Intel Top Award for Chicago Math Magnet School

Walter Payton College Prep, a Chicago high school with a student body representing youth from more than 100 elementary schools around the city, took home the top award in the Intel Schools of Distinction contest in Washington, D.C.

The awards were announced today, Sept. 15, recognizing top science and math schools in the nation.

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Other schools winning big include Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Va); Roxbury Preparatory Charter School (Roxbury, Mass.); Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School (Baton Rouge, La.); M.S. 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology (Bronx, N.Y.); and West Elementary (Wamego, Kan.).

Each school won an estimated $160,000 in a combination of cash grants from the Intel Foundation and an award package including curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software from program sponsors including Blackboard Collaborate, BrainwareSafari, Dell, DyKnow, I-CAN, SAS, Scantron, SMART Technologies and Tabula Digita.

“The critical knowledge base provided by math and science education is the foundation for innovation,” said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. “These schools imbue a deep passion for math and science in the next generation, a critical requirement for America to remain competitive in the global economy.”

The Walter Payton College Preparatory High School based in Chicago took home the Star Innovator Award, which brings an additional $15,000 from the Intel Foundation, for a total of $175,000 in cash and prizes.

Payton is a citywide magnet school that serves a diverse student body and focuses on mathematics, science and world languages. Math teachers participate in lesson study and are highly engaged in collaborative processes.

All courses include measurement, data analysis and modeling activities, using the same digital lab instruments used in science classes.

The school schedule includes block lessons once a week and innovative, co-curricular seminars throughout the semester to engage students in the study of advanced or unusual topics.

More than a quarter of students take five or more math courses before graduation, opting for AP Statistics and university-level electives. More than 99 percent of Payton students meet or exceed state math standards, says Intel.

Twelve finalists were selected from 149 applications. The 2010 finalists were from Florida, Kansas, Texas, New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Ohio.

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