Alturas Academy junior with big dreams a part of the IB Diploma Programme - East Idaho News
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Alturas Academy junior with big dreams a part of the IB Diploma Programme

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IDAHO FALLS — Oliver Nathan is a junior at Alturas Preparatory Academy. A member of the International Baccalaureate Programme, Nathan aspires to launch his own business — somehow related to his interests in science and math.

The IB Diploma programme is an intensive two-year program that offers advanced pre-university classes. The classes are similar to Advanced Placement (AP) courses but are internationally recognized.

IB Diploma accepts a limited number of applicants.

“It’s pretty rigorous,” Nathan said.

Asked to explain how IB Diploma courses differ from the standard high school courses he attended before his acceptance into the program this year, Nathan explained that his current math class — applications and interpretations — is unlike any other he knows.

“It covers a broad array of topics, pretty in-depth — it’s not your standard, sort of, high school education,” Nathan said.

As part of the class, Nathan is working on a project exploring how sound waves relate to music, another field he has recently begun to explore.

Nathan began playing guitar in the program’s music class and has taken it on as a personal hobby. He said that he plays folk and classical music.

He has also developed a great deal of interest in rock climbing. Enough so that he recently started the school’s rock climbing club — which meets weekly at The Edge Climbing Gym in Idaho Falls. Nathan said his goal for the club was to form a group that gathered for something other than classes.

As part of the IB Diploma Programme, students are required to complete a CAS (creativity, activity, service) Project. For his project, Nathan is assisting with the city’s development of GIFT (Greater Idaho Falls Transit) — a city-operated ride-sharing service.

Nathan’s dream is to launch his own business — though he hasn’t decided on the specifics yet. He does know, however, that it will likely be related to the scientific field. Something in nuclear energy or the biomedical industry, perhaps.

To get there, Nathan knows he will have to leave Idaho Falls, the only hometown he has known. He recently visited the campuses of the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

“Those are, generally, the kind of caliber that I like to look towards,” he said.

He also knows his dreams will include some level of postgraduate education.

So, while he could very well return to eastern Idaho, Nathan knows much of his early adult life will be spent studying in a city far from — in many ways — his home.

“I think the biggest things to miss would be the people and the natural beauty,” he said.