OSSINING, N.Y. – There is electricity around the science wing at Ossining High School this week after the school received top honors Monday in the Intel Schools of Distinction Awards in Washington, D.C.
Intel awarded Ossining High School its Star Innovator Award, a national honor given to the high school deemed to have the top science and math program in the country. The school is set to receive $20,000 from the Intel Foundation and “other prizes including curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software,” according to a news release. Intel named Ossining High School a finalist earlier this year.
For 17-year-old senior Paige Spector, who is planning to pursue a career in engineering, the award is another reason to show “Ossining Pride.”
“It definitely means a lot. We’ve worked so hard here and we’re so proud of the school,” Spector said Tuesday. “Everyone really cares about what they do here. It just shows Ossining and everyone in the nation how much we really care about science here. It’s really great to get it out and let everyone know how hard we’ve worked.”
Without the dedicated teachers and constantly excelling programs, Paige said her high school days would have turned out very differently.
“My great teachers told me all about our Engineering Club and I tried it out and I ended up loving it,” she said. “That’s when I started to think about becoming an engineer and now I know that’s what I want to do. I think everyone should be really proud of the school.”
Physics teacher Mark Sinta has been teaching at Ossining High School for 17 years and can attest to the dramatic steps the school has taken to continually improve its science programs.
“Since 2000, when we added the science wing, we’ve really changed so much and improved a lot,” he said. “Kids and parents know our school is good, but when you start saying we’re the best in the nation, I think that really puts it in perspective at a higher level.”
Ossining received the honor “for fostering hands-on learning through a wide array of programs,” according to Intel executives in the press release. Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation, said Intel shared in the pride that Ossining students and faculty felt.
“Intel is proud to honor the Intel Schools of Distinction Award winners for their commitment to encouraging and engaging students in science and math,” said Hawkins in the news release. “Through the recognition of these innovative programs, Intel hopes to form a greater awareness of the tangible successes schools can achieve by cultivating a hands-on science and math environment.”