Townsend Harris High School in Flushing has received a $10,000 cash award for being selected as the Intel School of Distinction for science, one of only three schools in the country to be recognized.
Judges for the Intel award, given annually to one high school, middle school and elementary school with outstanding science programs, noted that Townsend Harris’ recently revamped curriculum “capitalized on teachers’ strengths and addressed student interests.” The award is also given to three schools with outstanding math programs.
Townsend Harris, which was also recently ranked in the top 100 high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report, boasts a science program that starts its students off with a strong foundation of core subjects like biology, physics and chemistry, but allows them to then branch out into other more specialized courses, like forensic science, robotics and organic chemistry.
Townsend Harris Principal Thomas Cunningham said the approach the school takes to science is just as important as the course load itself.
“Effort and intellectual curiosity have been justly rewarded,” Cunningham said. “What sets our school apart from many other top−achieving schools is our humanities−focused curriculum. Our approach is holistic, integrating science and math with languages, history, art and music.”
The Intel judges also praised the Townsend Harris science faculty’s dedication to both their courses and the extra−curricular programs offered by the school, such as independent research projects and FIRST Robotics, the school’s robotics club.
“Creating the program we now have at Harris has required great effort and planning by the entire science faculty,” said Susan Brustein, Townsend Harris’ principal of science and technology. “Science education at Harris is now multi−disciplinary, engaging learners in a variety of modalities — visual, auditory and kinesthetic — while simultaneously stressing reading, writing, oral communication skills and the ability to evaluate information. We set high standards for our students and provide the necessary support to ensure their success.”
Located at 149−11 Melbourne Ave., Townsend Harris with 1,110 students has an extensive history of excellence among New York City public high schools. In 2008, 100 percent of its seniors graduated — each receiving their diploma after four years — a statistic only paralleled at a handful of schools in the city.
Of those students, 99 percent were accepted to four−year colleges and the senior student body collectively won more than $28 million in college scholarships.
The school has a strict admission standard based primarily on a student’s middle school academic performance and punctuality and only 4 percent of the 6,800 students who apply to the school from all five boroughs in the city are accepted on an annual basis.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@
©2009 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.