BOSTON (CBS) — A new report using information from the U.S. Department of Education has ranked the best high schools in the state. According to Niche’s list of the 2019 best public high schools, Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science in Worcester ranked as the best public high school in the state. Check out the full list here
The list ranks schools in several categories such as academics, administration and facilities.
In addition to being accepted at some of the most prestigious universities in the world including WPI, MIT, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale, Mass Academy students are regularly at the forefront of regional, state, national, and international competitions and exhibitions. Students have also been honored in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Contest, the Massachusetts All-State Band, and the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, among others. Check out the links below to learn about some of their recent accomplishments.
Mass Academy Team Wins Congressional App Challenge
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) announced winners of the 2018 Congressional App Challenge from Massachusetts’ Second Congressional District: Vishnu Penubarthi, Tian Yu Fan, Mary Barsoum, and Akshay Gopinathan. The students are all enrolled in the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
The students’ app, VeGETables, bridges the gap between supermarkets and food pantries by offering a platform where food pantries can request items from supermarkets. The students said they “were inspired to create the app after learning about the enormous amount of food that is wasted every year by supermarkets that could go towards feeding the millions of hungry Americans.”
“I am excited to congratulate Vishnu, Tian Yu, Mary, and Akshay on their exceptional app. I’m so proud that their work highlights the importance of creative solutions to the problem of hunger in America,” said Congressman McGovern. “Programs like the Congressional App Challenge help today’s students develop the skills they need to become the innovators and entrepreneurs or tomorrow. I look forward to following all their hard work in the years to come, and I congratulate them on behalf of our entire community.”
“The curriculum at Mass Academy is geared toward project-based learning, and encourages students to apply their knowledge to solve real world problems. We are extremely proud of all our students, and are thankful for the support from our legislators, which helps provide these opportunities to allow our students to excel and showcase their work,” said Michael Barney, Director of Mass Academy of Math and Science.
BACKGROUND ON THE CONGRESSIONAL APP CHALLENGE:
The Congressional App Challenge highlights the value of computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and encourages students to engage in these fields. By recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills.
The Challenge is open to all U.S. high school students in participating districts. Challenge participants are invited, either as individuals or as teams of up to four, to create and submit their own software application (“app”) for mobile, tablet, or other computing devices on a platform of their choice. A panel of local computer science professionals and congressional representatives will judge the apps, and the winners in each district will have the honor of being recognized by their Congressional representative.
The Challenge is coordinated by the Congressional Internet Caucus and the non-governmental sponsor of the project, the Internet Education Foundation. Click here to read more about the Congressional App Challenge.
BACKGROUND ON THE MASSACHUSETTS ACADEMY OF MATH AND SCIENCE:
The Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science is a public school of excellence for 100 academically accelerated high school juniors and seniors in Massachusetts. It emphasizes math and science within a comprehensive, interactive program. The rigor of junior year classes exceeds high school honors and Advanced Placement (AP), with more than 1,100 hours of instruction. Seniors complete a year of college, enrolling in classes at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a world-class engineering school, thus making the Academy the only public school in Massachusetts whose students attend a private university fulltime as seniors in high school. For more information on Mass Academy, visit www.massacademy.org
Sreshtaa Rajesh, Class of 2019, recently completed a program in the computational epigenomics lab at Broad Institute. As she reports, “We were focused on histones–proteins that DNA is wound around. Changes to the chemical composition of these histones can change the accessibility of the DNA around it, altering gene expression. The data that we got aimed to map the frequency of certain histone modifications along the genome, however we were only interested in the regions that had elevated levels. Over the last year, my lab had developed an algorithm that aimed to parse through the data and differentiate background (the normal distribution of the data) from the signal (the areas with elevated levels of histone modifications, therefore the areas that were of interest).
The algorithm was tested and validated on Broad-Institute generated data, but before it could be implemented and introduced to the scientific community, it needed to be validated on non-Broad generated data (because each lab will introduce its own bias into data). I imported non-Broad datasets, adapted the algorithm for use on them, and performed visual and quantitative analyses. Statistical results between each labs’ data came back insignificant, suggesting that the algorithm does not perform significantly differently when introduced to different biases. These results are promising in not only validating the algorithm, but for developing a better fit-quality metric that can give us an accurate, quantitative way of analyzing how well the algorithm works on future datasets. “
Mass Academy students had the opportunity to showcase their award-winning work to Massachusetts legislators, who visited campus as part of the Commonwealth Conversations Tour.
Learn more about the student projects, and the impressions they made on legislators.