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Alex Smith has taken 13 Advanced Placement courses to date, and for his achievements in those related to science, technology, engineering and math, he was named a Siemens Award for Advanced Placement recipient.

Smith, 16, a senior at La Plata High School, was one of only two recipients for Maryland. The award, according to information from the Siemens Foundation, is a signature program of the foundation administered by the College Board to recognize the nation’s top achievers in Advanced Placement Program courses related to STEM with a $2,000 college scholarship for one male and one female student in each state.

Smith said it was nice to receive the award and that he could use the money toward college expenses.

Smith’s colleges of choice include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, University of Maryland and Princeton. “Most don’t offer merit scholarships,” he said.

In college, Smith plans to focus on STEM courses because he enjoys and would like to pursue the sciences.

He said he is looking forward to the challenging courses college will have to offer. He said college will offer more choices of courses than he gets in high school.

Outside of academics, Smith said he plays the violin and runs cross country for his school.

He enjoys running and plans on running for leisure after graduation.

Smith also is a finalist for the National Merit scholarship.

He was chosen based on performances on the PSAT and named semifinalist earlier this year.

When it comes to doing well on the PSAT, SATs or AP exams, Smith said the important thing is to study and prepare. “It’s a good idea to know the types of questions” that will be on the test.

La Plata Principal Evelyn Arnold said that Alex is a great academic student and well-rounded person. “We are all very proud of him.”

gphillips@somdnews.com