Townsend ranks #237 in STEM

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Townsend Harris’s Math, Science, and Technology program was recently ranked #237 out of the leading 5,000 STEM high schools in the country by Newsweek Magazine.

“I am thrilled that our STEM program has been recognized for its excellence,” commented Assistant Principal of Math, Science, and Technology Susan Brustein.

Newsweek and Educational Research (SER) created a 4-year study of STEM Programs in US High Schools to determine which primary and secondary institutions in  America offered students the best opportunities in STEM.

They developed a scoring rubric using a set of quantitative and qualitative data inputs about each STEM program, which were representative of a diverse group of concerns. Some of the standards they measured include the amount of STEM subjects in school, whether the school teaches 21st century skills, the content of these classes, the learning diversity of the program, academic conversation, the use of technology, hands-on problem solving, and the portion of students pursuing STEM careers.

The results of the study showed that THHS was one of the two Queens high schools to earn a spot on the list of the top 5,000 STEM high schools in the country. 

Many THHS students were surprised that Townsend Harris was given this honor, especially considering its humanities focus. 

“I feel that although we do have many STEM programs and activities, Townsend Harris will always be more of a humanities school than a STEM school for me,” commented junior Angelina Li. 

“I think Townsend can achieve a better rank in STEM; every senior this year was fighting to get a STEM AP class this year and there were long waitlists for non AP electives. I don’t know why there were so few sections of math electives this year,” said senior Hansie Wang.

Nevertheless, members of the STEM faculty believe the ranking demonstrates that THHS not only prepares students for humanities, but STEM as well. 

“I think it’s great,” said science teacher Shi Bing Shen. “Townsend has always been known as more of a humanities school, and although I do think that math and science are part of that, not many people agree with me, so it’s very exciting for our effort in our math, science, and technology department to be recognized as it should be.”

“Our school’s focus on clear thinking and writing, reasoning from evidence, and being able to articulate one’s thoughts are an essential component of the success of all of our programs,” added Ms. Brustein. “ I also believe that learning about the world through the lenses that STEM provides contributes to our students success in the real world, regardless of the career that they choose.”

Photo by Arunima Paul.