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ESM Among Newsweek’s Top STEM Schools in US


Newsweek has named East Syracuse Minoa Central High School to its 2020 list of the best STEM high schools in America.

“We’re very proud to be honored nationally as a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) school,” said Grenardo Avellino, ESM Central High School Executive Principal.

ESM is ranked number 3,642 of more than 31,000 public and private high schools in the U.S. on the Newsweek Top 5,000 STEM High School list. Newsweek partnered with STEM.org to rank America’s Best STEM High Schools. The list includes schools that offer skilled teachers who keep up with developments in these fields and who create dynamic learning environments to engage their students.

Among the schools on the list, ESM also ranks #2,257 among public high schools of more than 26,000 public high schools in the country and #301 of more than 2,500 in New York State.

“Students today need to be prepared for STEM careers and compete with students from other parts of the world. Our students need to be problem solvers who can find and use evidence, collaborate and think critically so they are college and career ready,” Mr. Avellino explained.

ESM Central High School offers STEM learning opportunities that include the Cleanwater Educational Research Facility for environmental studies (in partnership with SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and the Village of Minoa), Project Lead the Way engineering courses and RxeSEARCH: An Educational Journey for pharmaceutical studies (supported by Bristol Myers Squibb). The school also has a very active STEM Maker Space in the library and other STEM curricula. 

Last fall, ESM launched Aviation courses using an approved Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association curriculum aided by an American Airlines grant. In 2015 the District was recognized nationally as one of the first 27 STEM Learning Ecosystems in the United States and in 2017 the New York State Education Department awarded ESM a 5-year Early College High School Grant for the Spartan Academy where students can earn a 2-year Associates Degree in computer science, engineering science and math/science at graduation, along with their high school Regents Diploma.

“Children don’t realize it, but they’re natural STEM students,” said Newsweek Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper. “We need to make sure that innate drive, curiosity, and creativity aren’t lost along the way. These high schools are helping to ensure America’s future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is in good hands.”

The top 5,000 schools were curated from STEM.org Educational Research™ using data from 2015 to 2019. The purpose was to determine which primary/secondary institutions in America best offer students experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—as defined by the Congressional Research Service—while preparing them for post?secondary outcomes.

The full list of 5,000 top STEM high schools was posted on Newsweek.com on November 8, which is National STEM Day.