they gather samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes.
At Purdue, he plans to go for at least a bachelor’s degree, and most likely continue for his master’s and doctorate. He believes that positions at organizations such as The National Aeronautics and Space Administration are often awarded to those with extensive learning experience.
“It’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be a lot of school, I know that,” Krzemienski said. “But it’s going to be worth it.”
While still in high school, Krzemienski has taken a few of the hardest classes that Delta offers in order to create a solid foundation for his future. These classes include physics, calculus and engineering.
However, these hard classes have not prevented him from being seventh in the senior class rankings.
Krzemienski’s physics class has just four students this semester.
“Having a class that small, it’s easy to keep a grip on what’s going on,” Krzemienski said. “It’s a bit of an awkward class; me and maybe one other person are answering all of the questions.”
Mr. Summer agrees that trying to get differing opinions in a class with only three other students can be difficult.
He says that his class goes over many practical and applicable concepts, but only at the surface.
“He’s getting a scaffolding or a foundation that he will go into more complicated things at Purdue,” Mr. Summer said. “They’ll be way more advanced than I could ever be.”
Mr. Summer says that Krzemienski’s work ethic sets him apart from other students. Making mistakes is uncommon for him, but when he does he approaches the mistake with grace. He wants to know what he did wrong so that he can adjust for future reference.
To add to his schedule, Krzemienski’s runs track in the spring. He runs sprint events including the 100, 200, and sometimes the 4×100 relay.
“Ed has continued to get better each season and has lowered his time in all of his events,” Krzemienski’s track and field coach Mr. Shane Conley said.
Krzemienski says that focusing on difficult classes while also in track season will mainly rely on persistence. Finding time to study in school and around track events is important to him.
While most of Krzemienski’s family has literature and English focused jobs, he has two uncles who are mechanics. As a kid, being able to work with and learn from his uncles sparked an interest in engineering for him. As he got older, he started enjoying space travel and opportunities came from that.
“It’s important to everyone on Earth,” Krzemienski said. “It makes a big difference to the world so that’s why I want to do it.”